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MS & HS Ministries of Sugar Hill Church



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Crossword Contest

Small Groups

High School Camp

Sugar Hill Church Who We Are

Wednesday Nights

Spring Break Missions Trip

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Middle School Camp


The 2016/2017 InfoZine has interactive features that are made possible by the Aurasma app. To experience the extended content, follow these steps on your mobile device:

1. Download the free “Aurasma" app from your device’s App Store. 2. After opening the app, create an account with a username and password. 3. On the app’s main screen, select “Discover Auras” and type “sugarhillstudents”. 4. Select the Sugar Hill Students profile and follow us. 5. Return to the app’s main screen and tap the purple button near the bottom of the screen to start scanning the trigger images. Anywhere you see a white “+” inside a square, the image contains expanded content.

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Book Reviews

Making A Difference



Crossword Contest

The first 100 6th-12th grade students to bring a completed crossword puzzle to Small Groups will receive a coupon for a FREE Chick-fil-a Sandwich. All parents who email a picture of them with a completed puzzle to (subject line: Crossword Contest) will be entered into a drawing for a FREE Middle School or High School Summer Camp.

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Thanks to CFA Mall of Georgia at Mill Creek for providing prizes!

ACROSS 2. ______________ illustrates a person’s new life as a Christian by identifying with Jesus’ burial & resurrection. 4. Book that is developed in the final semester of Senior small group is The __________. 9. Teach My People in Pawley’s Island, SC is one of Sugar Hill Church’s many ministry __________.

18. Each adult leader that works with students has completed a lengthy application process that includes extensive __________. 19. Hashtag we need to adopt in our selfie obsessed culture. 20. 6th-8th graders will experience an awesome week of summer camp at Camp ______.

6. A high value of Sugar Hill Students is to develop __________. 7. We never want __________ to keep a student from participating in any activity/trip. 8. __________ have been given primary responsibility for the spiritual nurture of their children.


10. We believe that God has uniquely gifted His followers to change the world not one day, but __________.

13. One of the four main purposes of the Infozine.

1. At SHC, we believe Jesus is the __________ deal.

12. We place high priority on both the physical and ______ safety of our students.

14. At Sugar Hill Students, our purpose is to partner with parents to help students discover & live God’s __________ for their life.

3. We pray parents will see __________ as opportunities for significant growth and catalysts for maturity.

16. __________ has given you purpose & value that no one or nothing can ever take away from you.

15. For those who trust in __________ alone, God has promised forgiveness of sins and restoration of relationship with Him.

5. High school Camp is held at the beautiful __________ Beach & Golf Resort.

17. You can expect us to host radically fun __________ nights throughout the semester on Wednesday nights.

11. The SHC ______ is the digital hub for everything going on in the life of our church.


From Our Pastors

Thanks for taking the time to see what is available for your middle or high school student at Sugar Hill Church. We believe Students are a very big deal. In the middle of today’s adolescent life, changes, challenges and expectations are off the charts. The pressures of today’s 15 year old is greater than my generation faced as young adults. We believe that every student can reach their God given potential and exceed expectations. We believe that every Student can be grounded for life. And, we believe that every student can enjoy these critical years in a community of faith and life-long friendships. None of these things happen in a vacuum. They never happen by accident. They happen when the church and parents partner together to allow Students to have fun, have friends, and have a solid foundation from which they make wise decisions. I want to invite you to partner with our Student Ministry Team as we assist Students in becoming Grounded for Life! Every parent wants to give their kids a jumpstart in life. Sugar Hill Students are given the opportunity to grow, stretch, laugh, cry and play. But the most significant thing that Sugar Hill Students offers your kids, is the wisdom and framework to make good decisions, based on the God’s Word and God’s plan for their lives. Come on and check us out. I think you’ll love our church and love our Sugar Hill Students! Let’s Roll! Chuck Allen (770) 945-5092

Thanks so much for picking up a copy of our Fall 2016 Infozine. There are certainly a lot of great things going on in SUGAR HILL STUDENTS, the Student Ministries (Middle & High School Ministries) of Sugar Hill Church. It’s very important to us that we communicate well to your family all that we offer. The purpose of the Infozine is four-fold: First, we want to CELEBRATE. God is working in amazing ways in the lives of our students and their families. In this edition, you will find great testimonies from Summer Camps, Spring Break Mission Trip, and our Small Group Discipleship program. You can also read about students who are making a difference in Sugar Hill and around the world. Be sure to check out the story of a student who had her life changed in a swimming pool this past summer! Second, we want to COMMUNICATE. Our goal is to give you information in many different ways, so no one should ever miss what is going on. In this Infozine you will find important information such as our weekly program schedule and important calendar dates. You will also find information on camp scholarships, the many ways you can receive information from us, and how to be a part of our Student Leadership program. Next, we hope to CHALLENGE. You will find an article that details how to give your student a gift that could give back for a lifetime. We provide reviews, written by students, of some great books that we challenge students and parents to read. You will also see a long-term plan we have for students and how it will benefit your family. Finally, we want to ENCOURAGE. We’ve included a section especially for parents to help parents understand certain teen culture issues and to encourage them in spiritual discipleship in the home. You will also see a letter for parents, from a parent. This Infozine offers a snapshot of what’s going on with Sugar Hill Students. There is so much more that these pages can’t contain. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us in the office at 770-945-5092, or call me on my cell phone anytime. Know that we are here to support you and your family. We look forward to serving you this school year! On your team, Tripp Atkinson (404) 989-8749 @trippatkinson

@achuckallen 5


This is a place you can call home. At Sugar Hill Church you can connect with friends (as you meet new people and find a place to belong), grow spiritually (through inspiring teaching, practical lessons and helpful groups), and impact the world (as you invest in the next generation by serving locally and globally). We are defined by three core beliefs:

We Believe the Bible is a BIG deal. We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and there is purpose for everything in it. The Bible tells of God’s love for humanity, and the story of His son, Jesus. It reveals how we can know God, receive eternal life through Jesus, and live a life on this earth that’s filled with joy and purpose.

You will hear the phrase “Welcome Home” a lot around Sugar Hill Church. 6


We believe Jesus is the BIGGEST deal. Because we believe the Bible to be true, we believe that Jesus is the biggest deal. We affirm Jesus’ own claim that he is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to God the Father except through him. The Bible points us toward Jesus, and we believe that if we get Jesus right, we will get everything else right.


We live this out by serving others here and around the world. Jesus was the greatest example ever of serving others. In love, He sacrificially gave His life that we might have life. Our mission is to demonstrate His love to the world by serving others. We desire to care for people, not because it’s a program or an activity at the church; we are representatives of Jesus, and we believe that we are never more like Him than when we serve.

“This is the perfect place for folks that aren’t.”


The 9 Principles




Our identity not only affects how we see ourselves, but also our entire worldview. An identity grounded in Jesus Christ is necessary to experience abundant life. One’s identity is formed in Christ through salvation, authentic worship, and active obedience.

Growth is obviously essential to life. We are called to continual growth in Christ, which produces “spiritual fruit.” Marks of maturity include consistent growth, wise choices, and Godly relationships.

As a responsible follower of Jesus Christ, we must demonstrate faithful obedience to His commands. We are called to sincere stewardship, selfless service, and missional living.

