ON A MISSION TO SERVE
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
This summer we have been privileged to serve alongside several missions teams and families with hearts full of grace and souls generated by God’s love. The Dunham family from the Chicago area, Bellerose Assembly of God Team from Queens, NYC, Student Life Team from Christ Church Vienna from VA, Marlton Assembly and Bethel Church Teams from South Jersey, and Kingsway Church Missions Teams from Cherry Hill, NJ have blessed our community and our ministry.
Teams led Vacation Bible School, shared at our community family nights, taught in classrooms, distributed literature, and worked on the building. They expanded God’s work in Philadelphia and encouraged our staff and youth intern team.
Missions Team’s Reflections:
“We were blessed by the experience in many ways: many students and leaders were forced to step outside their comfort zones; they learned to be servants and share His love—not in their own ability, but through the Lord’s strength—;and [they also learned to] serve in ways that they perhaps would not have chosen.”
– Sarah Nunez, Student Life, Christ Church Vienna,VA
“Our trip to Philadelphia this past summer was, in a word, awesome!! I love how God uses experiences like these to bless the visiting team and the team already planted, faithfully doing the work. Our Soldiers in Training team had an amazing time doing ministry and meeting new friends in Next Generation Ministries. It was great watching God use the talents of each student (on both teams) and even watching their gifts grow and expand while ministering. The young people we are investing in today will be shaping our tomorrow as they trust in and follow the One we’ve been called to serve, Jesus Christ.”
-Pastor Kevin Bateman, Bellerose Assembly of God, Queens, NYC
“We had the opportunity to minister at Resurrection Life in Philly…to run a VBS for the community and their camp kids. It was hot, it was long, but it was filled with the Holy Spirit! We developed relationships with the kids as we shared the love of Jesus with them each day. These kids were amazing! They memorized a Bible verse and Bible point every single day, which means the Word of God is in them!”
-Brooke Lane, Kingsway Church Missions Team, Cherry Hill, NJ
MEET NEXT GENERATION MINISTRIES’ COLLEGE INTERNS, NAOMI AND LATRELL
Naomi Henry | Graduate Student at Temple University
What are your personal convictions when it comes to ministry?
“I believe that ministry is the call that God has for every believer. We are all called to use our gifts and talents to minister to the people around us.
One thing that I am continually learning is that love is the foundation of ministry. 1 John 4:7 says, ‘Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God.’ Ministry begins with love, and the source of love—true love—comes only from God.
The only way I can truly love others is to receive that love from God. I have been learning how essential a deep intimacy with God is when it comes to ministry.”
How do you think this internship experience will impact you?
“This experience will get me closer to living a life that is an imitation of Christ’s. Philippians 2:3-8 sums up what I desire to gain from this experience. I want to chase after the humility and love that Christ had, which made it possible for him to make the sacrifices that He did for us.”
What drew you to this internship opportunity?
Latrell Alford | Student at the University of Valley Forge
“The opportunity to live where I work. I love the city of Philadelphia and I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of a mission seeking to help families in the neighborhood.
I want to work in an atmosphere that has an impact on the area in which I live. I want to help families be restored, grow, and produce young men and women who will serve the Lord.”
What impact has it had on you thus far?
“There is no bottom to the depth of humility. This internship has pushed [me beyond] my limits and challenged me in ways I wasn’t aware I needed to grow. It has also awakened good things in me to use to minister to others.”
Javonnie Newton, a member of Resurrection Life Church, speaks of the example that Latrell has set, “[Latrell has] been like a mentor to me. Every since I’ve met him he’s had positive energy and God’s presence [in] him.”
THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS
Youth Interns ministering at Crossroads Assembly of God
Just last year God planted the Youth Leadership Center in the hearts of Next Generation Ministries’ leaders in the form of a seed. A seed that allowed the leadership team to re-imagine what youth outreach could look like in the community. A seed that would expand upon Next Generation Ministries’ vision of reinserting the church in the community as a hub of everyday life and activities and believing that youth are the key. As our partners and ministry have worked together to cultivate and nourish the seed, God has been faithful to allow it to yield fruit.
The Youth Leadership Center, located in Resurrection Life Church in North Philadelphia, provides opportunities for youth to participate in leadership development. Since early this year, youth have been coming weekly for a range of fun, enriching activities laced with subtle yet intentional demonstrations of God’s love and life skills; in a safe, nurturing environment. These activities include, Bible Quiz, chess, Girls On the Run, basketball, martial arts, and our weekly youth nights.
This summer, we reorganized our summer youth internship ministry under the Youth Leadership Center and expanded to include 11 students. Over the course of eight-weeks, our youth interns have been challenged to view their lives through a new lens, a lens that puts God first.
Youth have been visiting colleges, receiving job training, engaging in personal development activities, and traveling to use their gifts and talents to minister in the community and churches. Each Friday night they lead an outdoor block party in the Nicetown-Tioga community. Interns have also spent a week in Pittsburgh getting first-hand experience with missions work. Lastly, they have experienced spiritual growth as they studied God’s word, prayed, and worked with our leadership team.
Youth Intern’s Reflections:
Brenda helping member of the Tioga community during Family Night
Brenda says that the best part of her experience was being in Pittsburgh, sharing in ministry and telling the little kids about God. She adds that she’s walking away from this experience with a relationship with God.
Damir ministering to the Tioga community at Family Night
“It’s really fun and exciting serving and praying for a community that isn’t [privileged],” says Damir. Like Brenda, Damir’s experience also helped him build a stronger relationship with God.
Dayvon speaking at Resurrection Life
Dayvon speaks to the impact the internship had on his life, “This internship has affected my spiritual life by showing me how to lead people to the things of God and not the world.” He also says that he sees himself traveling to churches to talk to and work with their youth.