On June 1st, my then soon-to-be wife Lauren and I had the honor to be welcomed into the Camelback family as I began my new position as the Director of Youth Ministry. I have been overwhelmed with joy as God’s Spirit began revealing so many opportunities for the youth at Camelback.
This summer has been a time of prayer and planning. The Lord has helped me see his plan for the coming school year to begin building Camelback Youth into a ministry that equips teens to grow into mature believers, passionately pursuing fellowship with Jesus, and boldly venturing to build the body of Christ.
Change is a constant in the lives of teenagers and this year is going to be full of change for the youth ministry. I am deeply encouraged to tell you that Camelback Bible is passionate about making changes to invest in the discipleship of our teens and to build a ministry that helps teens see the fulfillment of the Great Commission in our city and around the world. We are developing new leaders, new discipleship groups, new missions opportunities, and new outreach events.
Our focus for youth this year is “Welcome to the Family.” Lauren and I are praying for the students in Camelback Youth to experience the joy, love, and support that Christ’s body supplies when we come together in Him. This is vital as we confront the many changes God has for Camelback Youth. Change is never easy. Transitions are uncomfortable and messy. New is scary. But God’s plans often confront our fears.
One of my favorite depictions of Jesus comes in John 20. The disciples, fearing for their own futures after the crucifixion, are hiding in an upper room. Jesus appears to them, resurrected from death, and the first thing he says to them is “peace be with you.” In other words, “do not worry.” He then tells them everything is going to change. He says that they have a new mission, that he is now sending them out as his Father sent him.
Jesus tells the disciples to be at peace in the face of the most traumatic change in their lives because his plan for them to go and preach his gospel far outweighs any discomfort, doubt, or fear that might hold them back. The disciples had a decision to make: they trust the Lord, face change head on, and preach the message that will transform the world; or they stay in the upper room, never changing anything. Change is hard, sacrificial, and scary, but the renewal of all things demands change. Praise God for giving us a family so we can endure and grow through change together.
Written by AC Caswell - Website
A.C. is a member of that rare breed known as the native Phoenician. He joined the CBC ministry team in 2014 and is the Pastor of Student Ministries and Global Missions. "I especially long for God to use me in the transformational time that teenagers endure. I hope to be a light of wisdom and hope as they traverse the many obstacles in between childhood and adulthood." “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” – I Timothy 4:12