Josue Sanchez, youth director of Gulf States, recently shared some news, updates, and plans at the year-end executive committee meeting at the Gulf States Conference office. Sanchez holds various responsibilities for the Conference, and among them are his positions as the director of family ministries and children’s ministries. Sanchez shared that while he attended recent department meetings for the Southern Union, he realized that more needs to happen within these ministries in Gulf States.
Sanchez worked with his assistant, Belkys Vazquez, and they identified some potential needs these ministries could meet, and developed some plans for 2021. One of the first steps was creating a budget for children’s ministries, which was virtually non-existent previously. With a budget in place, the department will immediately support local churches with resources that will help them establish effective ministries in their community. One of the resources the Conference will make available is the VBS starter toolkit that the North American Division produces each year. With this kit in hand, churches have the music and videos necessary to make their event a success. Vazquez has also been appointed as the coordinator for children’s ministries and will lead in training churches on how to hold great events like VBS. They are also working to leverage children’s ministry leaders’ experience throughout Gulf States to assist churches with less experience.
Regarding family ministries, Sanchez believes that the best opportunity for spiritual development is in their home, led by their parents. “Some parents have come to believe that it is the pastor’s responsibility for the spiritual well-being of their children,” Sanchez says, “but that just isn’t true.” When Sanchez encounters this issue, he asks these questions to parents, “What are you doing in your home to build their spirituality? Do you do devotions with your children that they understand and enjoy? Are you encouraging them to keep a prayer journal?”
Sanchez wants to help parents be courageous in their parenting and not be afraid to be the spiritual leaders God has called them to be. Programming is in the works for an event that parents can attend to be trained and inspired to be strong spiritual leaders.
Gulf States | February 2021