Heart Change

1. SALVATION: God loves you & wants a PERSONAL relationship with you. John 5:24 2. AUTHENTIC WORSHIP: God calls us to a life of authentic worship. Romans 12:1 3. ACTIVE OBEDIENCE: God created us to live under authority. Romans 13:1-2

Mind Change

4. CONSISTENT GROWTH: To spiritually grow, you must be spiritually fed. 1 Peter 2:2 5. WISE CHOICES: Today’s choices determine your future. CHOOSE WISELY! Ephesians 5:15-17 6. GODLY RELATIONSHIPS: Your life will be significantly shaped by your relationships. Proverbs 27:17

World Change

7. SINCERE STEWARDSHIP: Everything you have is from the Lord; manage His resources accordingly. 1 Peter 4:10 8. SELFLESS SERVICE: God has gifted you to serve others. Mark 10:45 9. MISSIONAL LIVING: True purpose is found in making disciples. Matthew 28:19-20

For more details about our Grounded For Life discipleship plan for students, pick up a copy of our GFL booklet at a welcome kiosk or from the church office. 3

Dear Senio r Families,

SMALL GROUPS Small Groups are vitally important to our vision for students to be “Grounded for Life.” Designed to implement the targeted teaching of our GFL Spiritual Growth Plan, Small Groups provide a safe environment for students to connect with others, talk about God’s Word, have fun, and learn truth to be well equipped for living life well. Small Groups are divided by grade and gender (Senior Small Group has co-ed teaching time) and meet Sunday mornings from 11:00am to 12:05pm.

What a big year… not only for Se ever may fo niors, but yo llow (Colle ur whole fa ge, Militar make. For mily! The tr y, Missions, many stud an Job) is one en ts, their co We want to of the tough sition from High Sch mmitment help you m ool to what est transiti to church an ake sure th students dev ons d God is la is do elop a perso rgely lost du your family will ever nalized plan esn’t happen to you ring this tr r student! to be succes an si In ti on. Senior Sm sful in thei fact, we wan all Group is r faith, in C t to help al ollege, and the l from 11:00 what lies ah Senior – 12:05 at Su primary place this pl ead. an is devel gar Hill Chu and accoun oped. Smal tability; bu l Groups m t also some rch. Small Group not ee t only includ great teach on Sunday ing. This is es a time fo morning Revelation what we te r prayer, en : We do not ach in Sen couragemen want studen promises a ior Small G t, blessing fo ts to gradu roup: r those wh ate withou fall semeste o would st t gaining a r. While w u gr dy asp on Rev e certainly this book, this mysteri elation. Rev can’t under and that is ous book ar stand ever elation 1:3 e certainly ything in R what we are going to appropriat do to start ev el at e fo io r students n, the them Generatio the preparing n Change es and prom for an unkn (Financial ises of before they own future Peace Univ graduate. Th . ersity): Th is study is to avoid deb is ninead t, be good stewards of apted from Dave Ram week study is a “MU them that ST resources, sey’s FPU se they will ac ” for all stu and build w tually learn ries, and te dents dents for lif ealth. Stud how to beco e. ents are alw aches students how me million ays interest aires. This ed when I biblically-b THE PLAN tell ased study : The final will benefi semester of personal, pr t stuSenior year actical, and is spent hel actual plan yond. We gi ping studen for ve ts dev actions step students “10 Principl how to have a growin es for Livin g relationsh elop THE PLAN. Th s for each pr is is a g God’s Bes ip with Ch inciple. Th rist in colle t in College ese principl ge and beand Beyon es are base We strongl d,” and they d on our G y encourage rounded fo students to Groups are r Life strate write specific be a part of des gy. this valuab a commitm igned to give studen le time of te ts the tools ent to mak aching and they need e Small Gro will greatly encourage to be succes ups a prior benefit you ment. Smal sful ity for you r Senior an l r family? I’m in college and life. W d family. ill you mak confident th Please cont e at such a co act me if yo mmitment u have any questions. K now that I am here to serv e you. I look forward to a great year ! Tripp Atkin son Student Pas tor, Sugar H ill Church 404-989-87 49

5091 Nelso

n Brogdon



| Sugar H ill,

Georgia 30

518 | (770 ) 945-


Class of 2016

The Plan Principles for Living God’s Best in College & Beyond

At the conclusion of The Plan study during a student’s Senior year, they will have had the opportunity to leave Student Ministries with a personalized and specific plan for spiritual growth beyond High School. Before graduation, students compare personal action steps for each principle in The Plan, and together as a group the students decide on the most practical and helpful action steps for each principle. We provide each Senior student with a bundle of nice booklets that contain their group’s copy of The Plan. Before students graduate, we also encourage them to identify a circle of five

people that can hold them accountable to their plan their first year of college. (A number of studies have shown that students who have accountable relationships with 3-5 adults while in college are significantly more successful thriving spiritually than those who do not.) We suggest their “5” include a parent (or two), a senior adult, past/current mentors (small group leaders), as well as a peer that they admire spiritually. Realizing the significance of such an important milestone, we make a big deal of High School graduation at Sugar Hill


Church. We have a special Graduate Recognition day where students are celebrated and encouraged by their church family. As a part of this special day, graduates invite their families, close friends, and their “5” to a banquet where they are further celebrated by our whole Sugar Hill Students team and the rising Senior class. At this banquet, graduates share The Plan booklets with their “5” and begin receiving encouragement to thrive as they enter the post-high-school world. This event puts the exclamation point on our preparation of students to be Grounded For Life!



On a typical Wednesday Night we start with large group hang-out time, which includes games, activities, and food. This is a great chance to connect and meet new friends! We then transition to a powerful time of worship together, lifting up songs to God as one body. Our teaching time happens in separate environments for middle schoolers and high schoolers, with relevant messages speci cally designed to best interact with each age group. Wednesday Nights are truly the best opportunity around to check out who we are, and to get connected to what’s happening in Sugar Hill Students!

INVITE NIGHTS Throughout the semester, we have some amazing “Invite Nights”, which are our radically fun and welcoming activities for students to invite their friends. Expect everything from Valentine’s Day dances, to dodgeball tournaments, to glow-in-the-dark parties, to giant all-you- can-eat bacon and snack cake bars... We’ve got you covered!


I love Wednesday nights at Sugar Hill Students! I have more than fun; it’s indescribable. I really enjoy it! I get to hang out with my friends while I also get to worship and build a relationship with God which is the best part!

Having my son, JJ, be part of SHC Students on Wednesday nights has been such a blessing to both of us. We feel so blessed and happy to be a part of such a wonderful group of people, and I feel incredibly blessed for the new extended family we have gained. I am so impressed with the knowledge he has been taught and to see him walk the path, not just talk the talk. His faith and love for the Lord has changed his thought process, and he lives a better life. I feel so blessed to be a part of something that is much bigger and look forward to meeting and serving alongside this wonderful congregation. PEGGY T. JAMES PARENT OF 9TH GRADER


2016 Middle School Camp Camp Longridge

Middle School Summer Camp happens at Longridge Camp & Retreat Center in Ridgeway, SC. Middle School camp gives rising 6th - 8th grade students an opportunity to escape the noise of everyday life, connect with old and new friends, creatively engage God’s Word, participate in powerful worship experiences, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Longridge offers a natural wooded setting in which students experience fun filled amenities that include the lake, high ropes course, zip-line, climbing wall, water slide, canoes, shing, miniature golf, gaga ball, sand volleyball, paintball, and much more!! Begin inviting friends now to be a part of Middle School Camp next summer!



