Student Ministries Reaches Out to Those Not Yet Included
In order for a church to function, it technically does not have to go outside of the church walls. We can preach, teach, grow and be with one another without looking around to see if anyone new has entered, if anything has changed, if anyone looks different.
What if that were true? It would take away from the command to go and make disciples. It would take away from the notion to go and visit those in prison; it would take away from the care of the orphan and the widow; it would take away from loving one another well.
We have found that there are multiple creative ways to engage those not yet included in our community. Following are some of the ways that Student Ministries has engaged in outreach to youth and families not yet included.
Open floor is a two-year-old movement for high school students to develop their creative expression in a safe environment. The opportunity for a creative outlet teaches students in the community how to communicate feelings and emotions in a healthy way, in this instance via artistic media, before reaching a point of angst and frustration. Open Floor also fosters community and networking by giving participants the space to engage with one another and develop new friendships.
For Open Floor, singers, dancers, actors, musicians, poets and comedians, as well as those who just want to watch, gather the last Tuesday of every month from 3 to 5 p.m. in rooms 1115 and 1117 of The Rink.
As part of Open Floor, Lip Sync Battle has taken place for two years annually. It’s an opportunity for various schools and families to come together. Community partners such as Chick-fil-A in Altamonte Springs really stepped up to help engage students and families in this creative expression.
This fall Northland is holding Open Floor at Lyman High School during lunchtime as a pilot program that will be biweekly to start.
If you are interested in participating or in a mentorship role, contact me at email@example.com.
This outreach program, which Northland staff and volunteers have been facilitating for more than four years, takes place at Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell, Florida, biweekly.
Through games, discussion and other activities, participants learn how to discontinue previous habits and maladaptive behavior to be better suited to reenter their communities across the state of Florida. Participants also learn how to reframe their prison sentence and gain an understanding that sometimes prison is a mentality rather than just a physical location.
At these weekly workshops, students learn how to engage in healthy relationships – with themselves, others and anything they have a relationship with, including food, money and so on. They also learn how to navigate through unhealthy relationships they might already be engaged in. In the process, students learn about forgiveness, about letting go, how to change their thinking or behavior to successfully engage in healthy relationships, how to end and begin relationships, how to network and more.
These workshops, for the Young Men and Women of Excellence, are being held at Lyman and Seminole High Schools. If you are interested in being a mentor or sharing about your profession with young leaders and minds, you are welcome to join us.
Weekly during the football season, Northland staff, parents, volunteers, students and teachers serve the freshman team at Lyman High School and the varsity team at Winter Springs High School. Students get to hear a message from Youth Pastor Rob Hemphill, and he prays for them or they pray for one another.
This has opened doors for cheerleaders to serve and be served. The program provides great engagement with the coaches and administration of these schools. We get to foster relationships through sharing a meal with the students.
If you or someone you know would like to be part of any of these outreach opportunities in Student Ministries, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-937-1832. We are looking for people who would like to include those not yet included. We get to do this work with great joy and sometimes great sadness – but always with great hope.