Throughout our lives we are shaped by many forces. We are formed by our particular family dynamics, by educational institutions, and of course, by an array of cultural influences that often go unnoticed as they constantly chip away at us.
While we know that many of these forces can have a negative effect on individuals, it is a great comfort and encouragement to know that God’s power of transformation is far greater. By word and Spirit we are being shaped into the very likeness of Christ (1 Cor. 3:18).
While we know this to be true, it is a particular challenge at Streetlight as we seek to shape and disciple the people God has placed on our path. We often witness the results of competing forces on individuals. On the one hand, the beauty of being shaped by the gospel, and on the other, the pain and ugliness caused by this broken world. Much time and patience are required to address the many challenging questions and concerns voiced in our community: What does it look like to live a Christian lifestyle when your parents aren’t Christian? How do you offer Christian advice to your young adult children when you are just learning and discovering the Bible yourself? What do I have to give up to become a follower of Jesus?
Indeed, becoming a Christian or beginning to discover the gospel can be an exciting and overwhelming process. And so, when helping individuals faced with all these emotions, it is important that we acknowledge their growth for what it is: a process. A shaping process. A discipleship process. A process that must be governed by God’s word and strengthened by his Spirit.
At Streetlight we want to find ways to best serve the spiritual formation processes happening in our community. In 2015, Tracy Lynn moved from the position of youth worker into the role of mentor. She can now devote her time to individual new Christians and seekers; encouraging them to mature in their faith and walking with them in their journey. She even hopes to reunite a group of young adults who were once part of the Kids Club that started nearly twenty years ago at our old James Street North location.
For the past four years, Aaron Korvemaker has also been a large part of molding and shaping the youth who attend our programs. As Aaron moves on, his work will be passed on to Erik, who had been the outreach director at Rehoboth URC since 2014. Erik is looking forward to joining the Streetlight staff and working with Danielle to disciple the Streetlight youth. Indeed, it is exciting to see God constantly at work in this community.
As for our family, we have been blessed in serving God’s kingdom at both Streetlight and Rehoboth. We too have been shaped by the gospel as it is preached and taught and studied. As we look forward to (re)joining the Streetlight church on a full time basis, we are humbled to be used as God’s tools as he shapes his followers and changes their lives.