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Timberlake Blog

Camp, Caffeine and Decisions for Christ

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Feb 14, 2014 @ 12:03 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in camp, christ, jesus, decisions, follow

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Great things are happening in Timberlake's Middle School Ministry. Recently we took a number of students to Great Wolf Lodge for our RUSH Winter Camp 2014. We had a great time and I wanted to share just a small glimpse into the incredible life change that happened that weekend.

I think it’s important to hear about how God interacts with middle school students because we can easily label our young students as spiritually immature or incapable of encountering God. Maybe it's all the sugar! However, I can confidently say this weekend revolutionized not only the Middle School Ministry but the future of Timberlake Student Ministries as a whole.

120 caffeinated and crazy students rolled out to camp, excited for water slides, arcade games, food, and social interaction with their friends, but returned Sunday with so much more than they expected.

We challenged our students to identify if they were living in God’s light or in the world’s darkness. We thought we were in over our heads with this challenge because many of the students didn’t even know how to pray. But God answered our prayers and pursued these young people, relentlessly, all weekend.

I wasn't sure what to expect during the final service because we tried something we hadn’t done before. Instead of watching our students make an emotional decision to follow Jesus, we simply asked them to sit back and think if living a life devoted to God was for them. We placed glow sticks on the stage for each student to come up and grab when they felt like they were ready to make a decision. The idea was that they had to be broken in order to shine for Jesus. So, if they desired to surrender their lives to Jesus, they would break their glow stick, making their declaration. I stood in the back of the room and watched as almost all of our students decided to be broken to shine for Jesus. We also encouraged the rest to take their glow sticks home, take some time, and make the decision if Jesus was for them.

We watched as our students as they worshipped Jesus in reckless abandonment. I was a great sight to see. We finished off the night with student testimonies from the stage and a whole lot of prayer.

37 students gave their lives to Christ that night and many more made the decision to take their next right step and get baptized. 

I can’t take any credit for success of this camp. It comes down to our amazing adult leaders who were there to pastor these students and God being as faithful as he is.

Matt Castro
Middle School Pastor

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Your Kids Lives Are Being Changed

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Sep 19, 2013 @ 02:44 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in Timberlake, students, camp, Rush, Church, youth, ministry

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The middle school years are completely unique compared to all others. This is the time where some of the most pivotal decisions are made that truly set up the future of our students. It's also the time when students are influenced more than any other time in their lives, as they search to figure out who they are and who Jesus is to them. That is why, here at Timberlake Student Ministries, we value and are passionate about the mission of discipling young teens in a fun and safe environment.

This past weekend, we held our annual fall kick-off event, Escape, and it was unforgettable. Not only for the students but for our leaders as well.

A total of 169 students, alongside 23 adult leaders, packed into 3 buses and journeyed to Family Fun Center for a few hours of fun. Then we drove to Arena Sports, which was packed with inflatables, photo booths, a mechanical bull, and more! After everyone was hyped up on pizza and soda, we ventured back to Timberlake Church for a service and a relevant, practical message. It’s there where God encountered many students, even some for the very first time!

While scanning the crowd during worship, I could see young people interacting with God and pursuing him like I had never seen them before. It’s true, when you call out for God he answers. And our students get it.

That’s the reason behind what we do here at Timberlake and why we have events like Escape. To usher students into encountering the one and only Jesus Christ. We will work tirelessly and endlessly to help students take action and ignite the next right step in their relationship with Jesus.

I believe we are ministering and discipling a group of "game changers” who will forever change this community, not by their own strength but the strength of the one who empowers them: Jesus Christ.

When Jesus is speaking with his disciples after his resurrection he gives them simple instructions: love God more than anything, love people more than yourself, and serve relentlessly. It’s these principles that we seek to instill in our students at every service, every small group, and every special event.

Jesus is on the move in Timberlake Student Ministries and we invite you to come and take a look at the life change that is happening all around us.

Matt Castro
Middle School Pastor 

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Summer Camp Changes Everything

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Aug 15, 2013 @ 05:00 PM / by Timberlake Church posted in Timberlake, students, camp, summer, life, jesus, Family, salvation

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When I was 15 years old, a new youth pastor at our church invited me to a week at "summer camp". At the time, I responded as any 15 year old considering giving up a week of summer would-- "No thanks, I'm not interested." Then, a girl I liked from church decided to go to camp. I was interested. 

I walked into a week of summer camp expecting to have some fun, make some memories, and work my best freshman-in-high-school moves on my love interest. But here's what happened: God met me at that summer camp. If we had the time, I could take you to the exact spot where I remember committing my life to Jesus forever, and deciding my life was going to look different from that day forward. I can't really remember what the messages were about, or how fun the games were, but I can remember knowing so clearly in my heart and mind that Jesus Christ is who he said he is, and wanted so badly to have a relationship with me. 

Flash forward a decade, and I can't remember who the love interest was, but I can tell you that the decision to fall in love with Jesus has stuck with me, and its by his grace that I'm walking with Him today.

The past couple weeks, we had a chance to provide this opportunity for a bunch of students at Timberlake, both at the middle school and high school level. During these two weeks, it was truly amazing to see students connect in brand new friendships, play crazy games and make lifelong memories. But more than anything, it was amazing to watch them make decisions of faith; decisions that I know firsthand can last a lifetime.  

So, thank you for being a church committed to creating this environment for students. I know that, for so many students, summer camp changes everything. 

Nick Wallsteadt

High School Pastor
Timberlake Church

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