My wife and I volunteer in the middle school ministry at our church, Journey Community Church, and yesterday was a banner Sunday for us. Nope, nothing to do with attendance!
First, we had a new middle school pastor start. We’ve been at this church for 5 ½ years, and this is our third middle school pastor in that time (plus three distinct phases of interim time). Not that I’m completely free from blame – the last guy now works at YS.
We’re pumped to have Josh – the new guy. I got some funny stories about him from his last church and put together a little powerpoint game about him. And we invited josh to join our small group (which happens to be all middle school volunteers) at our house after church for a pool party (may 1 seemed a good day to have our first pool party of the year!).
As excited as I am about Josh, I’m really pumped about the other reason yesterday was a banner day. Our middle school ministry (riptide) started connecting with One Life Revolution (the program YS started with World Vision to mobilize north American teenagers to provide help for AIDS orphans in Zambia) last year. But this year, they really seem to have caught a vision for it. This is mostly due to a few of the leaders really catching a vision for it.
So, riptide is doing a variety show as a fundraiser next Saturday. The acts are all middle schoolers, volunteers in the ministry, and a few parents. But what has blown me away is how much our church has gotten behind this (our church seems to normally be more along the “if we can’t see the teenagers, everything must be OK over there” mindset). Yesterday, our pastor preached on suffering, using extensive clips from Hotel Rwanda; and I was able to make an extended announcement for our OLR variety show. We had a display table set up outside (this is San Diego, after all – all our ministry “booths” and such are outside), and we were swarmed with people. We had a bucket on the table for people to give who won’t be able to come to the show on Saturday. Our kids were hoping to raise the $3200 needed to build a house for a family of orphans, and had already given about $1000 themselves. Well, when we counted up all the money given so far, we’re already at $5500!
So, now we’re hoping to get to $10,000, so we can give a clean-water well to a village. I’ll update you after the variety show on Saturday.