Asbury Students is blessed with so many multi-generational leaders who serve in multiple facets while also helping others follow Jesus outside the walls of Asbury. Kylee Broadhurst is a familiar face to many people throughout Asbury. Serving as the modern worship leader on Sunday mornings in the 11 am service allows Kylee to be someone that many people see whether it’s their first time at Asbury or their hundredth. Kylee’s heart to serve and lead is seen even outside of Asbury’s Sanctuary. Kylee has served the last two years as a small group leader for an awesome group of girls with her mom Kim Broadhurst. Kylee’s heart for their small group shines through each and every week. She has also answered the call to serve as a nurse and leader on multiple retreats and mission trips. No matter what she is doing, Kylee has a carrying and fun-loving attitude that always points Asbury Students toward following Jesus and encourages the other leaders around her.
This may be the first time in modern history that the world has been forced to slow down, reevaluate, and make time for the things that mean the most to us, all at the same time.
We have so many students at Asbury who have been feeling the void of church – especially within the past few weeks. That hollowness is stirring deep in their hearts and they yearning for the day that they are reunited with their peers. I recently had an opportunity to visit with Landon Lee, who is a junior here at Asbury. I vividly remember him saying, “Katie, I need the door of the student ministry to open back up, I miss it! I need it!” and I know Landon isn’t the only one feeling this way. Our students hearts are connected in such deep ways because of their shared experiences on our annual events, but most importantly, because God is in the midst of those friendships. I think none of them would hesitate sharing that Asbury Student Ministries have changed their lives and have built relationships that are unlike any they could find at school. This season has left them hoping and dreaming for those moments when they are reunited, not only with their friends but by worshiping God side by side of one another.
As I step into this new role as the Student Ministry Small Group Associate, I would like to share a bit of my heart with you for this aspect of ministry. I am certain that I am in this role today because of the role of two small group leaders I had in middle school and high school. Nick and Brad were both small group leaders that invested time and prayers into my life. They had an impact on my life because they went beyond just being present when I was at church events. They took an interest in the things I had going on at school. When my grandmother died, one of them was at her funeral. If I did not show up at church for a couple of weeks, I would receive a call or text. A small group leader's role is to let teens know that they are loved and part of a real community that goes beyond a Sunday afternoon. I still talk to Nick and Brad to this day. These two men have been a constant reminder of Christ’s love in my life. I was not a Christian until the summer after my 8th-grade year. On Sunday mornings, I would learn about faith and the Bible. It was on the other days when a small group leader reached out to me that I learned about Christ's body.
Many of our students have shared stories with us about how they’re keeping sane AND positive in the midst of staying home, juggling school, and not being able to see their friends in person. One of our 9th grade girls, Cate Linsenmeyer, was kind enough to share with us how she’s kept her perspective in check:
Our team has been busy making lots of phone calls throughout our time in quarantine, and we’ve heard some awesome stories! One of the things that have been the most encouraging to me personally is the sense of hope I’ve heard from the mothers of our Asbury Students. Many have been vulnerable and acknowledge the difficulties, but their hope has continued to shine through! Here’s how one of our mom’s and small groups, Scarlet Henley, has been coping throughout quarantine:
The world looks different for all of us right now, especially our students. Emma Martin is an 8th grader who goes to Broken Arrow. Here’s what she has been up to during quarantine:
Asbury Students are blessed with the absolute best volunteers in the world! During quarantine, we definitely have missed our students, but we are also missing the amazing adults who help make every week in student ministries happen as well! Volunteers help us make sure that even more students get individual and focused attention on a weekly basis. This week, I want to give a shout out to Ginny Martin and Ashley Krieg. It is pretty unlikely to walk into student ministry programming or to an event and not see one, or both, of these awesome women! Whether it is filling up pop, greeting outside, or leading their 6th grade small group, Ginny and Ashley give it 100% every time.
During this time of isolation and uncertainty, connection has been harder to have on a regular basis. In order to keep up with work, school, and just personal relationships as a whole, people have turned to all types of technology. Zoom appears to be the prime mode of conversation for groups of people looking for a face-to-face connection, even if it has to be through a screen!