When you put a bunch of kids to work, you can accomplish a lot. A lot took on a little different meaning this weekend in Tyler. Saturday morning, more than 600 students from different backgrounds, different churches and different denominations came together for a common goal.
"Being a servant really feels more like Jesus than any other time in our life, when we are serving," said Green Acres Baptist Student Minister Walter Ballou. This is just part of what has been a week of activity for most of these students. The past several days many of the teens have been spending time together in small groups, or in home meetings. A weekend of discipleship training geared with a new generation in mind, as well as, bringing the church together for one purpose.
"Discipling, or reaching the teenagers in this whole East Texas area," said Ballou. "That's our biggest thing. Now for us together we'll be able to accomplish more, and do more together than we could on our own. That's the unity factor for this and with unity a lot more can be accomplished and reached than just doing it on our own." Projects like Saturday take on many purposes. Service was a key lesson this weekend, and working together on projects like this puts a real face on service as well as building confidence for the future.
"So, it builds character and confidence," said Grace Community Church Student Minister Steve Tanner. "To feel like, hey I'm not the only one out there doing this all alone, so I think this will be just one for the things that will be a joy for students to come together and feel confident and then walk away from a project, like a servant project that they were really part of a project that was bigger than themselves." After these projects were finished Saturday, the students gathered for a evening rally in preparation of the big event on Wednesday night. That's when these teens will work on another project, to bring their friends to a county wide rally called Fish the Planet where the they are praying lives will change.
"This particular weekend, with teenagers they are very cultural, and so the methods change, the message is still the same its the core that we are about, bringing glory to the Father and that is through His Son Jesus Christ and that is what we want to proclaim loud and clear," said Ballou. "Our hope is that they will hear about Christ, and they'll hear about how he can change their life. That will be the message they will hear and through that there are a lot of cool factors, a lot of culture stuff, a lot of fun things. It will just be a cool place to hang out be that night."
"There has been a lot of talk about change lately," said Tanner. "You see it in politics, you see it about everywhere, and ultimately what we want as a group, what we've been praying as a group is that there will be a change in the hearts of students. You know, a lot of our churches don't get together, and this is the one time of the year that our students that are going to lead out and they are going to make change in individual lives and then we hope by the end of the week as we present the Gospel in a very clear way there will be a change in their heart as well, and that change be the very person of Jesus Christ."
Clint Yeatts, Reporting. email@example.com