SAMS will be seeing you at the Anglican Church of North America’s Assembly 2017: Mission on your Doorstep. Who is our neighbor and how are we to serve them? How is God calling us to mission right where we are? Learn about staff member, Nita, and her calling to local mission.
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Hebrews 13:7 (NASB)
Staff member Nita Dempsey is the SAMS Office Manager. What you may not know about her, though, is that she has a call and a passion for youth. What started as a casual conversation to offer some extra help to the youth ministry turned into almost a daily commitment for Nita as a mentor for high school students. Now five years later, she leads formal Bible studies, takes students on retreats for relationship building, and travels to West Virginia every year on a mission trip with them.
“We go to the same town and help the community with restoration,” says Nita. Restoring homes isn’t the only thing this youth group is doing; they are building lasting relationships in the name of Christ. “As a youth group, we built relationships on our first mission with three sisters in the community that have grown through all these years. Although they knew Christ when we met them, these women shared their difficult background and struggles. The one sister is working towards being a paralegal and another sister is involved in ministry work. Our youth over the years see God at work in the community and in our team as they reach out and participate with God and each other. Last year after our mission, we had seven youth give their lives to Christ. It was beautiful and humbling to see how God had touched these lives.”
Inter-generational ministry can be good for not only youth but also those who engage with them. Christianity Today explains that people over 40 years old experienced meaningful service, worship, and connections when their church focused on inter-generational ministry. How do we engage with youth in our church? Nita says, “Youth respond to how invested you are in them. There is a lot happening at that age, and they are confronted by many things that challenge their faith. They want to feel like they belong to a community, someone to listen to them, and someone to challenge them to step up and take the lead in their spiritual growth and in their community. You might even be surprised how much you learn about yourself and your faith along the way.”