February 1st // Jeremy Stebbins

Posted on by SpokaneYFC

Who Turns the Tables? 

Where do faith, hope, and love fit into your expectations? How do at-risk youth form expectations day by day? 

A couple weeks ago, one of our volunteers had an idea to change the format of our Skaters In Christ outreach program. This volunteer has been involved with our Unified Underground skate ministry for over a year and brought the idea to the table during our pre-outreach bible study at a local coffee shop. He suggested changing the short, sermon-style talk we have used since we started into a small-group breakout discussion. This past Thursday he carried out this plan and it was a total success! Kids discussed their thoughts and questions on the differences between religion and faith and shared stories from their own experiences in the small groups. The discussion went about three times longer than our standard talks and everyone was engaged in the topic. We ended up with less time to skateboard, but no one complained. It was clear that they wanted to be heard and to ask questions about faith that they have nowhere else to ask. 

After we prayed in our groups and started skating again, another volunteer expressed with wide eyes how deeply the time that night had impacted and inspired him. He told me how talking with these kids is more real than most conversations he has at work or church. Hearing youth tell of their painful circumstances and despair was heartbreaking and demonstrated the great need for long-term relational support. 

How can empowering leaders change the form of a ministry? Giving volunteers an opportunity to manage ministry using their own creative ideas can change how a program looks in remarkable ways. It might shake things up and be uncomfortable at first, but it’s worth it. It’s no coincidence that the passage that started out our small group discussion was of Jesus turning over the tables of the money changers in the temple. Hopefully, we are never so fixed on our traditions that we are like the money changers, holding too tightly to a plan could be compromising to ministry if it gives less opportunity for relationship. Let us be a movement of loving relationships centered on Christ. Let our plans be surrendered to our Lord.



Unified Underground Intern



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