“I loved meeting new people in different grades and making new memories with them. I learned that you’re never too young to serve God.” - Tate

“I really loved quiet time. When I could be alone with God’s word, I felt like I could find answers.” - Rebecca

“I gave my life to Jesus and learned so many things about God.” - Maggie

“My favorite part about camp was team competition!”

“At camp my relationship with Christ was renewed and is now stronger than ever. I loved spending time with my brothers and sisters in Christ!” - Kendal

“This week I committed to not be ashamed of God and to follow what He wants me to do.”

- Jack Goldstein

- Adam 3

Students and adults alike have described High School Beach camp as “THE BEST STUDENT CAMP EVER.” Not a typical camp experience, students stay at the beautiful Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort as they enjoy a week of beach games, meaningful small group time, engaging worship experiences, and life-changing service opportunities. Summer camp includes Sugar Hill Students leading an outreach block party with our ministry partner, Teach My People. Through this service experience, many people in the Pawleys Island Community heard and responded to the Good News of Jesus. Come experience High School Beach Camp for yourself! You’ll have an awesome time being a part of the best student camp EVER!

“To be honest, I wanted to go to church camp for the beach

and my friends. Now I see that we were all brought there because each of us is a little broken, and camp is what we needed. God impacted me by strengthening my relationships with people that I am supposed to be with, breaking me away from some relationships that I may not need, and also strengthening and stretching my faith in the Lord. I feel like this week has completely changed my lifestyle. Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a part of something and change the world, and now I feel so empowered and whole. I feel a part of this wonderful family and know that I can definitely change the world for Him. I am now going to try my best to grow in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man, just like Jesus. I want to be more like Him. Thank you so much for welcoming me home and helping me to see that if I surrender my life to an all-powerful, all-loving, and holy God, He will use me to not only rock my world, but rock THE world.

- Isabelle, 9th Grader

Even though you have to experience it yourself to begin to understand the fun and significance of High School Beach Camp, check out what Isabelle and our other high school students had this to say about it: “Thanks to camp this is no longer the church that my friend takes me to on occasion, but it is MY church, and it is my home, and I feel so blessed to be a part of something so amazing.” - Bethany (‘16 Grad) “This week was packed with new and amazing experiences that I had never been introduced to. I got to have fun and serve at the same time. I created new friendships this week that allowed me to have a better experience at the camp.” - Tucker (10th grader) "This week, God has allowed me to come to the most welcoming and open camp I have been to. Coming as a guest, I didn't have any connections to students, but by the end of the week I have met so many people and felt really welcomed here. I’m so glad I could come and experience first-hand God’s work in this student ministry; bringing everyone together in the name of Christ to accomplish great things.” - Emma (10th grader) “God has opened my eyes to true surrender. I have always felt like true surrender is boring, but that’s because I never quite knew what surrendering was. I learned that truly surrendering is committing to growing in a faith relationship with Christ on a daily basis and glorifying Him in every single thing that I do.” - Parker (11th grader) "I loved being able to serve at Teach My People. I also met some great people that are now my friends. It was an all around amazing time.” - JJ (9th grader)


God Can Use You How a Spring Break Trip Changed Lives

Teach My People in Pawleys Island, SC is one of Sugar Hill Church’s many ministry partners. Teach My People (TMP) is a unique ministry that takes in ten new first-graders per year who are facing significant economic, academic, or social challenges. TMP makes a twelve year commitment to those students to provide year-round, high quality, organized programs that are spiritually driven and “no-cost” to families who are served. Through the expertise of a highly trained and educated staff, along with the loving support and dedication of over seventy community volunteers, TMP is able to provide academic assistance, character development, cultural and spiritual enrichment, and physical activity daily to ensure that students succeed in both school and life.

by sending groups twice a year to assist in building projects at TMP, help with TMP families, and serve at community outreach/ enrichment events and Day Camps. Over our 2016 Spring Break, leadership students from Sugar Hill Students invested their week serving TMP students and families. As is always the case, what was intended to bless our friends at TMP ended up becoming a bigger blessing to the students and adults of Sugar Hill Church. Here are a few of the things our students are saying about spending Spring Break at TMP:

Teach My People is wildly successful in their mission to teach students to overcome academic, economic, and social challenges. TMP impacts families through the delivery of Christ-centered programs and services that promote spiritual, educational, and emotional growth. In addition to monthly financial support, Sugar Hill Church partners with TMP 18

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

“The week we were in South Carolina I witnessed the unexpected. The kids worked hard! I hope they learned some good life lessons, I know I did. I feel as though I made some great new friends. I hope they know they have one in me!” - Bobby Reese, Adult Volunteer “This week impacted my life in a way that I never thought it would. One of the major things it taught me was gratefulness, and an attitude of love. It really made me appreciate the things I have.” - Ansley, 10th Grade “One major thing I learned on the mission trip was that encouraging others is the key to successful teamwork. Every night of the trip, we had time set aside to encourage one another. You could also hear encouraging words everywhere you went. People were excited to encourage someone else and it really helped build our confidence to finish the work.” - Emily, 11th Grade “Being at TMP really put my mind and heart in the right place. I fell in love with TMP, the kids, staff, volunteers, and just everything about it. I just truly know this week opened my eyes to a whole new world, and I fell in love with it.” - Kelley, 11th Grade “God showed me during this week that He will always provide everything we need…” - Matt, Graduate “This trip was so influential. I was blessed more than I thought I was ever going to be. I loved every second of this trip…” - Josh, Graduate

“What a blessing Sugar Hill has been to Teach My People! Through the hard work of Sugar Hill Students our campus has been transformed with more basketball goals for our kids, a covered swing area, and a new walk way for an outdoor freezer. It has been amazing to witness the bond between Sugar Hill Students and our students. It warms my heart to see the same students come back each year. Sugar Hill has become an extended family to our students and I am excited to see that bond grow. Thank you Sugar Hill Students by helping us, together with Christ, provide a hope and a future for our students.”

- Eric Spatz, Executive Director, TMP 19

Use the interactive APP to view this video of Ayanna asking a very important question

The Greatest Story Ever We all have a story. The world often lies to you, telling you that your story doesn’t matter, that you have to be better, smarter, stronger, more popular, more talented, or more athletic to have value and purpose. Those are all lies! You matter because you were created by God. You were “fearfully and wonderfully” made by Him for His purposes. God has given you purpose and value that no one or nothing can ever take away. To truly understand your value and purpose, you have to understand how you fit into God’s story. In the Bible, we see the beginning of the story He is writing when He created the heavens and the earth. He followed that with the masterpiece of His creation, man and woman (Adam & Eve), who were created with the purpose of reflecting His glory as they enjoyed perfect relationship with Him. The harmony of God’s creation was broken when Adam and Eve chose to believe a lie from a fallen angel named Satan. They disobeyed God, and the consequences of their disobedience (called sin) were devastating! Sin not only broke Adam and Eve’s relationship with God, it entered creation and caused eternal separation from Him. Pain, sin, death, and separation from God have been passed down through humanity to all generations to follow. With mankind having no way to right the wrong of sin and facing a seemingly hopeless destiny, God provided the greatest rescue of all time.

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How do I begin a relationship with God? Use the interactive APP to watch.

