As many of you know, the statistics for teens staying close to God and to a church family after leaving home are very concerning. According to research by the Fuller Youth Institute, 40 to 50 percent of kids who are part of a youth group in high school fail to stick with their faith in college. There was one determining factor that prevented our young men and women from leaving the body, and that was connection with adults who are willing to know them and invest in them. The study showed that teens who had five or more adults from the church invest in them between the ages of 15 to 18 were less likely to leave the church after high school.
Knowing this, Northside immediately set out to make this happen. There were struggles during the pandemic, but starting 12 weeks ago, all Northside teens were assigned to an age-based small group with some amazing leaders. These groups meet during class time on Wednesday nights and are a great way for our young men and women to build connections with faithful adults who care about their struggles and their eternal souls. Each group session focuses on biblical concepts and how they relate to what our teens are already going through. The feedback has been incredibly positive, and teens are being given a chance to share what is on their hearts and mind.
I have been blessed with 14 dedicated and trustworthy group leaders, who I have no doubt would appreciate your prayers as they walk with our teens. Paul Herrington, Tristan Block, Ginny Martin, Rose Shady, Jarud Griffith, Luke Campbell, Kiley Miller, Jennifer Campbell, Gary Brown, Clayton Mccullough, Amanda Hudson, Michelle Lewis, Kathy Bishop, and Brianne Banning are all doing an amazing job of getting to know and love our teens.
I thank God for a church with such amazing volunteers, and I look forward to seeing the fruit of this ministry in the spiritual growth of our teens.