I was organizing some files on my computer the other day and started rummaging through my NSM files. As it happens every time I start organizing or cleaning something, I started to reminisce on the two years and one month I was privileged to be a part of Northwood Student Ministry. So I thought I'd share some of the moments I'll cherish in the years to come. These are in no particular order.
In 2008, the 24/7 Youth Ministry team went to a lake house for a couple of days. What emerged was Northwood Student Ministry. This new brand encompassed the heart of what we felt God wanted to accomplish in the lives of students and their families at Northwood Church.
Possibly one of the most complex and creative series we undertook was "Rhythm." Included creative pieces were a "Stomp" opener, Crowd Simon, the infamous Paper-clip-man, and videos that made you want to get up and dance. This series set the bar high for our production level.
NSM staff lunches became a favorite time of my week. We always shared some laughs, got into some deep conversation and enjoyed some of the best food Charleston had to offer. Not to mention the unthinkable burger combinations that Brian Jarvis would ingest.
Christmas was always a wonderful time not only for the fun we would have at this decorative and creative time of year, but also for the annual NSM Volunteer Christmas Party. I loved the opportunity to sit and chat casually with some of the volunteers I didn't get to have much interaction with on a regular basis. (And the food was incredible. Best meatballs I've ever had courtesy of Joelle Ferguson.)
The Avenue became my favorite worship service to attend. I'm not sure when things changed but when we had The Avenue in the round in the Royal Ranger building, we all knew we had something special. Some of my favorite series were "Nehemiah" and "With Hope." I think we'll all remember the moment when the glass shattered in the message. Powerful, powerful nights of ministry.
The creation and growth of VELOCITY is something I will always be grateful to have been a part of. This was a huge undertaking that was impossible without the support of our leadership and the parents of our students. Still one of the best camps I've ever been to.
Rhino Ball. Dodgeball ala The Avenue style. We created a kind of church athletic cult with this wonderful little game. I still feel terrible about Olivia Looney getting hit in the face that one night. When I watch the Dark Knight, I'll always think of NSM.
In 2009 we gathered the Small Group Leaders of NSM and for a day and a half we sat in a beach house worshiping, learning, praying and playing together. This was a defining moment for NSM. The men and women who God brought to this team are true blessings.
The Senior Ski trip in my opinion is the only way to do ski trips. Imagine all the fun of ski trips without the drama of younger students. There are too many inside jokes to mention but a couple of unforgettable moments are Jerrid Riley falling off the ski lift, Brock Richard being tackled by a snowman, Fee Fur, shirts off in the tunnel, Mafia and "elbow?". Love you guys!
Probably the two proudest moments came with Baptism @ The Element and Mobilize for Haiti. These nights were special. To see students and families coming together in worship and submission to Christ is such a rewarding thing to experience. I'll be forever indebted to the families and students who made those such glorifying nights for our God.
So what have been some of your favorite memories over the last two years? I know that I'm the unworthy punk who got to have a front row seat to God's workmanship. I'll be forever grateful for the time I got to spend with the families of Northwood.