Vision

Zero Gravity is the student ministry of Calvary Chapel Sarasota.

Luke 18:16, “But Jesus called the children to Him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Hear

Firstly, The Block to be a place where young people weekly hear Jesus calling them to Him, through the teaching, through the worship and through the leaders.  God is always wooing us to Him, to be His children.  “Let the little children come to me.”

Picture: A fourteen year old girl tells a school friend in response to her friend’s brokenness,  “Come and meet Jesus at youth tonight, you will hear of Him, He knows your trouble and wants to show what real love is.”  That girl comes to The Block, hears us praising Jesus, hears us talking to Jesus, experiences us loving like Jesus and hears me (and the leaders) talking about Jesus, and prays to Jesus with a leader/her friend.

Un-Hindered

Secondly, “and do not hinder them.”  I would like us to be a people that remove all hindrances from people coming to Christ.  Being known as a group who welcomes all people to Christ no matter who they are, whether they like Star Trek, computers or surfing, skating, biking or National Geographic.  All are welcome to a saving relationship with Christ Jesus.

Picture: After the message is given and the worship is over I see small clusters of leaders praying with the youth in ones and small groups.  I see the youth coming to the leaders with questions and prayer requests because they know the leaders are willing and equipped.  I see children crying tears of joy and sadness as the Spirit moves in their lives through the ministry of the leaders.

I see youth and leaders coming to me because they know I am available to pray with them, listen to them and give them biblical counsel when necessary.  I see myself addressing relevant issues with biblical truth one-on-one with youth and leaders as the Spirit moves in their life.

Holding-Fast

And finally, I want us to be kids.  Jesus ends by saying, “for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Children had no rights, possessions, money or anything in Jewish culture.  I want them to understand that only if they abandon all their supposed rights, possessions, social image/standing, fleshly/worldly desires, then only will they know Christ intimately and be truly fulfilled.  I want them to hold-fast to Christ, to totally let go of their former selves and grab onto Christ with both hands!

A little child fully trusts their daddy.  A little child walks holding their dad’s hand and looking up at him as they walk.  The child totally has their eyes on their daddy and doesn’t watch where they are walking because they know that their dad has their back and is totally looking after them.  They trust their dad because they know who he is, they know his character, because from birth they have always just hung out with dad, they have totally relied on him for everything.  That is what I would want from the peer leaders/adult volunteers firstly, and then the youth.  To be a youth of people holding our heavenly Father’s hand, totally trusting Him because we know Him from spending every day with Him in absolute reliance.  Where He leads us we will go.

Picture: Young people leaving for Africa and Asia to go and share the gospel to other nations.  Young people going to Bible College to learn how to be pastors and worship leaders.  Young people starting prayer groups and bible studies at school without me asking them to.  Young people going to college for business/medicine/engineering and leading class mates and professors to Jesus.  Young people graduating high school and deciding to become active members of CCS by volunteering in ministries or starting Bible studies.

Youth Pastor

Sean Howard

I am Sean Howard, and this is my beautiful wife Natalia. I have the fantastic privilege of serving as the Youth Pastor at Calvary Chapel Sarasota (CCS).  I also am extremely fortunate to have my wife serve beside me in ministering to the youth of CCS.  I am a born and bread South African.  I moved to America in 2009 to marry Natalia, who is an American and “Bradentonian”.  Many immediately ask how we met, which turns out to be a good question for this page.  Both of us joined an organization called Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in 2007, and happened to both choose to go and serve at the base on the island of Maui starting in the Spring of that year.  So we were on the same team together.  YWAM had a huge effect on both of our walks with the Lord.

I grew up in a very good Christian home but only fully committed my life to Christ in about 2003 when a friend from High School reached out to me and invited me to a Bible study and ultimately to his church.  It was through him, the Bible study, that church body and the power of the cross that I began to walk with the Lord.  Natalia was saved while attending a youth event held by younglife.  However both of us can testify that our walk with the Lord exploded and was “greenhoused” by our time in YWAM.  We spent a year an a half serving with them, and it was on a trip back to South Africa (SA) to serve my church in SA that I asked Natalia to marry me.  As you can see she said “yes”.  We were married on September 26 2009 and two weeks after I had my work permit the leadership of CCS approached me to ask me to serve as the Youth Pastor.

It has been amazing being a part of this church body and seeing how they love the Lord, and know the Word.  I have grown greatly in my walk with Jesus sitting under Pastor Carl Dixon’s teaching, working with the staff here, and “fellowshipping” with the fellow believers of this particular body of Christ.  I am always excited to see what the Lord is doing in and through the Youth here at CCS.  I really am just a vessel through which He works, and it has been amazing watching the Lord work in the lives of the youth here, as well as in my life and in my marriage as we have trusted God in the task He has given us for this time.