In these videos, Aaron Osborne and Lee Banton give updates on the Sr. High and Jr. High ministries at RBC.
Visit annualreport.restonbible.org to see the rest of the 2020 Annual Report!
2020 has been a crazy year, but there is still reason to know God is working. One clear example of that is First Fruits 2020.
During First Fruits, lives were impacted in our local community for the glory of God. Check out the numbers below to get a snapshot of God’s goodness, but know it is the individual lives within those numbers that matter most.
We had around 524 volunteers who took care of more than 120 jobs and delivered food to 27 homes.
In total, $39,455 was generously given for the jobs, and another $9,545 was donated online. We are thankful for this outpouring of generosity, and for the Lord’s great work in it!
Below you can watch our recap from right after the event.
Pastor Aaron Osborne takes a couple minutes to share about the importance of staying connected and what youth ministry at RBC looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bob, Lee, and Aaron filmed a 13-minute video encouragement that provides some Biblical prospective on this situation and encouragement for how to spend all our newfound free time. Please make sure your jr. and sr. high students see it!
A few hundred Senior and Junior High youth recently returned from our 2018 Summer Camp in Mt. Hope, WV. We saw the Lord do some incredible things in the lives of students as we examined the topic of fear through a biblical lens. Thank you to the many volunteers who graciously gave of their time, talents and treasure to serve our students and show them the love of Christ throughout the week. Thank you, RBC, for being a generous church!
Jr. & Sr. High students, join us July 23-29 for our 2017 Youth Summer Camp! Get details and register at www.restonbible.org/summercamp.
Here’s a quick update from Pastor Aaron Osborne on this year’s Youth Winter Retreat and how your generosity is impacting the lives of students for the glory of God. Thank you for being a generous church.
I’m glad God shows up with His power when it doesn’t seem humanly possible things will work out nice and neatly as I would like. This happened for the student ministry’s “Spring Clean” this past Saturday, April 16.
Each year we host Spring Clean to do jobs for those in the church — things like mulching, cleaning, raking, etc. to raise funds for student summer missions. This year we did 49 jobs, with 14 teams consisting made up of 150 workers (adults, students, and children). We had both fewer jobs and workers this year, but the Lord still showed His power by providing over $19,000 in funds!
We are blessed by a church congregation that supports missions and the student ministry in a big way! I was personally blessed by the adult captains of each team who give of their time and energy to make the day happen. I was also amazed by the students and adults who came out to help that day and had no stake in the mission trip, but wanted to help their friends. It is awesome to see the body of Christ work together for the Kingdom.
Each winter, the students and leaders of the RBC Youth Ministry are blessed to have the opportunity to “retreat” from the daily schedule of life and trade it for time with each other, time in God’s Word, time on the slopes, time away from electronics, and more.
In February, we went back for the third time to Doubling Gap Christian Retreat Center in Doubling Gap, PA. The setting is awesome for “retreating” because it is an old hotel in the mountains with very little cell service (and it’s covered in snow!)
The speaker this winter was Shelby Abbott, who is on staff and an emcee for CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ). Shelby spoke on the theme of Living Outside the Box.
That theme is out of John 17:14-18, where Jesus calls His disciples to be in the world, but not of it. The desire was to help students see that God wants them to be engaged with the world around them without being overtaken by it. To do this as Christians we need to take on God’s approach to life. Shelby spoke on taking God’s approach to pop culture, extremes (legalism vs. license), relationships and dating, and suffering. The final message was to be on taking God’s approach to power (living by the Holy Spirit), but due to snow the retreat ended Sunday night. Many students have commented that the message on relationships and suffering were very impactful to them. This is most likely due to the difference in what they heard from the Bible and what the world tells them about relationships and suffering. God’s Word is truth and speaks!
We also had a blast out on the slopes of Round Top, the bowling alley, and the roller rink. New relationships were built and friendships were strengthened. Leaders poured into the lives of the students in their small groups. Students meditated on God’s Word and it spoke to them. We are blessed to have the opportunity to lead these camps and retreats, which are milestones for students because they clearly see and hear God in their lives.
The RBC congregation was generous in providing the funds to give scholarships for over 25 students to be able to attend the retreat. THANK YOU! Your financial gifts and prayers are so important! From the Youth Ministry Staff we all say thank you!
For over 20 years, the youth ministry has run the First Fruits project the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Every year, we raise money by raking leaves and doing other jobs throughout the day. That evening, we purchase lots of food and deliver the food to families in need in our community. This year, with an army of over 650 workers, we raised over $43,000 to provide food for over 100 families. We were also able to provide college scholarships to five local high school seniors.
