The Accelerate leadership team met recently to discuss all things Accelerate 2018. By the grace of God we were able to cover lots of information and we have carefully crafted a vision, theme, and events all centered around Jesus! Here is what the Lord has ministered to us as leaders and what He has planned for us for 2018 as a youth group. For the sake of transparency and continuity we thought it best to share this all in a Kerusso article!

Our 2018 Accelerate Vision:
“We are committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ and seeing the power of God unleashed through the lives of our youth.”

As youth leaders we are here to:

  • Model
  • Mentor
  • Equip

our youth in Christ-like character, sound doctrine and effective methods to reach the lost and make disciples of their own. We must keep bringing them to Jesus!

Our 2018 Theme is “Made New”
Our key verse is Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV): “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

As a youth group our goal this year is to practically help our students in their walk with Jesus. We believe it all begins and ends with Jesus and that one must be born again or “Made New”. But what does it mean to be born again or made new? We shared with the students recently our key verse for 2018, Ezekiel 36:26, as well as John 3:3-7. In Ezekiel 36:24-26 God shows us His amazing grace:

  1. God Rescues His people (us) from their (our) Captivity
    “For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.” Ezekiel 36:24
  2. God Redeems His people (us) from their (our) Impurity
    “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.” Ezekiel 36:25
  3. God Restores His people with a heart of Humility
    “I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

Israel had been lost in idolatry and cold toward God. Their sin had hardened their heart and God had dispersed them throughout the nations, but they continued to profane God’s name. So for His name’s sake what does God do? He rescues, redeems, and restores His people. He doesn’t do any of this because of who they (we) are, but because of who He is.

I have found the more we hear the gospel the more we will be effected by it. We will either grow ripe or grow rotten. Our heart will become tender or it will become hard. We want our team, our youth and this flock to be tender towards Jesus and the gospel. Practically how do we walk this out in everyday life?

  • Read God’s word every day; get His word deep into your heart.
  • Be in His presence through prayer, not only asking but listening to His still small voice.
  • Serve others; Romans 12:6 tells us we all have a gift(s) and they need to be used.
  • Worship God in all that you do.
  • Love others. Jesus tells us that to love Him and to love others are the 2 greatest commandments.

How do you know you are born again and have been made new?

  • You have new desires; the old has passed away and all things become new.
  • You have a heart that is soft.
  • You love what God loves and hate what God hates.

The hard heart can live in sin and not care about it. It says “God? What God? I only care about myself and my conscience doesn’t accuse me of anything?” But when God makes you a new creation, you feel the pain of the slightest sin. This is an assurance of Christ’s work in our lives. Your desire is to run from even perceived sin. With any sin you feel guilt, you feel shame, you feel something is wrong. Then run to Jesus, repent, and let Him restore and renew you again.

2018 Accelerate Events
1. Accelerate Parent open house – March 7th 2018 (Invites coming soon.)
2. Flower City Work Camp 2018 – April 2-6 – Thank you to all who are volunteering!
3. Summer Bonfires – We plan to have families host this from May – August on Friday/Saturday nights – More info to come!
4. Made New Youth Festival – August 4th in Edmund Lyon Park – More info to come!
5. Accelerate Youth Advance – This is planned for August 10,11,12 – More info to come!
6. Fall Corn Maze – October @ Long Acre Farms
7. Winter Christmas Party

We also will have a spring event, either mini golf or go-carting, and there will be other events throughout the year like movie night, Nerf war, game night, serving at The Father’s Heart, and we will have various guest speakers ranging from evangelists to missionaries at Youth Group.