where love is alive 

Happy New Year to all my church family! I hope that this year has been a good one.  My family and I have been so blessed by our church family over the past year and years, and for that I am thankful.  For us, in student ministry, as we turn the page into 2020 we are looking straight down the barrel of our Catalyst 2020 (DNow) Weekend.  This is my favorite weekend of the year, because it is focused on discipleship and involves much of the church as a whole.  Retreats and camps are great in that they can be a good refresher, but I love our Catalyst weekends because it also is a connecting point for our students to adults in our church.  Frankly, there isn’t much difference in a normal retreat weekend and our Catalyst Weekend, but the difference of the students staying in church members’ homes, rather than a cabin in the woods is of great significance!  Students are loved on all weekend as church members open their homes to middle school boys who probably won’t shower and will probably break household items, to high school girls that want to talk about boys all weekend and to poor college students that are volunteering their weekend to love on the stinky boys!  Church members volunteer in many ways to help with meals or provide money for the meals the students will eat.  Sometimes we even have adults come serve alongside our students during our service projects.  I just love the opportunity that our Catalyst Weekend provides for our students to connect with significant adults in our church body.  This is absolutely what sets this weekend apart from normal youth retreats.  Studies have shown us now for many years that one of the most important factors in determining the outcome of students’ church attendance during the college years is if they had appropriate, deep connections with adult church members while they were teenagers.  This is at the heart of what our Catalyst Weekend is all about.

Please be in prayer for our weekend.  Pray that the students that are supposed to participate will be here.  Pray that no one would be put off by the small cost we ask participants to pay, or the fear of being away from home (and that truly is a struggle for many teens).  Pray that the Lord’s Will would be done in each of our teenagers lives over the weekend.

I have two fantastic announcements to make to our church in regards to Catalyst 2020, and if you have read until now, then you deserve the dessert!  First off, our speaker this year is an NCBC youth alumnus and fellow youth pastor: Mr. Nolan Rumble!!!!  We are excited to bring Nolan down from his church in Northern Virginia for this weekend event that meant so much to Nolan in his time as a youth group member here at NCBC.  The second announcement I have for you is that our good friend, also a NCBC youth alumnus, Luke Littrell will be with us to lead worship over the weekend!   I am so grateful to Luke because he led our student praise team for several years while he was in college.  He grew so much in that role over the years and has become a tremendous worship leader.  I am so happy to get to put together our leadership team for Catalyst this year with an NCBC alumni flair to it!  The weekend will just mean more to these two men than it has previous leaders, simply because they experienced DNow at NCBC, and I would dare say many of those weekends helped shape them into the men of God they are today.  Please keep Nolan and Luke in your prayers as they prepare for the weekend that God has big plans for!!!

In Him!

Jason

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