It’s that time again! Everyone is back to school. There has been haircuts, new backpacks, topping up on school supplies, and balancing schedules; trying to squeeze in family time wherever possible! It’s a fresh new school year, full of anticipation for what is to come! Maybe your child has begun their final year of school and is planning on hitting the books hard – ensuring a spot in their desired program for university. Maybe it’s their final shot at taking home the championship. Maybe your kids have changed schools because they just started high school and they are worried about making a good first impression. Or perhaps you have a child who has just started Grade 6 and is has just joined us at theUNDERGROUND for the first time!

 

Well no matter how far along in school your kids are, we are so excited to welcome EVERYONE back to midweek 🙂 We have had a great start to the year and are so excited to be back into the swing of things! Starting back at midweek is almost like New Year’s Eve for us! We have been thinking through what our “New Years’ Resolutions” will be! And we welcome you to join with us in our hopes for this school year. We have taken a good look at our Mission and our Values over the summer, and we want to be more intentional about living and breathing these values, making them part of our DNA instead of a list of ideals. Our Mission is ‘to lead students into a growing and lifelong relationship with Jesus’. This is no easy task! And I would love for all of us to think about that word, ‘lifelong’ for a moment.

 

Students are in theUNDERGROUND up until Grade 12. We have seven years with your kids (if they go start to finish). But they are with you for life! As parents, you have an incredible opportunity to speak into your kids’ lives. Sometimes they don’t listen, we understand that. In fact, sometimes they find their youth leaders to be some of the smartest people in the world – and all we do is repeat something that you’ve already told them 100 times! But let’s go back to ‘lifelong’ again. We get a brief time with your kids. Our hope is that in that time, we can work with the parents of our students. One of our values is ‘resourced and spiritually engaged parents’. We believe that parents are the primary spiritual influencers in the lives of youth. We want to communicate with, resource and engage parents in the life of the youth ministry. We want to come alongside you and help your kids become lifelong followers of Jesus.

 

Parents, I want to challenge you with something. I want you to think about all the activities your kids are involved in, and which ones are the highest priority. Have you built in time for them to grow spiritually? Have you set up a culture in your home where hockey practice is more important than homework? What is more likely to happen: your child becomes an NHL prodigy, or graduates university? What if the students in theUNDERGROUND spent as much time with God as they did in any other activity? What if the primary focus for their future was a relationship with Jesus? My challenge is to be intentional. We are intentional about providing kids with a safe space where they can be themselves, learn about Jesus, and grow as a community. And you, as parents, are the most influential part of that spiritual community.

 

So how do we ensure that this New Years Resolution doesn’t end up flopping a few weeks in? Communication. Involvement. Prayer. We do our very best to communicate and keep you up to date about what’s going on inside the doors of theUNDERGROUND. We have Facebook pages, blog posts, newsletters, etc. Look us up! Say hello 🙂 Let leaders know what’s going on at school or at home, maybe there is a piece of the puzzle that you can provide! Let us celebrate with you, let us grieve with you. We have committed volunteers who have a heart for ministering to your kids, let them be a consistent voice in the lives of your kids. Midweek is a great, intentional time for your kids to be involved in games, small groups, discipleship, and teaching. Ask them what the night was about! And if they can’t tell you – let us know so we can make adjustments 🙂

 

Try your best to get your kids on retreats, these a great for building relationships, getting away from life and focusing on Jesus, and for just plain old fun! We understand that it’s not realistic to send every kid, from every family, to every retreat, just know that we are happy to help in any way we can. And lastly, the most important thing you can do as a parent is pray for your kids. Pray for their small group leaders. Pray for their youth coordinators and pastors. Pray for their teachers at school, their coaches, and their friends. There are so many spheres of influence in the life of a student, and we want to remind you that we are on your team! Let’s commit to helping your kids enter a lifelong relationship with Jesus.

 

– Mark Muller