Because we have been doing this for so many years, it is easy to just assume numbers like these will happen. But every year God does something that just makes us realize it is His work and His plan, not ours.
First, this year we had over 200 students from Parkview and Herndon High School sign up to work with us. These students have no affiliation with RBC, but the schools announced the project and they came to work with us. As a youth ministry, we are always trying to think of creative ways to reach out with the truth and hope of the Gospel to the students around us, and it’s so cool how God has taken something we designed to care for those in physical need and open so many doors for us to tell so many students about their greatest spiritual need. We never had a “strategic plan” or “vision” to turn First Fruits into an outreach, but it is now our biggest outreach of the year. Please pray for the hundreds who heard the Gospel at First Fruits.
Second, God orchestrated several food deliveries in ways that only He could. To identify many of the families we assist, we work through parent liaisons at several local public schools. We seek families that are experiencing hardships, but not currently being helped. These families are then randomly assigned to one of our 32 teams.
This year, as one team was entering the home of the family they were delivering to, the face of a young girl and her parents lit up. They were excited not for the food, but that one of the people delivering the food was the girl’s preschool teacher from several years prior. This instantly broke the ice and allowed for a powerful opportunity to share the love of Christ. When a group of strangers walk into someone’s home with bags of food and gifts, it can be awkward. But God, in providentially working out the right family with the right team, completely changed the situation. Only God can work out situations like that.
A similar situation happened with another team. They were supposed to deliver food to a different family, but at the last minute their delivery was switched. It just happened to be switched to a family a team member knew, which has opened the doors for additional ministry and care for the family.
God is not random. Our God is powerful and is doing great things in our midst, even when we don’t recognize it. Thank you so much for giving us jobs, working with us, donating to the project, and being part of what the Lord is doing to make His name known in Northern Virginia.
Below are some highlight pictures from the day. Enjoy!
Our Jr High’s first Friday Night Live of the new school year was a huge success!
The event was set to the theme of the Amazing Race in which the youth were placed into teams and given clues to find different stations around the church to complete challenges before advancing to the next station. As a team, they had to put together a giant puzzle, knock down boxes with tennis balls launched from a water balloon launcher, copy a small painting, learn a portion of a TobyMac dance routine, shoot baskets from either different locations in the basketball court, find and memorize a Bible verse, and several other challenges.
That night, we had over 20 youth indicate on their info cards that they had accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior after hearing Pastor Aaron preach the gospel! Praise God for the great turnout, great weather, no major issues, and for the students that indicated their new faith in Christ.
My name is Bob Shull and I am the Senior High Youth Pastor here at Reston Bible Church. I am so thankful for the investment that RBC has made in the youth of our area for almost 40 years now. I am actually one of the fruits of the Youth Ministry here – having become a Christian when I was a Junior at Herndon High School (back in the “Remember the Titans” era) through the ministry of Dave Wentzel, RBC’s first Youth Pastor. Since that time, many things have changed (hair & clothing styles, the cost of gas, technology, to mention a few) since then in our society and in our church. RBC however has continued to focus the time and energies of our Youth Staff on encouraging our families with teens, teaching and equipping our students, and working with our students in reaching out to their friends. We follow the goal of the church as a whole to “Know Christ and make Him known” – both in a big group and small group setting. We also have a long tradition of taking and extended time with our teens in the Word of God at our Winter Retreat and Summer Camp. We give teens an opportunity to be involved in the ministry by using their gifts in worship, drama, teaching, and in the one anothers. We are blessed to have a facility that allows us to do bigger outreaches and events like “First Fruits” and our “Bring It” Talent Competition that impact our community. We have also been blessed to go with teens on over seas mission trips to places like England, Trinidad, Croatia, Brazil, Bolivia and to stateside locations like PawPaw, West VA, Chicago, Maysville SC, St. Louis Mo., and many more. It is on these trips that our teens have had to put their faith to the test and have seen God meet them there. What never ceases to amaze and motivate me is the ability of our teens to still believe and obey God in both little and big ways. Older adults can learn from them in this!
One of the greatest gifts that God has and continues to give the Youth Ministry are many volunteers He has led to join us in investing in our teens and their families and building the Kingdom of God. It is an understatement to say that working with teens is very “relational”. Just like all adults, teens are looking for a place to “belong”, a place to wrestle out what they believe, a safe place share their thoughts and doubts and grow in their faith in God. Doing this requires us to have men and women of all ages, gifting, and personalities who have a clear love for God, a love for His word, and a willingness to love and work with teens. Could God be nudging you to consider stepping out to join us?
