Last year was Aspen Ridge Church’s first year taking part in MOVE, a five day summer event put on by Christ In Youth (CIY). It is an event that is breathtakingly well put together, as well as directed straight at high school students. The reason this is so amazing is because student ministries are used to being the exact opposite of both of those things. They often feel like they get the hand-me-downs from other areas of ministries and that they are in the back seat when it comes to teaching and worship with the church at large. This is not the case with CIY. They are a company that has been around a long time, working exclusively with middle and high school students from around the country. They get it…And I believe that Aspen Ridge Church gets that, too.
Last year, before going on this adventure for the first time, we tried a new idea that we simply called the “Sponsor a Student” bags. We were blown away by the response. So many people came by the table that we didn’t have anymore bags after our first Sunday!
The concept is simple: we will have a table out in the entry way with all of the students and sponsors represented. As people come by and grab a bag they will find a few things in each bag:
- a paper describing what each student or sponsor likes to snack on so the can bag can be filled with those items and returned
- a wristband that says, “I’m praying for a student at MOVE,” so that throughout the week they can remember to pray for that student or sponsor
- an envelope with that students name on it so that whoever sponsors that student can write down a prayer for them for their week.
It’s that simple.
It was, however, anything but simple for the students last year.
Last year, the students were so overwhelmed by all the love that the bags and letters communicated to each of them that it did far more than just help them get though the van ride to and from camp. It started getting each student ready for the love that they were about to experience from God and the rest of the team that week. It started getting each of the students in the right mindset for what they were about to see God do in their friends’ lives and in their own life.
Will you join us in this great adventure? Pray about who you might sponsor this year!