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From the Pastor

From the Pastor

Our theme for this year is ‘Fruit that will last’. If you came to the recent Sunday night youth takeover service your heart would have been moved as we saw evidence of that. Like most if not all Western churches, New Peninsula has, over recent years, seen the size of our youth ministry drop. The percentage of youth who become active,young adult practicing Christians has also dropped. The stats say something like 75% of churched children and young adolescents walk away from the church. Praise God, over the past three years our youth ministry has been growing again. We even now have a youth group, once per month, that meets at Rosebud. In the youth takeover service the youth lead everything, including three young teenagers who delivered the message – we call them ‘sermonettes’. They were inspiring! One in particular struck me. To hear a high school student (who attends a church school) describe how following Jesus meant that she was so out of step with her class mates. Her values were not their values. Her behaviours were different. Yet she was prepared to stand out and be different, because she believed following Jesus was the best path in life. The only path to life. She encouraged us to be bold, just as she has to be. Afterwards I was speaking with a middle aged man who was challenged by the truth of what she said. There is no new technique to growing fruit that lasts. Look (up) to Jesus, read his words, follow him whatever and where ever. Belong to a community that reaffirms that (in). Encourage others to do the same (out). To see and hear 30 odd teenagers living that life was heart-warming. David Rietveld Senior Pastor