Last night we began to film our high school graduates in preparation to honor them at church in the upcoming weeks. We are excited to graduate 10 very sharp individuals that represent six high schools. It was a surreal moment for me as I looked into each of their eyes and played back their history with North Creek Church.
Seven years ago, just as they were entering junior high, we opened our doors. At that moment, all but one of them were strangers to us. We had said a thousand prayers for them, but their faces were invisible at the time…and there they sat before me. As I listened to one after the other thank their parents, church, leaders, and peers, I felt like God whispered, “Here is the fruit of faith.” They are quite literally the reason behind every work day, every offering, every drop of sweat. We did it all so that children and teenagers would flood through our doors, learn to live for Jesus, and go change the world. And this is the first graduating class that we have had from junior high through graduation.
Some highlights for me:
Jessica Yonko was about to enter Mark and I’s youth ministry when we stopped being youth pastors to be church planters. Her parents looked into her 11 year old eyes and told her they would be planting a church with us and she would be one of three teenagers. She looked into the camera last night and proclaimed that this journey has been a highlight of her life. Faith never fails.
Five of our graduates were from Battle Ground. Who would have ever thought that our Vancouver campus would have the opportunity to go multisite and impact an entirely different community? While we are in the process of hiring a youth pastor just for the Battle Ground campus, these five graduates have thrived at the Hazel Dell campus on Thursdays with a deep youth ministry that welcomed them in with open arms. We are grateful to have gotten to know them!
Several of our graduates are on my miracle list. That’s the list of people in my heart that have succeeded under circumstances that could have destroyed them. They are the testimonies where Jesus stepped in and they grabbed ahold of His promises for their lives.
All of our graduates have dreams and goals for their lives. Students who come through our youth ministry know Jesus. They are confident, strong, and secure in their faith. I am encouraged to send out a fleet of people into adulthood who want to make a difference with what they have been given. We are all proud of them!
So, graduates, keep going! Don’t lose your love for Jesus and His House. Stay tied into a strong community of people who believe in the best for your life! We love you and support you! Way to go! Let’s go change the world…