Monday, November 20, 2006

Great Article in Time... Thanks Jared

Here's a link to a story that I just came across yesterday, thanks to Jared (one of my Sunday night leaders) who handed to it me.

Here's a chunk:
"As the exodus has increased, churches are trying to reverse the flow by focusing less on amusement and more on Scripture. When Chris Reed failed to convert a single youngster during one 12-month period soon after taking over as youth minister at Calvary in 1995, he decided to restructure his young people's program by adding both larger doses of doctrine and closer adult mentoring. Now, religious instruction, based on a model developed by youth pastors at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, centers on five Christian principles--evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and worship.

There's still some fun, games and live-band music in the mix at Calvary, but every youth activity, from scavenger hunts to prayer meetings to scrubbing floors and donating food and clothes at Los Angeles homeless shelters, must relate to one of the principles. Additionally, Reed recruited parents and young adults like Jones to forge bonds with small groups of six to eight teens. The grownups lead weekly Bible studies, help plan missionary trips and monitor the high schoolers' emotional and spiritual well-being with frequent phone calls and face-to-face encounters outside of church. Since Reed's overhaul six years ago, the total youth rolls--including the reconstituted Sunday school and college programs--have grown from 70 to more than 200. In 2003, a record 64 teens accepted Christ as their savior at Calvary. "We're healthy spiritually," Reed says. He adds that even adults who once thought teen members had little to contribute and needed baby sitting welcome their involvement in all church activities."

Chris Reed is a personal friend of mine and guy associated with the same Saddleback "Gathering" of youth workers that I'm a part of. It was incredible to be reading this article and then run across the name of someone that I know! Chris is doing an incredible job running a similiar Student Ministry to what we're running.

God is leading his people back to his purposes!! It's incredible!


1 comment:

  1. The funny thing is that my Plato-based freshman comp class is also more popular than are many of my colleagues' pop-culture-analysis-based classes. I'm not surprised; the old stuff got old because it's better than the stuff that disappeared instead of getting old.

    I suppose the rest of the world just needs to catch back up to those of us who never abandoned the old books, eh? :)