Our church is mostly an “old” church. It has stood in this community for over 50 years. Needless to say, our community has changed around us. It went from basically a “Navy” town with traditional families to a crime, drug and violence filled area. The traditional family is almost non-existent. We had about 5 youth who were our regulars. I am the Children’s Director and could see that our kids were growing up and finding other places to be. Our Youth Pastor left and the church decided to form a Youth Council until another Youth Pastor could be found. When they asked if my husband and I could be part of this Youth Council and asked my husband to lead it. My first response was, “We work with kids not youth!” We have raised three great daughters but we were finally teen free in our home. God had other plans.
After MUCH prayer we joined the Youth Council and what an adventure! We instituted a TNT (Thursday Nights Together) as a time every other Thursday for our youth to invite other youth to come and play football, basketball, volleyball, ping pong, etc. It took off! We started with about 16 our first night and the number kept building all throughout summer to top off at about 56. When the school year started we tried to think of a way to get the kids that were part of our TNT group to come and be part of our Church group. The answer was to change the night of this event to Wednesday Nights. We figured that the numbers would probably decrease, but we wanted to be so much more than just their babysitters. Two weeks ago was the first Wednesday night. We had not only 36 youth show up, but 36 of their little brothers and sisters followed them, along with a couple parents. We sent all the teens into our normal Youth Bible Study and the kids joined me in Team kid. We were blown away, as God has a tendency to do. Week 2, again we figures that now that the kids knew they had to go to Bible Study that our number would be down. WRONG! God sent 40 youth and 40 children. This goes to show you that God can use anyone. He does not need flashy or expensive. We just need to be available. By the way, our current Sunday School attendance is about 90 for ages 0 – 99!