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May 10, 2022
Pastor Walt Baertsch

If you walk in the Gymnasium entrance on Sunday morning, one of the first things you might see is what we in the youth ministries call “The Welcome Wagon,” with an East White Oak Youth Ministries banner on it.

You might not actually “see it,” as there is usually a group of Junior and Senior High School students hanging out around the Welcome Wagon or in the Junior High room in various clusters laughing and telling stories about things that happened during the week.

Youth Bible Fellowship at East White Oak is one of the elements of our pathways to youth discipleship which include: Corporate Worship with the rest of the church body; Jr High Crosstrainers or Senior High Sunday Nights (Youth Group); Small Groups; and Youth Bible Fellowship.

What most people don’t realize is that our combined Junior and Senior High youth ministries draw from as many as 15 different schools, and Sunday mornings serve as a “regathering” place where students get back together again after a long week at school. That’s one of the reasons for the laughter and chatter that you see both before and after our formal time together. They love to linger and laugh.

What you might not see is that Youth Bible Fellowships are a strategic time of discipleship as we study God’s Word in depth during these times. Over a student’s youth ministry experience at East White Oak, they will have gone through the entire Bible in Junior High on Sunday mornings. Each student can experience an overview of the Old Testament and the New Testament alternating each year so they will have a good idea of what the Bible is all about cover to cover. In their four years of Senior High, we go more in depth into books of the Bible with definite application of God’s Word to their lives.

So, when you see the students on Sunday morning at Youth Bible Fellowship, praise God for bringing the students together, thank God that our students love each other, and thank him that they love to learn from his Word!

Pastor Walt has served in Youth Ministry at East White Oak since 2003. Prior to coming to Illinois, Walt served as the Senior Pastor at Northwest Baptist Church in Denver. He holds a Masters Degree in Global Leadership from Fuller Seminary. Walt is married to Penny, and they have two adult children.

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May OakLeaf Articles:

Join the Journey by Pastor Scott Boerckel
Faith Nurturing Communities by Pastor Traig Whittaker
Sunday Mornings: Strategic Discipleship by Pastor Walt Baertsch
Maturing Young Worshipers by Kris Seifert, Children’s Ministry Director
Jumping Into ABF by Mark Heil
The Fellowship in ABF by Ashley Deal
History of ABFs by Dr. Jeff VanGoethem
Crossroads ABF by Joan Rich