Dear Friends of NETwork,
We are thrilled to announce the beginning of a new arts ministry for kids in Chambersburg! Our enthusiasm is rooted in a belief that God will use this to reach more youth in our community with the good news of Jesus! As we continue to pursue our mission, you might be curious to know why we’re focusing more on the arts. At our recent banquet, we took time to communicate some of the vision for this new focus. I’ll reiterate several key points from what was shared.
If we look at the Scriptures, one of the first characteristics we learn about our God is that He is Creator; the first recorded action is God creating the heavens and the earth. With this in mind, we’re led to believe that our God loves creativity! Just look at the animals, flowers, mountains, or the ocean. Or even better, look at the capstone of his creation: you and I. The uniqueness and intricacy in each person is truly wonderful! We’re convinced that as kids create and engage with the arts, there is incredible potential to teach and reinforce biblical themes and to instill a sense of wonder in our awesome Creator God!
Secondly, we know that you love the arts. You might not consider yourself to be an artist, but just about everyone has an appreciation for some form of art, be it good music, architecture, writing, painting, or
a well-designed product. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback in the past when we’ve helped kids to use their creativity for good and to bless our community, and we invite you to continue celebrating our youth in this!
Thirdly, we know that kids love the arts! Throughout our history, we’ve used different art forms - music, painting, dance, and more - to connect with kids, and we’ve found the response to be overwhelmingly positive. We’re planning to significantly expand this component of NETwork’s ministry and aiming to reach new kids - many we don’t even yet know.
Not only do kids love the arts, but the arts are also good for them! Through the arts, we know kids can learn crucial skills in observation, movement, imagina- tive thinking, creative production and more! The
arts can also deepen kids’ sense of belonging, their understanding of others, of culture, and of history. Research even shows links between the arts and improved grades and decreased delinquency among high-risk youth. And in a very practical way, the arts can give kids opportunities to express themselves and tell their stories, and build their confidence in who God has created them to be! As we step out in faith, we believe that God will use this for His glory!
To lead this effort, we plan to hire a new Director of Arts. As we prepare, we’d appreciate your prayers and your assistance in helping us to find quality candidates who love Jesus, the arts, and of course, kids! We also know we’ll need a solid team of volunteers to make this ministry a success, so please do let us know if you know folks who might want to be involved!
Our goal is to start this new ministry in September, just a few months from now. This is pos- sible because of your generosity and encouragement, as so many of you are responding to the Holy Spirit stirring your hearts with enthusiasm for this ministry. We are excited to see where God leads us in this new endeavor, and are blessed by your partnership as we share the gospel with children and teens!