The Youth Ministry is hosting a “Youth Ministry Preview and Training Event;” it will be on Sunday May 31st, 2015. It is designed to help anyone who wants to learn more about the youth ministry and is evaluating how he or she can serve at Reston Bible Church. Our hope is everyone attending will get the answers they need to make that decision. We will meet at 10:30am in the front classroom of the Youth Building. Aaron Osborne and Lee Banton will give the group an overview on the who, what, and why of the Youth Ministry. It will briefly cover what we do and the strategy behind it. We will then have the group join and observe the Sunday Morning Meeting – either in the Senior High (called GAP) or the Junior High (called Break Thru). This runs from 11am to 12:15pm. Afterwards the group will have lunch and the training aspect of the event. We will first cover the volunteer process; how someone becomes involved in the youth ministry. We will next cover what the volunteer roles are that we need in the Youth Ministry. We actually need not only relational people, but also those who are gifted administratively, and with specific talents – in music, drama, video, multimedia, etc. We will then go over what we see as being the “essentials” of youth ministry. There is not one type of person who can do youth ministry. However there are some essentials every volunteer needs to have and be growing in. Finally, we will talk about of the “keys” or wisdom that volunteers need to know to be effective in working with teens. It is not about just “hanging” out with teens – it’s helping them to individually learn how to follow Jesus in their lives.
If this sounds like something you want to explore, I would invite you to use this link to register for the “Youth Ministry Preview and Training Event.” You can go to this link: www.restonbible.org/youthpreview
Coming to this event does not mean you are committing to join the Youth Ministry Volunteer staff. However it will allow you to hear, see, and experience what Youth Ministry at RBC looks like and be able to make an informed choice on applying to volunteer with us. It is our goal to identify those who want to join us and begin working with them over the summer to be ready by the fall. If you have any questions or want any other information, please contact Lee Banton at email@example.com
Bob Shull, Sr. High Youth Pastor
Did you know that if you rake leaves for First Fruits, or provide a job for volunteers to do, or donate to First Fruits – you are also helping high school students achieve their dream of going to college? Over the past three years, thanks to the blessings of First Fruits, RBC has helped 18 students realize their dream of going to college by awarding Perseverance Scholarships (totaling over $19K) to graduating seniors at several local high schools (including Herndon, Parkview, Dominion, and Potomac Falls). The scholarship celebrates not the success that may come from persevering, but more importantly the proven character of the person who has persevered and in the process become a positive example and source of encouragement for their peers.
The scholarship recipients have had to overcome (and continue to endure, in some cases) a wide array of challenges – from financial hardships, language barriers, bullying, depression, family illness and severe debilitating injuries, to unstable homes, abuse, homelessness, divorce, and immigrating alone to the United States. Each recipient has demonstrated remarkable courage and strength of character in how they have chosen to persevere. Keep reading to learn more about two of the 2014 inspiring scholarship recipients.
ASHLYN’S STORY: Ashlyn, in the process of dealing with financial hardships, abuse, and mental illness at home, became not only an exceptional student with a 4.1 GPA, but also helped others to gain their voice and develop their talents. As a tutor she helped peers overcome academic challenges and as President of the Freethinkers Club, she encouraged others to speak freely and openly in a safe environment. Her great love for literature and music includes looking beyond the text or words for the deeper, unspoken meaning. She is much like the music she loves. As she quoted Victor Hugo in her scholarship application, “music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.” Thankfully, Ashlyn did not remain silent. She reached out for help and has started sharing her story and is encouraging others to reach out and have hope. A year ago, Ashlyn didn’t think college would be an option. She is now in her first year at George Mason in the honors program and plans to major in English Literature and Music. (To learn more about Ashlyn in her own words, click here.)
JUAN’S STORY: Juan is another 2014 scholarship recipient who has overcome early setbacks in life, five years in the foster care system and difficulties at home and school. But, instead of giving up and dropping out as he had seen so many friends and family members do, he took the radical step at the end of his Junior year in high school of turning away from the poor influences in his life. In one short year, he had an extensive impact on his football team, his school community, and his youth group. He is now known by his peers for his moral fiber, leading not only with words but also his actions. He is widely respected for always encouraging others on and off the playing field and for his positive attitude. He is a true team player. On his high school football team – he played every position except line and was unanimously selected as captain and MVP. He has great compassion for others enduring hard times and looks for opportunities to come alongside to help and encourage others to not give up. In his senior year, he even packed two lunches – one for himself and one to give away. He also takes great pride in a job well done – learning that “that regardless of the job assigned you should always do it to the best of your ability.” Juan is also known for his faith and desire to share the truth of Jesus Christ with those that are struggling. He speaks from experience and gives the glory to Christ in his key verses “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13) and “sanctify them in your truth Lord. Your word is truth.” Juan is an exceptional leader and is currently studying business.
