Nathan Schneider

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This Week in Student Ministry: SLU

This week, a couple dozen of our students will be participating in leadership training at Student Leadership University ( Please be in prayer as they learn biblical and practical skills that will shape the rest of their lives. This is from their website:

Shape your students’ future through the ultimate experience at SLU 101! Your students will begin their leadership journey by understanding that Leadership Begins at the Feet of Jesus. From behind the scenes at SeaWorld to world-class speakers in exclusive learning environments, SLU 101 teaches your students the practical, relational, and life skills to change the way they think, dream, and lead!

Again, this week could be life-changing. Please be in prayer for our students this week and their impact personally for the rest of their lives.


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This Week in Student Ministry: Leadership Testimony

This weekend, our Student Ministry Assistant, Dava Heyen, wrote about her experience of moving into the Student Ministry and into a leadership role. I’m thankful for her and her testimony. God is faithful!

I am definitely not a blogger, writer, or anything that involves editing, punctuation or correct grammar. I am just someone who is trying to share the work of the Lord with others.

This week I have been studying Rebekah, from the Old Testament (Gen 24-27). There is so much to learn from her life. The thing that stuck out to me was that she trusted without fear or question. When she was young she was zealous for God, understood He was good and moved without question.  She trusted Him so much that she left her home and everyone she knew to marry a man whom she had never even meet! Wow! Now that’s what I call trusting in God. The Lord used her story to speak to me. Teaching me to trust God more and to cause me to reflect on my own life. When I look back over my life since surrendering to Jesus I realize that I have grown the most spiritually when I have trusted God without question and just did what I knew He was asking.

About four years ago, I began to help a friend who was leading a small group of teenage girls. I never thought that I wanted to be a “Sunday School” teacher, but I knew I had not found my place to serve or my own personal ministry. Becoming a believer only four years earlier I really didn’t understand what God wanted from me but I was growing closer to Him every day and knew he wanted me to serve. Once I began serving along side of my friend our church hired a new Student Pastor. I had been co-teaching for about 6 months and really loved the girls and thought this may be the place for me. I figured I would just continue helping my friend and would keep trying to connect. God had very different plans…

PicMonkey Collage

The summer was coming to a close and new “Sunday School” teachers were being put into place. We were all getting to know our new Student Pastor and his wife and having a great time. August came and there was a gap, an empty spot in the 9th-grade girls class. My Student Pastor said, “are you willing to fill the lead teacher spot?” I, in no way, felt ready. I knew my knowledge of Gods Word wasn’t what most of these girls had. I knew I was a 28-year-old woman with a husband and 6-year-old. What would these girls learn from me? I doubted on so many levels but I prayed and sought wisdom from other woman, further along in their spiritual walk than I was, and God spoke very clearly. I said I would do it. I had no idea what was about to happen. I trusted and He moved!

Like a lot of first-time meetings, it was super awkward but we pushed through. This group of girls was, and still are, amazing young woman. It didn’t take long for me to realize being their “Sunday School” teacher wasn’t going to help me connect with them. Luckily, our Student Pastor and his wife, who happen to be awesome leaders, had made it very clear to me that disciple making is about relationships and the more I build the relationships the closer the girls get to Christ and to each other. So I began planning things to do outside of Sunday mornings. I went to volleyball games, football games (cheer), dance recitals and so much more. To be honest, it was awesome to walk through High School again. You see, I wasn’t a believer in high school so I was seeing it through new eyes (2Cor 5:17). With God as our guide, I began having girls in my home. As they got older they began driving and came more and more. It didn’t take long for me to see the Lord using them to teach me things. Things I would have never learned had I not trusted Him. I also realized I wasn’t a “Sunday School” teacher. I was a mentor. This was a huge responsibility which God used to grow me, my child and my husband. We all became aware that our home was the only Christian home some of these girls would be in and my husband and I were responsible for how these girls viewed our marriage and how they saw us handle situations (good and bad).

So, to tie all of this together. Three and half years ago I trusted God (reluctantly) to give me what I needed to be a mentor. He has worked in so many ways, I wish I could share them all. The girls that I had that first year are now about to graduate from high school. It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 4 years. I have had the privilege of serving with some of them on the local and national mission field. I have cried with them, prayed with them, been hurt by them, forgiven them, hurt them, been forgiven by them, watched them surrender to Jesus, watched them doubt Jesus, encouraged them, laughed with them, and loved them. My prayer is that I have showed them what a heart transformed, by the blood of my Savior, looks like. That when they think of me that they see Jesus because, without Him, none of this would have been possible. I encourage you all with this. If you think you can’t be a mentor, Jesus can! If you think your can’t connect with teenagers, Jesus does it.

Matthew 28:19-20 says… then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We are to not only learn from Jesus but teach others about him. Recently, I read a book on mentorship that pointed out the only way to teach obedience to Christ is for people to see you being obedient to Christ. The only way for someone to see you doing this is to live life with them. Have them in your home, celebrate together, forgive together just be together.

So, if God is calling you to something… be like Rebekah! Trust without fear. Let God do something AMAZING in your life and in the life of someone else! I know He will!

To the girls in our ministry and woman who serve alongside me. I am forever grateful for your love, prayers and friendship. You all inspire me daily!

Dava’s post was originally posted on

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