There is nothing quite like student ministries at Bayside. It goes beyond one night a week, but that midweek night is my favorite night of the whole week—getting to be with my friends and make new ones, running around like a maniac while drinking crazy amounts of soda and coffee, or just having a cool atmosphere to hang out with people. But let’s be honest, so much more happens at Bayside Student Ministries than just that. This is the place where I get real about what is really going on in my life, the place where I choose to get honest in my small group about what is actually happening at school, the place where I feel free to worship my heart out, the place where I have freedom to encounter Jesus.
At Bayside Students, we exist so that every student is KNOWN by a caring adult. Every student understands their VALUE to Christ and His Kingdom. Every student is CONNECTED to the local Church to impact their schools, community, and world for Christ.
As one of the student pastors for Bayside Students, over the years, we have seen so many students unleashed into the community to make a massive impact. One of the biggest ways our students have impact is in their own sphere, at their local schools, whether that be private, public, charter, or homeschool. As we all know, one of the hardest places to lead, to step out in your faith, and to be bold is with your own peers, and yet that is what so many of our students are choosing to do. Across all our campuses, students themselves have started over 30 Christian clubs at all different schools, giving their fellow students amazing opportunities to hear about Jesus and encounter Him. We have students leading these organizations in huge ways—from leading Bible studies, to sharing their faith, to even speaking in these meetings about what God is teaching them. Our students are making life-long impacts in this community by owning their schools, by being honest and vulnerable with their friends, and creating a space within their school day to talk about who God is. The courage and tenacity of our students has become contagious—just this past week I personally had three students come up to me and ask if they can anonymously write encouraging notes to everyone who is coming to Bayside Students because they believe that God wants to encourage students through them. I had another two girl students talk to me about believing that God has put on their hearts to start an event or gathering for young women in our area.
As much credit as we as student pastors want to take for these students, the truth is that God is encountering middle school, high school, and college students through Bayside Student Ministries and He is unleashing them in mighty ways. From Unleashed Conference where our students get to influence students from all over California, to Mexico and San Francisco Outreach where students are challenged to serve outside many of their comfort levels, to Vertigo (an outreach event for Middle Schoolers) where students are inviting their entire schools to the point where we have had schools call us to make sure they don’t schedule their school dances on that same night. How many churches can say that the students in their youth group are influencing the school calendar? Bayside Students are making massive waves in their schools, communities, and worlds for Christ.
Whether it is in Roseville, Rocklin, Folsom, Sacramento, Santa Rosa or beyond—our students are choosing to be the Church and even showing many of us what true service looks like. We as the student pastors could not be more honored to be a small part of these students lives, and we know there is so much God is going to continue to do in and through them. Teenagers and young adults shape our culture, our present, and our future and let me tell you if our culture begins to reflect what we are seeing in our student ministries, we are in good hands.
– Mackenzie Cook
4 years at Bayside