Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

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I had no idea what I was saying yes to when I agreed to join the Thrive School team. Seven years later, 277 students have come through Thrive School. I sit back and am amazed at who God entrusted us with and what He’s done through them since. 

We started with a simple vision: develop the next generation of Christian leaders. Most eighteen-year-olds graduate high school and their faith. Most people today spend their twenties away from Jesus and away from the Church. We set out to change that. We dreamed of building influencers who wouldn’t drift with their culture but would put God first and bring His Kingdom to earth.  

And that’s exactly what we’ve seen the last seven years — student after student surrendering their lives to Jesus and His mission. We’ve seen students take their church masks off, admit their struggles, and risk real relationship. We’ve seen God call them into full-time ministry. We’ve seen whole families come to Christ because of the transformation in their son and daughter’s life. 

I could tell you so many stories. I could tell you about Megan, who led a junior high small group in our first year of Thrive School. A seventh-grader named Jane was in her group. Jane experienced first-hand the impact a Thrive School student can have on a teenager’s life. So, when Jane graduated, she decided to do Thrive School. This past year, she led a fourth and fifth-grade small group every week. 

I could tell you about the sixty-six people who’ve joined our Bayside staff after coming through our school. People you know and love that lead our church in every sphere of ministry. 

I could tell you about the others we’ve launched to places like England, Texas, and Papua New Guinea. 

I could tell you about the marriages that have come from Thrive (those are always fun) and how the wedding party is filled with the lifelong friends they made in Thrive School. 

I could tell you so many stories, but instead, I will simply say thank you. I get to live and breathe Thrive School every day because of your commitment to developing the next generation of leaders.  

I hear a lot of people frightened about the next generation taking leadership in the Church. But as someone that gets to witness first-hand the team He’s preparing to lead His Church, let me tell you—I’m not afraid. 

God is so kind to allow us at Bayside to shepherd students that He’s raising up to lead. What we’ve built is not because of our talent but because of God’s call and your faithful generosity. 

A million thank you’s from our Thrive School team. 

Dena Davidson 
10 years at Bayside

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Bayside Church exists to reach people far from God and show them how to follow Jesus step by step.

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