Pastor’s Blog


We are less than a week away from one of the most dynamic and powerful events in our youth ministry, not to mention our entire church: Disciple Now! If you aren’t familiar with Disciple Now (or DNow), this is a weekend retreat for youth that helps them grow in their discipleship — hence the name. Throughout the weekend, they participate in large group sessions with a message and worship music, intense small group Bible studies, and recreation that you have to see to believe. Middle and high school students are divided into smaller groups by age and gender and stay in church members’ homes (e.g., someone gets the 6th grade boys…and an even greater reward in heaven for doing so). Disciple Now is always a spiritual high point in the lives of our youth, and one of the single greatest opportunities they have for inviting friends, classmates, and neighbors to learn more about Jesus.

Taking place February 16–19, our theme this year is “Priceless: Finding Your Value in Christ,” and we’ve invited Ben Markham as our guest speaker. Ben serves Discovery Church in Orlando as Lead Student Pastor and is a veteran speaker for Disciple Now. Ben will be joined by a familiar face to many at First Baptist Church, as Paulo Clayton returns to us to lead the musical worship. Prior to serving as the Associate Worship Pastor at Discovery Church, Paulo led worship for our contemporary service for many years. The youth will culminate their weekend in worship on Sunday morning as Ben brings the message in both services.

To have the greatest possible impact on the lives of these youth, it takes an entire church to do Disciple Now. The church provides host homes, small group leaders, drivers (especially on Saturday), and food for these hungry teenagers — lots of food… as in we would use Publix as a host home if they would let us. If you’re interested in helping out or would like more information, contact Emilee Fleming. For any youth who would like to participate, register online by Monday, February 13 at The price for the entire weekend is only $65, which covers the cost of the conference, all of your meals, and a DNow t-shirt.

Let us all be in prayer before, during, and after Disciple Now as the Lord uses this short weekend to change lives forever.

~ Josh