If you are interested in partnering with us in First Fruits, get more information or sign up at www.restonbible.org/firstfruits
First Fruits is a service project that has rallied the RBC church body for over 25 years. It is a unique serving opportunity for families, shepherd groups, and individuals to come together and make a difference in the lives and families in our area who are in need of help and encouragement. In addition to providing food and support to local families, a portion of the funds raised goes to what we call the Perseverance Scholarship. This is a scholarship we offer in several local high schools to seniors who desire to further their education. The scholarship celebrates not only the success that may come from persevering, but more importantly the proven character of the person who has persevered and in the process become a positive example and source of encouragement for their peers. This year, Ashlyn was one of the recipients of the Perseverance Scholarship. This is her story.
– – –
I want to say thank you to Reston Bible Church for helping me go to college by giving me a Perseverance Scholarship. I am now a freshman in the Honors College at George Mason University. One year ago I never thought it would be possible to go to college. After my junior year all my friends were starting to visit colleges and were asking where I wanted to go. All I could think was “there is no way that this is ever going to happen” for me. Things were too complicated in my life to consider the idea of going to college – I had no hope that I would be able to go.
For much of the past nine years, I’ve felt like my life was a tornado of devastation. From my father losing his job, to family bankruptcy, to losing our house, to moving from state to state, to growing tension between my parents, to my sister suffering from severe depression and an eating disorder… the list goes on. Watching all this and seeing the impact on my family as a whole left me feeling like I had to be the rock for my family. I had to be strong and supportive- hide my own anxiety and misery and fears to be there for them. I felt so brittle, so alone and weak.
In all of this the toughest challenge was living with my father. Ever since I was a child, my father controlled every living aspect of my sister’s, mother’s, and my life. He was an alcoholic and had been clinically diagnosed with major depression and a personality disorder. He took his medication with scotch and sometimes with a sleeping pill and was abusive toward us. He was incredibly manipulative and gained control over us through “mind games” which included taking guns and knives out and threatening to use them to get his way. Countless times I had to confront him- once lying on top of a rifle to stop my father from loading it. My father’s controlling behavior isolated us and as a result, we never knew how dysfunctional our family was until we finally reached out for help.
After many months of planning and many years of contemplation, this past Mother’s Day my mother moved my sister and me to another place – taking our first steps towards freedom and independence. Even though our future is still questionable and slightly daunting due to our current financial difficulties and present circumstances, moving away from my father has proven to be the catalyst for hope and new beginnings. And I am certain that any future challenges ahead will not be nearly as hard as what we have already overcome.
I couldn’t have done it without all of the support I received from people around my community. Organizations such as Child Protective and especially Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS). My friends and teachers have all been supportive of me. And, I am so grateful for the generosity and kindness of my drama teacher, Mrs. Young, and her family. All these people supported me through all of my adversity and have honestly saved my life.
One example I experienced that showed me how things can change for the better is, I remember, sitting down at the dinner table with my drama teacher’s family and being absolutely stunned – there was no screaming, no yelling, tension, crying, negative energy. Everyone was talking pleasantly and eating together. I had never experienced anything like this before. It was so simple, such a day-to-day activity this family had with each other, but to me it was so much more. It gave me hope that real happy, loving families exist. It was an experience I will never forget.
During the early and middle stages of my situation, I was hesitant to reach out for help because I thought it showed weakness. However, I found it is really the most important thing you can do. It shows strength in that you are brave enough to ask for help. At first it is hard to reveal your weaknesses to others, but later you realize it is better to get help then struggle on your own. It is quintessential to seek help when you are in a difficult situation; hiding that pain, anxiety, and stress only lets it fester and build up until you explode. There is always someone out there to help, and there is always hope for better days, no matter what. My counselor and others have helped me realize that the past does not define you- you do not have to be held back something you are not able to change or control. You can move past it and grow from it. The tough times and downfalls I’ve experienced have made me a stronger and wiser individual, and ultimately has taught me to persevere and never give up.
I hope sharing my story will encourage others to reach out for help in order to start a better future for their lives. Starting my new chapter in life at George Mason as part of the Honors College is a dream come true. Thank you to all those that have contributed to First Fruits in any way that made the Perseverance Scholarship possible in order for me to attain my dream of going to college and to know that nothing is impossible.
– – –
For more information on First Fruits and how you can get involved, check out www.restonbible.org/firstfruits.