That is German for "attention." Pastor Rocky of Saint Barnabus in Charleston (my home away from home when I was at The Citadel) would always say this before he spoke. This summer, I was asked by the current chair of the Youth Committee, David Williams, if I would be willing to succeed him as chair. After about a week of prayer and consideration, I agreed; however, as part of this, I will be resigning my chair on the Finance Committee. As our Shepherding sessions have revealed, the Youth of our church are essential to each of us. As you may know, Pastor Shealy and Ashley were the leaders of LCY for the past two years. With his departure, no leader has stepped forward as of yet. The members of the Youth Committee will rotate as weekly leaders until the Lord brings us a full-time volunteer.
My time as chairman will not be a change of direction or thought, only a changing of the guard. Our committee has been committed to the activities and roles our youth should play in the life of our church for some time. Some factors existed, that is no longer present that will allow for those ideas to be put into action now. We have established three goals for 2019-20, and they are:
1. Have at least one excursion per month
2. Have at least 80% of the eligible youth of SLLC attend LCY
3. Have each member of LCY bring at least one friend/guest per month to a meeting or excursion
We believe that each of these goals is directly related to our purpose to bring the Youth closer to be able to share God's Word. The third goal of including friends and guests, speaks to evangelism. I was once told that "Evangelism is not stealing someone from another church and bringing them to yours"; however, we have been approached by other congregations to allow their youth to participate with our Youth. We are excited about this opportunity to share. We have plans to further reach out to other ecumenical congregations to be able to allow for more meaningful and purposeful youth experiences.
We all agreed that the charge of excursions to the youth does not need to reflect the actual cost of the excursion. We have a budget, and we are committed to subsidizing activities to a level that make the cost to the Youth nominal ($5 or less in almost every case.) The council gives us a budget to use, and for the past five years, we have used less than 50% each year of the operating budget. We also discussed that the nominal charge for an excursion could be incentivized further if a youth were to bring a friend to a meeting and that friend attends the subsequent excursion.
Our first excursion will be a bowling night on September 15th, 6 pm at Southgate Lanes. The excursion for October will likely be a trip to the trampoline park should it be open, or a movie as a contingency if it is not. November will be one of the two previous between trampolines and movie that we did not do in October. December's excursion will be caroling followed by dinner, either progressive style or at a local restaurant
Our Youth, YOUR Youth will be very active this year. You will get to see our Youth in action on September 22nd at our congregational breakfast as your servers. We hope that you will show your gratitude by giving a donation to help fund their activities. These are good kids and deserve our best.
Lastly, fair or not fair, we have heard from several families that have left our congregation over the past five years or so, that they did so due to "lack of opportunities for youth programs." I ask that you search your heart, offer your prayers, thoughts, ideas, and time to help us never allow another family to leave feeling that youth was not a priority of Saint Luke Lutheran Church.
Lee Daugherty, LCY chairperson