Because of His love for His creation, God Himself became human in the person of Jesus, living a sinless life here on earth. In the ultimate act of love Jesus willingly laid down His perfect life on a cross, paying the debt of mankind’s sin for all who put their trust in Him. Because Jesus was fully human, He could represent humanity; because He was fully God, He alone could afford to pay our debt. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is the greatest display of mercy and grace the world has ever known. Jesus met our greatest need, something we could never do ourselves. After three days in a borrowed grave, He rose again and demonstrated that His mission to defeat sin and death was complete. For forty days he appeared to His followers here on Earth, demonstrating His victory over sin and death, before returning to reign with God in Heaven. But that’s not the end of the story… For those who trust in Jesus, God has promised forgiveness of sins and restoration of our relationship with Him. A restored relationship with God is life-changing. He brings hope, peace, joy, and life abundantly as we trust Him, giving us His Holy Spirit to live in our hearts as our perfect guide and encourager. Even today, Jesus intercedes on our behalf, sitting at the right hand of God in Heaven. The story God is writing from creation to restoration is captivating, and He created you to be an important part of it. Joining God in His Story allows you to discover forgiveness, significance, and true purpose that can’t be found anywhere else. The moment you trust Jesus Christ, you have relationship with God. You become a part of His story fulfilling the purpose for which you were made. The more you grow in relationship with God, the more you will begin to understand His story and how your life is a part of the greatest story ever! For more information about THE STORY, check out the following APP or contact us at We would love to talk with you and hear more about YOUR STORY.

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The most beautiful statement of life change for followers of Christ is seen in baptism. It is an outward symbol of a very significant inward commitment to Jesus Christ. 22

One of our students, Will, stepping forward in faith to show everyone that He has chosen to follow Jesus.

There are many beautiful symbols that make deep and powerful statements. A wedding ring, though small in size, is very large in meaning. Made of valuable metal, it is a reminder that true love is not cheap and may cost us greatly. The circular design reminds us that love must be continuous and the marriage commitment should never end. A wedding ring is an outward statement of a very deep inward commitment.

the Father, now we also may live new lives.” Romans 6:4 • “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 It is important to realize that baptism doesn’t “save” you or make you a believer anymore than wearing a wedding ring makes you married. They both are an outward sign and statement of an inward commitment. You are “saved” only by your faith in Jesus. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

The most beautiful symbol or statement of life change for followers of Christ is seen in baptism. It is an outward symbol of a very significant inward commitment to Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us the example of baptism (Matthew 3:13-17), and commanded baptism as a part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Baptism is a public statement that someone has committed their life to Jesus and wants to identify with Him.

WHY BE BAPTIZED BY IMMERSION? At Sugar Hill Church, we baptize by immersion. This means that we go into and under water. There are several reasons we do this:

There are many misconceptions about what baptism is and what it does. Let’s take a look at the most common questions:

• Jesus gave us the example of being baptized by immersion. “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” – Matthew 3:16

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM? Baptism illustrates a person’s new life as a Christian by identifying with Jesus’ burial and resurrection. As a person goes under water in baptism, they identify with Jesus’ death/burial and the “dying to self” that must occur to be a follower of Jesus. As they come up out of the water, they identify with Jesus’ resurrection and the “new life” they have as a follower of Jesus.

• Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion. For example, “…then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…” – Acts 8:38-39 • The word “BAPTIZE” actually means “to dip under water.”

• “Christ died for our sins… he was buried… he was raised on the third day.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

• Immersion best symbolizes a burial and resurrection.

• “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” Colossians 2:12

WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED? Every person who has become a follower of Jesus by believing in Him should be baptized. A Believer is someone who has realized their sinfulness, and that their sin has separated them from God.

• “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of 23

10th grader, Emily, excited about her baptism!

Emily, with her family and friend, Maria, who invited her to Sugar Hill Church.

They understand that they cannot reach God through good works or religious activity, and they have concluded that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. A Believer is someone who has decided to put their faith and trust in Christ alone for their salvation. If you have come to that point in your spiritual journey, then you are ready to be baptized (Acts 2:41; 8:12-13).

WHAT IF I WAS BAPTIZED AS AN INFANT? Although some churches baptize infants, at SHC we only baptize those who have made a decision to believe in Christ’s death as the payment for their sin and who request baptism. The custom of infant baptism (or “baptism of confirmation”) began about 300 years after the Bible was completed. It’s a ceremony intended to emphasize a commitment between the parents and God on behalf of the child. During this ceremony, the parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This is different from believer’s baptism of the Bible which was demonstrated for those who were old enough to understand the significance of their commitment. At SHC, we have a dedication service for infants and children that emphasizes the parents’ role in raising a child to follow Christ. Therefore, if you were baptized as a baby, we encourage you to be baptized by immersion as a believer.

WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED? You should be baptized as soon as possible after you have believed! In Acts 8:35-38, we see a man who recognized the importance of this…” Then Philip began with that very passage

of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?’” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” Many times, people put off baptism until they “have it all figured out” or “get it all right” in regards to their lifestyle. The beautiful part of our walk with Jesus is that we are constantly growing and being made more like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18). We’re all a work in progress, and there’s no point on earth that we will have it all figured out. But Jesus calls us into a life-long journey with Him, and part of that journey is starting out with a declaration, “This is my story, and I choose to follow Him!” There’s no need to wait until we reach some imaginary step in our walk with Him. Baptism is all about an outward expression of the change that has happened in our hearts and the journey that has begun in our walk with Him. We trust that as you make this declaration through baptism, you will be overwhelmed by the love and support you receive from the Sugar Hill Church family and how God uses your statement of faith to encourage others in their faith! Each person baptized at Sugar Hill Church receives this T-Shirt with the text “#REDEEMED” on the front. This shirt is a lasting reminder of the redemption found in salvation through Jesus, long after their baptism day is over. You’ll see these shirts being worn throughout our building and community, showing us all a reminder of the work God is doing here!

Pastor Chuck and Pastor Zach speaking with a student and family before a baptism. 24

SHC celebrating baptism in a worship service.

A Second Family

As a proud parent of three awesome children, I did not grow up as a Christian and being part of a church family. I came to know Jesus as my Savior as an adult, and I knew I wanted my children to grow up in an environment where they could build their own relationship with Christ and be a part of a church family that was like-minded. This is exactly what my children found at Sugar Hill Church. Sugar Hill Students is not just a place found on a campus; it’s a place where my children are part of a family. It’s a group of students and pastors centered on God that can be found sharing His love on the football field, in the schools, and at church. The staff at SHC has created a welcoming environment that my children want to be a part of and are excited about. Church is not something they do once or twice a week, but instead their faith is lived out as part of their day-to-day lives. My children have continued to grow in their

faith where they not only have learned of God’s redeeming love, but also to put their faith into practice by serving in multiple areas of ministry. Student Ministry staff does an excellent job of keeping parents informed and partnering with us to grow our students in all aspects of living out a Christ-centered life. As a parent, I appreciate the relationships that my children have built with the awesome staff, the small group leaders, and other peers. I am thankful to God for the healthy relationships I enjoy with my teenagers, but still I recognize that the student leaders have had an important and appropriate place in the lives of my kids. Even though I feel I can talk to my children about pretty much anything, I know that they need to learn how to become individuals of their own—adults


in their own right. I know how much the leaders at SHC love and care for my teenagers with the love of Christ, and I am profoundly thankful to them for having such an important and life-changing influence on my children. Every family has peaks and valleys with both seasons of smooth waters and challenges. Trust me when I say Sugar Hill Students will partner with you during every season of life and help you and your teenagers during those maturing days with love, encouragement, advice, and celebration. My family has been blessed to be a part of Sugar Hill Students. I know yours will as well. If you have not found a church home, or your teenagers are not plugged into Sugar Hill Students, I pray that you come check them out.

