Dodge Ball at Sojourn

Posted: April 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

When I was kid dogs were free to roam the neighborhood.  Some dogs would chase cars.  They would run behind or beside the car and bark. I used to wonder; What is he going to do if he catches the car?  I think we’ve caught the car, and like so many dogs, we don’t know what to do with it.

We’ve created a buzz at sojourn with an event that is popular and well-attended.  On a typical Friday night 40 to 50 teenagers come out to play dodge ball.  We’ve had super high attendance 150 at one time, and we’ve had low nights, 20 or less.  There are many regulars and each week we see several new people.

In 30 years of ministry (25 as a Youth Pastor) we’ve never seen such consistent success in a ministry event.  A typical youth event will consist of mostly the youth group and some of their friends from other churches.  There may be 10% or less visitors and non-believers.

But this is the opposite.  We’ve drawn the huge crowd of non-believers to church.  Now what?

Are you looking for a ministry opportunity that is really the “front-lines” in evangelism?  Are you wanting a way to obey God in sharing the Gospel?  Do you want to make a huge impact in teenager’s lives while also glorifying God?

This is NOT youth ministry where you walk into a ready-made class of students and teach them a Bible study.  This is NOT a youth ministry where all the kids are generally well-behaved Christian kids.  This is NOT ministry where people know how to act in church, where everyone understands church lingo, where people have been exposed to the Gospel and they are “right there” ready to believe, where there is a typical flow and expectation.   This is NOT your typical ministry.

This is Paul in Athens, Jonah in Nineveh, and Jesus in Capernaum type ministry.  This is you in a room with a bunch of angry, hurting, ill-behaved young people.  They cuss and cut, they lie and steal, they get frustrated and fight.  They are from foster homes and broken homes, some hate to go home and some don’t have a home.  They show up laughing and crying and arguing and yelling and most are excited to see you.  They have have hurt in their heart, a naked picture of their girlfriend on their phone, and bruises from their last fight.  They rarely ask you to tell them about Jesus.

Sometimes we get to tell them about Jesus.  Sometimes they become believers.  It’s rare.

There is no sermon, no band, no videos, no “lesson.”  We don’t have an invitation. We don’t have “visitor cards.”

We play dodge ball.  We love them unconditionally. We model mature and manly behavior (or womanly). We model Christ.  We develop loving relationships.  We engage them in their life.  When the Spirit is ready, He works out a situation where we can share the Gospel.  He always works out situations where we can talk about Jesus, church and the Bible.

But right now we are overrun.  God has brought to us a multitude of people who need to hear the Good News of Christ.  The harvest is plentiful.  The laborers are few.  This is my prayer for the Lord of the Harvest to send laborers.

Contact me if you are ready to get into the field.

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