I never really had much interest in God as a kid. Everything changed for me when I was 15. I heard the good news for what felt like the first time on a student mission trip, and that was when 2 Corinthians 5:15 came alive for me. I realized that if Christ has really died for me, then I can no longer live for myself, my life now belongs to Christ.
I will never forget how pivotal the next 3 years of my life were. I remember my youth pastor, Wes Jones, pleading with us just to read our Bibles. He told me to start in Romans (not the best advice). I was confused at times, but I’ll never forget the early mornings spent before school reading and journaling what I was learning about God from the book of Romans. I remember adults serving in the church, men like Jim Booth and Robert LoBasso who had full time jobs but showed up every week to teach us how to study the Bible and live as disciples of Jesus. I remember meaningful conversations in the church parking lot that I am sure they have long forgotten. I remember being in Jim’s home and seeing the way he loved his family. I’m not sure those men will ever realize how great an impact they had on me. By God’s power the speaker on that mission trip convinced me that I needed to repent of my sin and live for Christ, but it was the ordinary men in my home church who showed me what it meant to live as a disciple.
I cannot tell you how much of a joy it is for me to now be serving in student ministry at Currey Creek. I truly feel I have the best job in the world. Seeing God move in the lives of our students has blessed me in ways I can’t describe. 3 John 1:4 says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” There is a real sense in which I feel this way toward our students. I’m proud of them. I love them. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing them grow in Christ.
Our goal is to raise up students who love the Lord and love others, know and abide in God’s Word, take their faith home with them, develop Christian community, serve the church, serve the community and share Christ with others.
Ultimately, our belief in the power of the gospel drives us to do what we do. We know and have seen that the gospel has the power to save and transform the students in this generation. That is why at Upstream we seek to provide gospel centered teaching directly from God’s Word. We want to teach the timeless message of the Bible in a way that is understandable and applicable to students.
We also believe that parents are called to be the primary disciple-makers in students’ lives. At Upstream, we seek to partner with parents to disciple our students. When the church and parents partner together to raise students in the Lord, there is no limit to what God will do. Every time we meet with students, we want to have a touch point with parents informing them of what we are talking about and simple ways they can take the conversation home.
Adult volunteers are vital to a healthy student ministry. With a group as large as ours, we lean heavily on our volunteers to lead small groups and disciple students outside the walls of the church. Our team of Upstream volunteers is made up of mature believers, godly and gifted men and women who love students and truly desire to make disciples.
Finally, we believe in the power of prayer. Students today face very unique challenges, but they also have an unmatched opportunity to shine the light of Christ to a hurting and empty generation. Would you pray with me for our students to trust Jesus for salvation, to live for him and him alone, to have the perseverance and devotion to continue to follow after Christ through thick and thin, and to have the boldness to share Christ with others around them?
Logan Talamas | Student Pastor
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