- Joe Wells




t’s amazing to look back on the season that brought us to Sugar Hill Church. It seemed like a season that would never end. Searching for a new church home is not easy, especially with 3 teen-aged children. The greatest challenge we faced in trying to find a church home was with Student Ministries. We were searching for a church that would partner with us in discipleship and had a clear plan for students. We are blessed to live in a community with so many wonderful churches, but in all of our looking, we just could not find the right fit for our family.

plan for Student Ministry, I knew that my family had finally found the perfect church for us! As for the position, we discussed it at great length, but I was still unsure of where God was leading. In the weeks that followed, God moved in my heart like only He can. He opened my eyes to His vision and plan. He reminded me about trusting in Him; not my own understanding. I had a million reasons why this job was not right for me, but in the end God showed me that I was a perfect fit. I was offered the position of Student Ministries Assistant and graciously accepted.

Around the end of November 2015, God began our journey at Sugar Hill Church. After visiting for many weeks we attended a NEXT class to explore further steps of involvement at Sugar Hill Church. It was that morning that we met Tripp Atkinson, Student Pastor at SHC. During his introduction, Tripp was led to share with the class that there was a job opening for an assistant in his department. At this point in time, I had a job in ministry that I loved, and I was caught off guard when the more he talked about the position, the faster my heart raced!

I am beyond grateful for the leadership of this church and the leadership of Tripp Atkinson and Zach Brown. They love students more than you can ever imagine. I am proud that we strive for excellence for our students; that everything we do has a purpose, for students to know Jesus and learn to walk with Him every day! I am so thankful for the unique team that God has put together in Student Ministries. God is doing amazing things in the lives of students at SHC, and I am excited that my children get to grow up here, both physically and spiritually.

After 3 weeks of ignoring both God’s prompting and my husband’s encouraging, I composed an email to Tripp inquiring about the job opening. I didn’t know what would come of it. At the time I hoped nothing would, but I wanted to be obedient, so I sent the inquiry and began releasing control.

I am unworthy but incredibly blessed to be a part of this church, this staff, and this ministry. It is so good to finally be HOME! - Joy Lyle Student Ministries Staff

Soon after, I met with Tripp Atkinson and Zach Brown (SHC Students’ Worship Pastor). After hearing their hearts and 27

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Snapshots of students changing the world It is so good to see so many students serving well and making a difference in their homes, schools, community, and world. Here are just a few ways Sugar Hill Students are making a difference… At Sugar Hill Church, our desire is not to be known as a big church, but a church with a big heart. One of our 9 key principles we teach students is “God has gifted you to serve others.” Selfless Service is not only a core value that we teach, but it’s also a visible by-product of students discovering and living God’s best for their lives.

that they are never more like Jesus than when they are displaying the love and message of Christ through serving. We not only teach students what the Bible says about selfless service, we also offer them opportunities to serve locally, regionally, and around the world! We believe that God has uniquely gifted His followers to change the world… not one day, but TODAY! And changing the world starts by serving well right where you are.

In teaching His disciples about service, Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man (Jesus) came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) We tell students

If you would like more information about service opportunities for students, please contact Student Ministries staff. 29

STUDENT LEADERSHIP A high value of Sugar Hill Students is to develop student leaders. We believe that God has uniquely gifted each student, and He wants to use their gifts, talents, and influence to make a difference in their home, school, church, and world.

the church. Student Leaders will be challenged and developed in the following areas: Campus Leadership, Accountability, Ministry, Personal Evangelism, Uncompromised Living, Spiritual Growth / Personal Development.

Being a part of our Student Leadership program is an opportunity for students to grow as leaders, to take ownership of Student Ministries, to be an example/mentor to younger students, and to receive the resources and support they need to reach their full leadership potential.

Students must successfully meet the Student Leadership requirements to be eligible to attend special Student Leadership trips and activities. For more information about being a part of the Student Leadership program, contact Student Ministries Staff.

Student Leadership meets monthly for a time of training, accountability, planning, and encouragement. Each student leader must commit to the CAMPUS Leadership Strategy and actively serve in


Monthly Student Leadership Meetings are on Sunday evenings from 5:00-7:00pm at Sugar Hill Church. For meeting dates, check out the Student Ministries calendar on Page 43.

“Being a student leader has helped me understand what it means to truly serve and has encouraged me to do so. It has given me infinite practical ways to serve in my day to day life. Student Leadership has robbed me of any excuse to not lead, whether at my school, my church, or my home.” Meg, 11th grade

“Student leadership has encouraged me to go out of my way to be more Christ-like. It’s shown me the value in leading without reason or praise and shown me the impact I can have on the world.” James, 11th grade “I have grown a lot in my faith, and I have been better equipped when I reach out to people. I have learned that it is better to serve quietly.” Kendall, 8th grade

“Being a part of student leadership has pushed me in ways I have never been pushed before, and it has opened my eyes to ways to serve and meet everyday needs. I love looking back and seeing all the ways that I have grown in my spiritual walk, as a leader, and as a person.” AnnaCatherine, 12th grade

A Parent’s Perspective “Student Leadership Team gave our daughter hands-on, in-depth training on what it means to serve others with the love of Christ. The program sharpened her leadership skills, challenged her to look outward to others, and gave her new opportunities to both discover and use her God-given gifts. The impact of learning leadership together with her peers, and under the mentorship of the Student Ministries Staff, provided her with a fun and well rounded perspective on what it means to lead and love others well, right where she is - no matter her age, place or position.” Toni Finley 31

Is my student safe at church


Why Safety & Security is our highest value for students and families We have the most important message ever to share with students; that God loves them so much that He provided a way through Jesus Christ to receive forgiveness of sin, inherit eternal life, and enjoy a personal relationship with Him that begins on earth and lasts through eternity! We are very intentional about how we share this message and how we combat obstacles that would keep students from hearing it loud and clear. This is why we place such a high priority on both the PHYSICAL and EMOTIONAL safety of students and families. If students don’t feel both physically AND emotionally safe, it doesn’t matter how wonderful the message or how creatively it’s presented…. it won’t be heard! If parents don’t feel like our ministry is a safe place, they won’t allow their students to even be involved. We work hard to have the reputation that Sugar Hill Students is a safe place for everyone. From our weekly programs to our out-of-town trips and camps, we want to be known as a place where students are physically safe and emotionally secure.

practices that include: • a team of security professionals, ministry professionals, and reliable adult volunteer leaders. • the use of uniformed and/or plainclothed security personnel. • policies that serve to protect the physical and emotional well-being of students and adults. • an electronic student check-in process. • an extensive background and screening process for adult volunteer leaders. To learn more about our safety plan, contact us to get your copy of “Sugar Hill Students Safety & Security Practices”. Although our entire Safety and Security plan cannot be widely distributed (for security reasons), we will be happy to meet with parents to discuss the details of the plan.

To ensure safety and security in our ministry, we follow a Security Plan with


If you have any questions or concerns about the safety and security of students, please contact Student Ministries Staff immediately at 770.945.5092.

