First Congregational Church
Stanton, MI

Love for Truth  *  Passion for Righteousness  *  Enthusiasm for Service


Open Door Newsletter

A New Beginning

             --Pastor Jamey Nichols                     

         I admit it’s a little trite to be talking about “new beginnings” at the turn of another year. Nonetheless, here at FCC we are on the precipice of something we’ve only imagined for the past few years. Like Israel waiting for God to lead them into the promised land, our church has been waiting. Ours wasn’t a promise, per se, but rather a vision for what we believed God wanted to do among us. After lots of prayer and conversation it became apparent that we were to step out into a ministry that had Stanton young people as the focus. With the added resources that came from our 2017 restoration with TCC we were in a unique position to follow God in a fresh direction and with a fresh purpose.

          Our church has always valued ministry to students. That almost goes without saying. What we’ve never done—and what very few churches ever do!—is to take a deliberate missional approach to student outreach. 2020 is going to be very different around here.

          During the last two weeks of December, Mitch Nichols and Cody Romatz began onboarding to FCC as a set of workers teamed up to fulfill a full-time post we’ve been calling Director of Student Outreach. With two part-timers instead of a single full-timer, we could say we have directors (plural). These young men will split the tasks of infiltrating the community, volunteering at the school, and networking with various local church student ministries that already exist. As part of the onboarding, the young men (“The Guys”) met with area youth pastors, visited the morning UE programs PRIME Time and FBI, visited and strategized regarding lunch-time Bible studies at the Middle School, and began working with Middle School administrators on how each guy could volunteer in the school system during regular class-time throughout the week. To a person, every community stakeholder was excited to meet our guys and to realize that with their help we can make an impact, and in some cases raise the spiritual temperature of Jr. High ministry in our community.

          As we press forward there are a number of things each FCC member can do. Please consider each one of these and how you personally can participate:

          1) PRAY—One of the meetings the guys had was with Youth For Christ missionary Tim Grant. Tim is a veteran youth minister who is already invested in Carson City and has been aiming to expand YFC outreach west in our county. CMPS was on his radar and he is eagerly stepping in to coach/mentor our guys. He told them that spiritual difficulties increase the moment they resolve to make a difference for Christ. Pray often for our guys that they might stay strong, focused and pure and effective workers for the kingdom.

          2) GIVE—Our church made a faith budget that was $30,000 over last year’s budget. The increase was all about this outreach effort. To avoid dipping into our savings, we are counting on all of you to increase your contributions to help pay for the costs associated with our newest part-time employees and the work we’ve assigned them.

          3) PARTICIPATE—As the ministry develops we are hoping to establish a teen center which will be a site for various events or possible after school hours. Even before that piece is in place, the guys may still want to host events here in our own building or out in the community. If they need chaperones or extra help working with students, perhaps you could let them know of your openness to join them in front-line work. We have a few hundred tweeners (11-13 year olds) in our district and many are simply lonely. All of them are worth the time and love that may be just the prescription they need to grow in their relationships with God.

          When you see the guys around, be sure to let them know how excited you are for what they’re doing for our community. And, give them a warm welcome themselves as they lead the way in carrying out the vision we’ve set for them.