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The Last Word with Blake Park

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Hey, Blake. Great to speak with you! What’s your role and what ministry area do you work in at E91?

I am the E91 Students Pastor and I work with both the middle school and high school students. 

What’s your typical day-to-day look like?

A lot of what I do is attempt to help small group leaders and volunteers, develop and adjust the teaching calendar, coordinate in events with small group leaders, and connecting with new small group leaders. Typically on Sundays, I am focused on pushing the program along and engaging with our students.

Why have you been called into this ministry?

I am in Student Ministry because of a few specific instances in my life. Growing up I always had connections with my elementary pastor, middle school pastor, and high school pastor. As weird as it sounds, I had people coming up to me in 4th grade and saying, “God’s going to do great things in you.” Next, I was at a church camp my freshman year of high school and I was attending one of the teaching sessions. At the end of the session, they had a call for people who wanted to go into full-time ministry and that was very interesting to me, so I went up and prayed with them.

My high school pastor also took me in and saw leadership potential in me. He gave me opportunities to lead in our youth group, whether it was recruiting fellow students to sign-up for mission’s trips or packing the van for the mission’s trips. There were a lot of great teaching moments with him. All this to say, these little moments pushed me and developed a desire to serve in Student's Ministry.

The best thing about your ministry?

I love it when a student accepts responsibility for their faith. Instead of just going to church because of their parents or friends, they attend because they have a desire to do so. This shows me that this student has the potential to stick with their faith for the long run.

Any suggestions for a new family?

I like to ask students to come for 4-weeks in a row. I encourage them to try it out and expect to connect with others If they don't like it, at least they gave it an honest effort. To the parents, I would say to make us a priority. We live in an age where we all have 9,000 activities going on. We realized with our students is that we get 30-40 opportunities to connect with a student so we can’t connect with them if they aren’t there.

What going on in E91 Students currently?

We have a lot of great summer camps coming up CIY Move for high schoolers, CIY Mix for our middle school students and Camp Allendale. To any parent that is interested in getting to know me, let me know! Let’s grab coffee; let’s chat because I would love to demonstrate what E91 Students are all about. You can email me at . Reach out and let's talk!

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Weekend In Review: Pass the Baton

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This past weekend we had the honor of having Samuel Orlando, Guest Speaker from Compassion International, sit down with us. He shared his experience with Compassion and how he became sponsored. Samuel stated that he was blown away that someone would act so selflessly to give to him because he was in poverty. He said the women that wrote to him and helped him became like a second mother to him. Samuel’s story is such a beautiful representation of how someone took personal responsibility in their life and made a change in his life.

As Pastor Rick spoke in the beginning of the service, growing in personal responsibility is directly linked to our responsibility or others. The more we serve others, the more responsible we become of ourselves. He shared in 2 Timothy 2:2 that,

 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”

When Pastor Rick read that, I was struck with a few thoughts: “How am I passing the baton to others younger than me? How am I helping the next generation?”

Samuel’s story and the main talking point Pastor Rick spurred a desire to pass the baton to the one’s who are in need. Whether those needs are financial or emotional, serving others is the way we can take personal responsibility for ourselves. Instead of being in a generation that is lacking, let’s help others continue to grow in their lives. Pass the baton to others that need our help.

From opportunities to invest in others, check out our website at east91st.org/serve.

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