Mobile App There’s nothing quite like being at a worship service or being involved in a small group at SUGARHILLChurch. When we say “Welcome Home”, we mean just that. There’s no substitute for actually being home, but when you can’t join us in person, we’ve created the next best thing. The SUGARHILLChurch App is your digital hub for everything going on in our church. Whether here or away, this app gives you access to our service live-stream, videos of past services, online giving, event registration, and powerful resources to grow in your faith throughout the week like our daily podcast. The app is a free download for all Android and iOS devices, so install it today! Available on the

App Store

Google PLAY


Sugar Hill Students tries hard to offer excellent programs, retreats and camp experiences at the most affordable prices possible for students and families. Unfortunately, there are real expenses associated with the activities/trips that we do, and the costs of these programs can make it difficult for many students to participate. Although we want students to have a vested interest in such activities, we never want costs to keep a student from participating.

retreat, or trip, students will be asked to pay all they possibly can to cover at least the trip deposit. Parents will be asked to fill out a Scholarship Request Form to specify the amount of financial assistance requested. A Sugar Hill Students Staff Member will contact the parent to discuss payment plan options, the requested scholarship amount, and making arrangements for your student to be a part of the trip.

For the 2016-2017 school year we want to make you aware of our “Pay What You Can” policy. This is how it works: For Outreach Events, Activities, etc: If you show up to a Sugar Hill Students event that costs $5 and you can only afford to pay $2, simply pay your $2 and we will cover the rest. No harassing, no embarrassment, no problem. You do the best you can, and we will help you out when you need it.

We want all students to be able to participate in the activities that Sugar Hill Students provides. We trust God to meet all the needs. Please see a Student Ministries Staff Member if you have any questions about this policy.

For Camps, Retreats, and Major Trips: If financial assistance is needed for a camp,


Note: This policy applies only to Sugar Hill Students sponsored trips and activities. Unfortunately, this policy does not apply to international trips. Students who would like to purchase food and snacks from the Underground Café on Wednesday nights will be asked to pay the current menu prices, as the café must break even in order for us to continue to operate. We always strive to keep prices low!

AWESOME ADULT LEADERS | Partnering With Parents Strong adult leaders are the backbone of Sugar Hill Students. Our leaders Love God, love students, and are passionate about helping students discover and live God’s best for their lives. There are currently over 50 adults serving in Student Ministries at Sugar Hill Church. It is vitally important to have leaders who are committed, genuine, and passionate about pouring into students. One of our many leaders who exemplifies these qualities is Christian Fransen. Christian and her husband, Monte, faithfully pour their lives into students as they teach biblical truth and model authentic faith. Christian exudes passion for her small group girls and Christ as she shares of her experience as a small group leader.

“Leading a small group of middle school girls is truly one of the greatest treasures in my life. I feel so blessed that week in and week out I see the Lord growing, shaping, and molding these girls more into His image as they desire to see Him practically lived out in their daily walks, and through this I have been challenged into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. I cannot imagine a greater place for authentic faith, questioning, and community than a small group setting that allows all of us to seek truth and to spur one another on to follow Him. What a privilege to be one voice that the Lord is using to shepherd them into women of extraordinary faith that rock the world for Christ!” – Christian Fransen

We are so thankful for the Fransens and the many other adult leaders who give their very best to our students week in and week out! Each adult that works with students has completed a lengthy application process which includes an interview and extensive screening. We are grateful for all the time and effort our adults invest to make sure every student is safe, and has a mentor to encourage them in Christ. 34

Bringing it Home “Parents have the awesome responsibility of spiritually training and making disciples of their children.”

There is a jar that sits in my office that is filled with ping-pong balls, 168 to be exact. That is the number of hours in a week. 165 of the balls are white and 3 are orange. The white balls represent the average number of hours our students spend away from church. These are the hours spent doing the things students do. The three orange balls represent the average number of hours our students spend a week in our Student Ministries programs. (Sure we offer more, but most students don’t take advantage of everything offered.)

monthly for their student to learn about and engage in worship, serving, and leadership. Although our staff works tirelessly to ensure these things are offered with excellence, the impact of such opportunities falls short if the experiences and lessons learned are not directly tied back to the home. In order for these lessons to really “take root,” they must be reinforced and practiced at home. For this to happen effectively, we (Student Ministries staff) must continue working intentionally to know families and be aware of their needs. Parents must work on continuously being aware of opportunities we offer students, as well as what happens at our programs and events (what is being taught, how students are being challenged, what commitment their students are making, etc.). As we partner and encourage one another, we can truly be teammates in fulfilling the most important responsibility we will ever have.

This jar sits in my office to remind me of two important realities. The first reminder is of just how little time we will spend with most students each week. This reminds me that our programming must be excellent. Every minute we have with students must count. We cannot afford to do anything halfway. Every time students are with us, they must be encouraged, loved, and challenged.

Such a partnership between a Student Ministry and families can be so effective in offering the best possible opportunities for students to grow in Christ and make a difference for Him. Please know that we are here for you and your family and want to be the best support we can be!

This also reminds me of the fact that I am not the primary spiritual influence in a student’s life. That role still belongs to parents. Like it nor not, parents have the awesome responsibility of spiritually training and making disciples of their children. My most important role, then, is to partner with parents and support them in this process. I can offer parents relevant biblical teaching for their students each week. I can offer small group settings for their teenager to build authentic relationships with their peers under the mentorship of loving adults. I can offer numerous experiences 35

Parents: Cross Cultural Missionaries | Walt Mueller, CPYU President Because you grew up in a world that’s different from the world of your teen, you must view this calling as a cross-cultural missionary venture. Like a snowball picking up speed and mass on a trip down a never-ending mountain, youth culture is changing at warp speed. With children and teens back in school, you need to be aware that their campus youth culture is markedly different from the youth culture of your own teenage years. Everything is changing. To help you keep abreast of the world your kids live in as they head back to school, let me give you some homework.

the most powerful shaper of the values, attitudes, and behaviors of teens. What media outlets are your teens engaging with, and what are they hearing/seeing/learning as they engage with those media outlets? You can only know by checking it out for yourself. By getting to know your teen’s media, you are getting to know your kids. Knowing their media will offer you great opportunities to discuss life in the light of God’s Word. You will be able to affirm what they are learning that conforms to God’s will and way, and challenge those things that don’t.

As a parent, you have been given primary responsibility for the spiritual nurture of your children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Ephesians 6:4). Because you grew up in a world that’s different from the world of your teen, you must view this calling as a cross-cultural missionary venture. As a result, you must work to stay in touch – like foreign missionaries – with the language and culture of your mission field. Here are three assignments that aren’t meant to be burdensome, but helpful. First, take the advice of the theologian who once said that every Christian should start their day with the Bible in one hand, and the newspaper in the other. In other words, you must begin your day spending time getting to know the One who has sent you, and the message that One has called you to communicate. Be sure that God’s truth is coursing through your veins. Then, take the time to use your newspaper to get to know today’s world so that you can communicate the timeless and life-giving truths of God’s Word to the needs of your teenager and his/ her world.

Finally, spend time online perusing the growing number of resources that serve to open your eyes to the changing world of today’s teenagers. Our Center for Parent/ Youth Understanding website ( is a valuable gateway into all things youth culture. The site is updated daily and is filled with helpful resources that deal with every conceivable type of youth culture pressure and reality. Now that your kids are back to school, decide that you’re going to go back to school as well. If you become a serious student of your teen’s culture and you talk about that culture with your kids, your teens will find it easier to navigate the hallways of that culture in a manner that glorifies God.

Want more information about your kids and their world? Visit and subscribe to their free weekly e-Update!

Second, read what they read, watch what they watch, and listen to what they listen to. Because of its pervasiveness, media is now 36

Rebuked By Adele! Putting Our Phones Down And Seeing Life Walt Mueller, CPYU President

It’s sad isn’t it? We have all of God’s wonderful world to see, feel, hear, touch, smell, and experience. Yet, we choose to stand in the midst of it and focus our time, energy, fingers, and attention on 15 square inches of glass.

