Coghlan: The Heart of Student Ministry
Pam Coghlan (email)
Who We Are
In the past four years the Student Ministry has become a force to be reckoned with. Just walk through the upstairs hallways of the main building on a Sunday morning and you will find about 90 students scurrying to and fro hugging and high-fiving each other. You will hear sounds of laughter and shouts of joy and feel the zing of electricity in the air – brought on by the bounding bodies of energy. These 6th-12th grade students are the bright future of our church. They are discovering what it means to know Christ and to love him by loving others. These students are not just about how much fun they can have. They are students interested in and curious about their faith. They are disciples of Christ in training.
If you asked any of our 35 regular Sunday morning volunteers why they invest in, teach, and disciple these students, you would hear comments like: “students are messy and complicated, but they bring great joy and hope” and “these kids ask hard questions about their faith!” How could anyone ignore their curiosity? You can’t! You make it your mission to help them discover the truth and find the answers to their questions in the Bible.
Fun? Yes, Student Ministry is a blast, but there is so much more to this ministry. Student Ministry has the privilege of shaping and molding the future. We are about equipping students with biblical knowledge and experiences to help them grow in their Christian faith.
What We Are Doing
Cotton candy and Student Ministry will probably never be used in the same sentence. We would not be described as a “bunch of fluff” doing programs and events to entertain – we are more “high-nutrients, a superfood” of sorts for the soul!
In a six-month time frame we have worked hard at Day of Service, celebrated Christ’s birth with a Progressive Dinner, and dug deep in the Bible at Disciple Now weekend retreat. Every one of these events has averaged no less than 90 students but what is even more remarkable is the faithful volunteers and parents who have dedicated themselves to make this ministry what it is today. Almost every parent in Student Ministry participates in some form or fashion, having caught the vision that they are needed and are key ingredients for the success of this ministry.
As the heat is turned up for summer, there is no slowing down; we look forward to pool parties, Jonathan Creek Summer Camp, and the Guatemala Mission Trip. The underlying theme for the summer focuses on “loving your neighbor as yourself.”
God has richly blessed us to be located in a central part of Dallas where needs are obvious and mission work is at the church’s front door. We see the need and hear the cry for help and will participate in local mission and service projects throughout the community.
With all that is going on and taking place it is easy to overlook little acts of grace and kindness like students who consistently invite their friends to church. Cotton Candy? Not us!
Romans 10:14-15 so eloquently paints a picture of what it means to love others and serve them as Christ did: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Student Ministry will always strive to have beautiful feet!