As many of you may know, last spring 2013 at SPC we hired a college student intern – Ryan Samuels – to help us minister to our college students at Coastal Carolina University. Since that time, the ministry environment at CCU has grown more difficult and the needs here at SPC have grown more pronounced. These factors led the pastors, administrative committee, and elders to re-evaluate our student ministry focus along with Charlie Phillips and Ryan. After much prayer and consideration, Surfside PCA is excited that our student ministry is being changed to encompass our ministry to college students! This change will have more pastoral focus on college students here at SPC rather than a missional focus at CCU. With this change, we will seek to more intentionally equip and encourage the college students that we have at SPC. We feel that this will give us a comprehensive ministry to students overall. In order to achieve this we’ve asked our ministry intern, Ryan Samuels, to come under the care and direction of our Youth Pastor – Charlie Phillips. Ryan’s focus will be changed towards engaging our high school students. Ryan is currently pursuing his college degree with Liberty University and plans on attending seminary upon graduation in order to pursue full-time ministry opportunities. He is a gifted teacher and a great community builder. We are really excited to have him on our youth ministry team to assist with all things “students”. Having an extra person on the team allows us to be creative in engaging the various student ministry age groups for Christ. It also allows our church to invest in the potential of future ministry leaders.
For the next few months Ryan will be teaching the high school group on Sunday mornings, and Charlie will be teaching our college students in order to pioneer this new ministry approach. It is important to note that while Ryan is an excellent teacher of the Gospel, Charlie will be working very closely with him to help him grow as a leader and to insure the very best quality teaching and ministry to our students.
We do want to emphasize that Charlie is not transitioning out of student ministry! On the contrary, we simply feel called to improve our overall student ministry by expanding it. Charlie will still be directly over all youth ministries, which includes The Attic, Sunday School, missions trips, and retreats. However, Charlie will focus a little more energy on developing and ministering to our youth leaders as a way of preparing for future growth.
Oh, and a quick note about The Attic, our Wednesday night youth outreach meeting. Charlie and his team are very excited about the direction of this ministry. The Crave (Chris Taylor and Avery Milz) have been helping out in worship for the past few months and they’ve agreed to continue to lead us in Christ-centered worship every Wednesday night! Charlie’s talk series for the Spring is all about following Christ into transformational ministry, which will really challenge our students to understand the joy of submitting to Jesus. Our leaders are being trained to be intentional “shepherds” of students and so far they are doing a fantastic job engaging their “flocks”! By taking this “shepherding” approach we are able to engage more students at a deeper level. Overall, we can say that we are extremely excited about where God is taking our student ministry!
The last thing we want to say is that our intention is to be very open in our communication to you. To that end we are working harder to make sure all of our awesome parents and our entire church has clarity on our mission in ministry!
If you have any questions of clarification, don’t hesitate to call Charlie Phillips at 864 918-7857 or Tim Melton at 843 997-8862.