Did you happen to catch a perturbed Adele’s interaction with a fan at her concert in Verona, Italy? She called out a woman who was filming the show. And the woman wasn’t the only person watching the show through a camera lens. Adele pointed at the woman and said, “Could you stop filming me with that video camera? Because I’m really here in real life, you can enjoy it in real life, rather than through your camera. This isn’t a DVD. This is a real show. And I’d really like you to enjoy my show because there’s lots of people outside that couldn’t come in.”

The video below is one worth watching. It captures the reality of our focus on those 15 square inches. It shows just how much we miss trying to catch reality rather than experiences that become rich memories. It captures one reason why today, I think Adele is saying some things we must all take time to ponder. Check out the video embedded in the picture and use it to spark discussion as a family. How would each in your family answer the following questions:

I was actually thinking about this new mediated life we are living over the course of last weekend. On several occasions I noticed groups of people who were together, but focused solely on their screens. Then, I got to thinking about how we seem to always put our phones between our eyes and the wonder of what’s happening in real time and space right in front of our faces. In effect, our efforts to document what’s happening cause us to miss the experience of what’s happening. Then we post what we’ve recorded in an effort to say to the world, “Hey! Look where I was and what/who I saw!” Does it really matter that we tell everyone else? And to be honest, did you really see it if you were looking through a screen?!? Perhaps we need to adopt the hashtag, #nopif (no phone in face!).

1. Do you see people around you missing life because they are staring at a screen? 2. What do we miss trying to capture and share reality rather than truly experiencing it? 3. Do you sometimes care more about others knowing what you are experiencing than actually enjoying the experience? 4. What do you think is at the root of “selfie obsession?” 5. What is a healthy balance between sharing fun or meaningful experiences with your friends and it distracting you from enjoying life? 37


the importance of celebrating milestones

One of the most encouraging things a parent can do is celebrate the successes of their child. Whether it’s in a sport, activity, school, or anywhere else we should constantly be looking for opportunities to celebrate and encourage students. One priority that we have at Sugar Hill Church is to celebrate milestones in the lives of our students as they grow into adulthood. We have identified three specific milestones in the lives of students that will come through Sugar Hill Students. Our goal is to partner with parents to provide “rite of passage” experiences to celebrate these milestones in our students’ lives. The dictionary defines a rite of passage as “any important act or event that serves to mark a passage from one stage of life to another.” Below are three significant stages of life that every student will transition through while in Student Ministries and how we plan to celebrate these transitions with you. 1. The transition from Elementary to Middle School. Transitioning from 5th grade to 6th grade is a huge step in the lives of our students. At school, recess time is gone, class schedules change, and responsibility is increased. This should be no different in the church or at home. There should be increased expectations of responsibility and service. Students should significantly mature in their faith as well, as they learn to share their faith with others. This time truly is a transition from being a child to becoming a young adult (as scary as that may be). We provide a number of events to make this transition as smooth as possible, including a rising 6th grade orientation and a special promotion event. This year we are going to increase our efforts with a special ceremony for rising 6th graders and their families to make this a milestone that will be memorable for our students and their parents in helping prepare our rising 6th graders for Middle School Ministry and young adulthood.

In America, most of us have no such ceremony. Our closest event is getting a driver’s license or high school diploma. Consequently, boys grow older, but often don’t grow up. Girls want the privileges that come with age, but not the responsibilities that go with it. Pam and I decided to plan a significant year for Bethany that would enable her to be ready for a life of responsibility and leadership. We sat down with Bethany and selected six women whom we would ask to be one-day mentors for her. Over the next year, these women met with our daughter and let her shadow them for a day. They let her watch them at work, at home or on a trip. During that day, each of them shared a ‘life message’ with Bethany. A message they wish someone had shared with them when they were 13, but no one did.” What happened in Tim’s daughter was amazing. The women they had chosen took their idea to a whole new level, and in incredible ways this community of mentors solidified the values that were being taught at home. Tim states,

2. The transition from Middle School to High School (becoming a teenager). The celebration of this milestone involves parents giving their teen The Best Birthday Present Ever. In last fall’s Infozine, we printed a challenge to parents to give their new “teens” a gift that will keep giving. We included a story from Tim Elmore in the article:

“The year came to a climax when we invited all six of these mentors to our home for a dinner party. We had four objectives at this party. First, we wanted these women to meet each other and see the others who were participating in this special year. Second, we wanted to say thank you for their investment in our daughter. Third, we wanted Bethany to have a chance at the end of the year to share with them the lasting lessons that she learned from them as they spent time together. Finally, we wanted to spend the evening offering a word of encouragement to

“Two years ago, our daughter Bethany turned thirteen. Prior to her birthday, we had already noticed signs of her becoming a teenager… Because my wife, Pam, and I recognized the significance of this time in her life, we decided to do something to help her transition well into womanhood. In Jewish culture, young men and women experience a bar mitzvah or a bat mitzvah. These celebrations are designed to be a rite of passage into adulthood. 38

Bethany—not only from mom and dad, but from six older females who were models of the kind of life she wanted to live as she grew into adulthood.”

3. The transition from High School to College. Moving from High School to College is one of the most significant transitions families face. We know the statistics and we understand the challenges that this transition presents for families. We want to partner with families to make this transition as successful as possible. How parents view and handle this transition can significantly impact their relationship with their college student during the college years and beyond. We want to not only prepare high school seniors to be successful in college, but also help families celebrate this incredibly significant milestone. One of the ways we do this is through our Graduate Recognition Service and lunch program for families. Also, we spend the entire last semester of high school helping students develop THE PLAN (an actual game plan for the college transition) and we ask parents to celebrate this accomplishment as they help the students in implementing it.

The dinner party was a huge success, and after dinner the family shared a special time as Bethany thanked her mentors with whom she had developed lasting relationships. What an incredible gift! A big value for us in Student Ministries is for students (by the time they graduate) to have a relationship with 5-6 adults who can offer them spiritual encouragement and accountability throughout college. I have seen, and research supports the fact that students that have healthy spiritual relationships with at least five adults are more likely to prosper emotionally and spiritually beyond high school. Of course it is ideal if parents, who have the responsibility to be the primary spiritual influence in their student’s life, are two of those five relationships.

No doubt, many parents see these Milestones as opportunities for commemorative pictures and great scrapbook memories. While pictures and scrapbooks are important, our prayer is that parents will see these milestones as opportunities for significant growth and catalysts for spiritual and relational maturity. We look forward to celebrating these very special times with your family!

We want to challenge every parent to give this mentorship gift to their student. We recommend that this be done on or around the 13th birthday, and be used as a “milestone” as students enter the teenage years. Even if students are older than 13, this is an invaluable gift to be given before students graduate high school. I have some ideas about who you could include in your “5-6”, and how to make this process even more memorable for your student. Please talk to us about this. We would be honored to help you give your students a gift that will keep on giving!


Book Recommendations

Unashamed by Lecrae

The Power of the Cross by Tony Evans

When I read “Unashamed” by Lecrae, it really made me appreciate the life that God has given me. Lecrae’s story shows others that it’s never too late to live a holy life and surrender your all to the King. I was having a hard time with living for myself and more importantly living for Jesus, but this book showed me that “If you live for others’ acceptance then you'll die from their rejections.” I have always looked up to Lecrae as a Christian rapper, but now I realize he is a Christian who raps. At the end of the day he is just like us all…. imperfect and human. I would recommend this to everyone.

