Hey Everyone, here is an email I sent out to our incoming 6th grade parents. This is the same thoughts I shared when I first came to Canyon Springs at our parents night. I think this is a great reminder on what Oasis is all about. Enjoy!
The bible does not say much about when Jesus was a Middle Schooler or High Schooler. I imagine in high school he was on the football team. Turning the gatorade into wine and completing every pass…to himself.
Here is what we do know about Jesus as a kid. We know that, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:51). 
This is exactly what we want for your student.
1.) Wisdom (intellectual) Our hope is that as your student attends small groups and church, he will grow in wisdom. Most importantly, he will grow in biblical wisdom and will know how to practically apply the bible in his life. In addition, we want your student to understand the importance of studying, school, and respecting his parents. 
2.) Stature (physical). We want your kid to grow physically. We want your student to understand themselves physically. What does being a Christian have to do with dating, relationships, marriage. We want your student to understand what it means to live a pure life.
3.) Favor with God (spiritual). We want your student to grow in favor with God. This is the spiritual growth aspect. We pray that when your student leaves our program that he is closer to God than he was before. Wherever your student is at in faith we pray he moves closer to Jesus every single year in Middle School. 
4.) Favor with Man (social). This is huge! Jesus was social. We want your kid to undertand social context. How to interact with others and have healthy boundaries. How to choose healthy friendships. How to be a good friend etc..
Here is the question. Which one is most important to you? The answer that most parents give is, “Favor with God.” That is exactly what we want because we believe that a relationship with Jesus is the most important thing for your student and we believe that if he has this, everything else will fall in place. 
Here is the reality. Which one is the most important to your student? The answer, we all know is true is, “Favor with man” (social). Your kid cares about being with friends and the social part of youth group. They always ask us, “Who’s going?” Here is what we do. We have social things and we make church a very social and relational atmosphere. What happens is that your kid comes for the fun, games, boys, and girls but soon he starts to hear something that resonates with him. Then, she makes a decision to follow Christ more deeply in her life. So YES! We will have a lot of fun stuff going on in order to attract your students but please remembe, our leaders, staff, and student leaders are all intentionally building relationships with your student in order to help them take their walk with God to the next level. 
Everything we do at Oasis. Small groups, sink or swim, Sunday’s, broom ball — all of our events serve a purpose. Whether it is to connect kids to other kids or to have an intimate time of worship. It is all for the same goal: we want your student to grow in his relationship with Jesus.
Here is your part as the parent: You are the main discipler of your student. Nothing we do will have as much an impact as you do. We pray that you continually talk to your student about God and challenge them to think deeply about faith. We want to partner with you in that process. During your students time at Oasis you will have the opportunity to go to great parent seminars. We bring in authors and other ministries in order to help equip our parents for the journey of adolescence. I encourage you to take advantage of those. Our next event is next Tuesday May 10th. See newsletter for details.
Lastly, I want to partner with you. This ministry is all about healthy families. Use me as a resource. If you ever want to get coffee (I love free coffee) and bounce ideas off of me or get help with any issues at home then reach out to me. We are here for you and we are on your team. 
Thanks for letting me share my heart for our students. I am really excited to have you on this adventure with us.