Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Next Level

Wow, we just came back from hearing some testimonies from a bunch of the high school students who are attending the Next Level program at our church. Next Level is a two-week intense discipleship program that we've offered here in the summer for the last three years. The program runs from 9 to 9 everyday, Monday through Friday, and is a combination of prayer, worship, teaching, serving, goofing off and having fun.

This year we have just over 100 students who have given up two weeks of their summer to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and each other. I wish you could have heard what we just heard. These students are the real deal and as they shared with us the things God has been teaching them the last week in a half we just shook our heads in amazement. The insight that these young people have is truly inspiring as they went around the room and talked about how God was changing them and how much they were in love with Jesus and willing to give Him their lives.

A few of them spoke of how hard it was to lose some of their other friends because of their commitment to become a true-blue follower of Jesus, and these are kids who are still in a season of their lives when relationships are everything.

Well, I just wanted to share with you that we just left a room full of hope. A hope for a brighter future, a hope for America and a hope for the world. Jesus is still changing lives here on earth and He is doing it here in the lives of some high school students at Valley Family Church. Beth and I are so thankful for Matt McCarty our pastor/director over high school and middle school ministries and Jeff (PJ) Werkmeister our high school pastor. These two young men have a heart after God and a love for these kids that is real and genuine and their work is truly impacting their generation and beyond.

Thanks Matt and PJ for making a difference in the lives of these kids, and for what you've done in the lives of the four Jones kids. We will be forever grateful for your efforts. We love you guys.

So, if you've ever wondered if this world has a chance, then be encouraged because there is a generation of Jesus lovers and people servers who are being raised up in Kalamazoo, Michigan who are ready to take themselves and the world around them to the Next Level.

Yours for Him-



  1. Next Level has been such an awesome experience for our three teenagers. The first day they came home, they said they were so glad it was just the beginning because they liked it so much. They are sad that today is the last day but I know they have grown so much in their relationship with God. Thank you so much for offering this program at our church! We are so thankful for such dedicated pastors who care about our teenagers! Stacy Caudill

  2. I'm glad you and Pastor Beth got to hear from them. It is so amazing to see that God doesn't just move on adults but is doing a great work in teenagers. If I had what they have when I was their age. PTL!

    Enjoying the blog Pastor Jeff!


  3. This is a fantastic story of the youth and how they are coming up as strong young adults. It is always encouraging to see a younger generation on fire for Christ and sharing it with their friends and families.