As I started reading this book, I recognized how amazing it was. It lived up to the title that was given to it. This book allowed me to learn more about the cross and who died on it. Three reasons that I loved the book: the author gave analogies for every concept of the book. They were very clear and understandable, yet they still related to the book. There was scripture that matched the concept. He was able to back up the concepts that he included with several Biblical references. Another reason that I thoroughly enjoyed the book was the content. It was not an extremely long book, but it still included a lot of good content that taught me much more about the cross.

- Shariff, 9th Grader

The Story by Max Lucado & Randy Frazee While everyone loves a good story, most people have never read the greatest story ever. It is a love story that is full of excitement, twists, adventure, good vs. evil, and a hero with the greatest superpowers. The story I’m talking about is the Bible. While it is the best-selling book of all time, not many really understand the story of the Bible. THE STORY is a 31-chapter novel by Max Lucado & Randy Frazee that is “the Bible in story format”. It contains carefully selected passages of Scripture and places them in chronological order to help readers understand God’s story and how their stories intersect with it... from Genesis to Revelation. You may experience a lot of great stories in your life, but none of them can change your life like THE STORY!

I must say that I would read this book again and suggest it to others. If I were to rate this book, I would definitely give it a five star rating. If you’re looking for a Christian read, this is a phenomenal choice!

- Tripp Atkinson

- Kayla, 9th Grader


Counter Culture by David Platt This ten-chapter book on countering today's problematic culture is a must read for the majority of Christian youth and adults. David Platt, New York best-selling author, has brought to light the situations that plague this world today. He covers the important topics of poverty, same-sex marriage, racism, sex slavery, immigration, persecution, abortion, orphans, and pornography in an understandable and honest way. Counter Culture captured my attention and shined a light on topics I didn't yet understand. It has changed my views and my understandings in an extremely positive way. We as Christians struggle to understand these topics and need an honest telling of what they are. This book is a must read, a wake up call to the stark issues of today. - Jessica, 12th Grader

For Parents Raising Kingdom Kids by Tony Evans

Life Is _____ . by Judah Smith

gods at war by Kyle Idleman

Life Is is a book that asks you to finish the sentence "Life Is ..." Judah Smith invites you to ponder that sentence and your answer while giving you four answers that you could put in that blank. He gives you an in-depth view of these four answers while also telling stories of the Bible and his own personal life stories to make those answers become a reality. From hearing his sermons online and in person, the book is just as if he is in the room talking to you. This book can be for anyone and will help them in their walk with Christ. He is very detailed in his writing, and in some parts you sit pondering your life by what he says. You will love reading this book, and I highly suggest it to anyone that asks!

This book, “Gods at War” by Kyle Idleman, is at the top of the charts in my opinion. As a teenager who struggles with some obsessions myself, such as my phone, music, friends, etc., this book did a fantastic job at teaching students how to get away from those idols and not "worship" them. As a follower of Christ, all the worshipping and attention needs to be focused on the one true King. I really enjoyed how the author constructed his own questions to the reader because the questions make sure you understand what was being taught in the previous chapter. If I could rate "Gods at War", it would be a 10/10!

It’s Only Pain: But It’s Real and It Hurts by Taylor Morton Taylor Morton’s story is one that will bring perspective and hope to anyone who has ever faced unwanted adversity. Taylor is a strong voice of encouragement as he shares his incredible story of overcoming tremendous trials that include the death of his brother, cancer, and a surgery that ended his multi-championship football career. “It’s Only Pain: But it’s Real and it Hurts” challenges readers to look beyond their circumstances and offers the key to turning tragedy into triumph. I strongly encourage you to check out this book and consider putting it in the hands of someone who needs to be challenged or encouraged. This is a must-read for anyone who loves inspiration or needs it!

- Grace, 11th Grader

- Josh , 2016 Graduate

- Tripp Atkinson


When you first find out that you’re pregnant, you read everything you can get your hands on about how to care for your baby while that baby is still on the inside! Parenting while your baby is in utero is the easy part! When your baby is on the outside, it is totally different! You struggle to find the time to read anything, let alone a book about parenting. “You will honor your kids by placing high enough value on them to warrant the time and energy needed to parent well!” This statement in the first chapter grabbed my attention. Tony Evans’ book “Raising Kingdom Kids” reminded me that parenting well is an act of being intentional. It is never too early or too late to ‘gift’ your child a living faith, and you do that by living your faith out in front of them. This book reminds you how to accomplish this within your family. - Courtney Atkinson, Student Small Group leader & Tripp’s wife

Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp Aside from the Bible itself, this is one of the best parenting books I have read. Tripp champions parents to engage the amazing season of opportunity to equip their students in real faith. Upon a foundation of Scripture, Tripp points out both the why and the how. Challenging and encouraging, this book meets you in the trenches and gives you the hope and wisdom of Christ-centered parenting. From someone who has been there and, with God’s help, thrived, this book is a must read for every parent of teenagers. - Toni Finley, parent

2017 MS Camp

2017 HS Camp

May 30 - June 2

June 19-23


Weekly Schedule SUNDAYS Sunday AM Worship Service....................................................................9:30am & 11am Worship Center ............................................................ Students attend 9:30am Worship Student Small Groups ......................................................................10:45am – 12:05pm

WEDNESDAYS Midweek Program ..........................................................................................6pm – 8pm Underground, Backyard & Student Worship Room

Important Dates


Fall Semester Family Rally................................................................................ August 14

Adult Leadership Meetings 2016

Wednesday PM Program Resumes ................................................................. August 17

Wednesday, August 10 ...... 6:00pm– 8pm

Student Small Groups Resume........................................................................ August 21

Sunday, September 11 .......... 5pm – 7pm

Last Night of Wednesday Programming of Semester ..................................November 16

Sunday, October 9 ................ 5pm – 7pm

Last Sunday AM Student Small Group of Semester ....................................December 11

Sunday, November 6 ............. 5pm – 7pm



Spring Semester Family Rally............................................................................January 8

Sunday, January 22 ............... 5pm – 7pm

Student Small Groups Resume.........................................................................January 8

Sunday, February 12.............. 5pm – 7pm

Wednesday PM Student Program Resumes ...................................................January 11

Sunday, March 5 ................... 5pm – 7pm

No Wednesday PM Student Program (Spring Break) ............................................. April 5

Sunday, May 7 ....................... 5pm – 7pm

EASTER (No Student Small Groups) ................................................................... April 16 No Wednesday PM Student Programs (Exams) ................................................... May 17

Student Leadership Meetings 2016

Graduate Recognition Services and Luncheon .................................................... May 21

Sunday, September 18 .......... 5pm – 7pm

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL PARTY!!! ........................................................................ May 24

Sunday, October 23 .............. 5pm – 7pm

Last Sunday AM Student Small Groups of Semester ............................................. May 7

Sunday, November 20 ........... 5pm – 7pm MIDDLE SCHOOL SUMMER CAMP ...............................................May 30-June 2, 2017

Sunday, December 11 ........... 5pm – 7pm

HIGH SCHOOL BEACH CAMP............................................................ June 19-23, 2017

2017 Sunday, January 29 ............... 5pm – 7pm Sunday, February 19.............. 5pm – 7pm Sunday, March 19 ................. 5pm – 7pm Sunday, April 23 .................... 5pm – 7pm

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2016 InfoZine  
2016 InfoZine