Done with Just Surviving


A few weeks ago, Abby, Harlow, and I journeyed to St. Louis to attend the National Youth Workers Convention. Through my connections at Download Youth Ministry, for which I am an author, we got steeply discounted tickets. Five thousand youth pastors and volunteers gathered for three days to learn, grow, and worship together.

It was great to be around people who do what I do and love what I love because between you and I, my tank was starting to get pretty low.

Consistently pouring into teenagers and adults is physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining, and I’ll be honest, I’ve been running on fumes. Thankfully, the people running the convention have experienced the same thing. They put me in a position where I could hear from God and be refilled by Him; I wasn’t responsible for anything other than showing up and I didn’t have to fix anything that went wrong. The keynote speakers spoke directly to me and the breakout sessions gave practical knowledge and advice (I’m still combing through all the notes I took).

I have caught myself over the past few months thinking things like, “Let’s just get through Sunday,” and “Wednesday night is almost over.” My focus has been on surviving, but one of the speakers at the convention, Robert Madu, reminded me that my eyes need to be on Jesus. Jesus gives me grace to run the race and not just to survive, but to thrive.

In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says,

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I’m done with just surviving, and I hope that you are too. As we look towards Christmas and the end of the year, set your eyes on Jesus and join me in striving to do the good works that God prepared in advance for us to do.

In love,



My baby girl is an infant, so all she can handle is milk. As she grows older, she’ll need mushy baby food, then eventually she’ll be able to eat solid food.

When you became a Christian, you started out as a spiritual infant and needed spiritual milk.

Love God, love others, and make disciples is the bare basics of what it means to live as a Christian. It is the milk that you must have to be able to grow. However, you shouldn't stay spiritual infants; you need to grow and mature; you need solid spiritual food.

This semester the youth group is going to build up to that solid food. We are taking an in depth look at the book of Ephesians to grow in our spiritual walk. Everything we do is going to revolve around the idea of ONE.

ONE Love

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...Love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:37-39

ONE Hope

Jesus alone is our one hope. He is the redeemer and king of a new humanity and empowers us to follow after him.

ONE Life

There is one person in your life who you can focus on. Live your life in front of them, pray for opportunities to have spiritual conversations, and go out of your way to show them love and kindness; don't just invite them to church, bring them.

ONE Step

Each of us needs to take a step in our faith. Maybe it's accepting Jesus as your lord and savior; maybe you are meant to join the local church. Your one step might be to teach a Bible study or volunteer in one of the ministries of the church. Don't be complacent; continue to grow and mature in your faith.

The big idea for ONE comes from Ephesians 4.

Ephesians 4:4-6

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians summarizes the Gospel and shows how it should reshape everything about our lives.

[For an overview of the book, click here: Read Scripture: Ephesians]


Chapters 1-3 explore the grand vision of Jesus as the redeemer and king of a new humanity that is made up of every type of person; every race, color, socioeconomic status is welcome and included in this new humanity.

Chapters 4-6 deal with the character traits, life habits, and moral and relational commitments it’s going to take to live in this new community together.

Join us this semester as we live in the grace of the ONE Love of God. Pray with us as we rely on our ONE Hope in Jesus Christ. Live with us in unity and find the ONE Life who needs the freedom of the gospel. Take ONE Step with us in faith to grow in spiritual maturity.


Trey Hathcock - Minister of Students and Media

Children's Movie Night Friday, June 1st, 2018

Dear Church Family,

What makes a superhero so super? How do their special abilities and talents make them so useful to others? Is it their innate sense to help people in need? Or could it be that they truly understand their purpose and calling in life?  The answers to these questions could be up for debate, BUT I would firmly suggest that there is only one true answer AND a little bit of “super” inside us all.

When we have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives within us to help us use our talents and abilities for the Lord. When we walk closely with the Lord, we are completely in tune with the purpose and calling HE places on our lives. When we surrender ourselves to the following of Jesus Christ, we die more and more to our own wants and desires and become more sensitive to the needs of others. So because of the selflessness of Christ, everyone has the ability to have a little bit of “super” inside them and truly live like a superhero. This is incredible news!

My desire is that our children would come to know a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Inviting friends and enjoying a drive-in movie together may not seem like a huge ministry opportunity, but by wrapping this event in prayer and being attentive to the needs of our little ones God can use this event to glorify His Kingdom.

Come Friday, June 1st, at 7:30pm for the Drive-In Movie of The Incredibles! Bring a lawn chair and come dressed as the superhero inside you that is just dying to get out! I look forward to seeing you all there as we kick-off the summer with a BANG!

Because of Christ,


incredi 2018.jpg

Remembering Valentine's Day

Abby Hathcock

Dear Church Family,

Reminiscing about my childhood is one of my favorite things. Remembering summer days spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s, every season celebrated through fun events at school, and my parents always making each holiday special for my sister and I. One memory I hold dear is the time my dad and I spent turning an old cardboard shoebox into a beautiful valentine mailbox. Each year we would try to be more creative than the last. One year we made a ladybug (which was my favorite).


Another year we spent hours tirelessly hot-gluing sequins on my mailbox’s mermaid tail. What I remember most, though, is the time we spent together.

Now as an adult I look around my classroom and walk through the halls of Hickory Hills and see the walls flooded with red and pink sparkly hearts and cute Cupid babies. Yes, it is that time of the year again folks...the month to celebrate love. Whether you have a valentine or not, the gift of love God sent us through His Son Jesus is worth celebrating. Valentine’s Day falls on Wednesday this year, and we will celebrate as a church family the love we have for Jesus and the love we have for one another.

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, February 14th, for our Church-Wide “Love One Another” Valentine’s Dinner. Dinner will begin at 5pm, so please mark your dinner option on the pink slips available at the Information Station or on the tables in the fellowship hall this Wednesday night. We will have a photo booth, Valentine Bingo, and a time to create Valentine’s cards for Harmony House, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence.

Let’s look to 1 John 4:19 as we live life together and celebrate the love we have in Jesus: “We love because He first loved us.” Let’s spend time loving one another as we fellowship together on Wednesday, February 14th, at 5pm.

See you on Valentine’s Day,