Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Doing together what we couldn't do alone.
Last March, a group of youth pastors who barely knew each other met together at Applebees for lunch. After a couple monthly lunch meetings, we sensed that this was a group of believers who wanted to work together and do some big things for the Kingdom. So we asked them in May to consider doing a school year kick off event. We had an idea for a band. That idea didn't work out - but something better did. One of our youth pastors, Larry Georgiana from New Life Covenant Church of God in Markleysburg, had seen a band at Acquire The Fire and had contacted them about coming to his church. However, his church was too small and the price tag too large. So he brought the idea to the next youth network meeting (June). We agreed that this was the band we needed to pursue (Michael Gungor Band) and found out later that they were actually the opening band for Downhere and that our event would be the first stop on their tour. Another youth pastor used his connections to get us a great venue at a fraction of the cost and that fraction was covered by someone he knew. Then we needed a little more help - a downpayment of $1750 was needed to secure the bands. That was half the total fee. So we asked churches to pre-buy 10 tickets at $10 per ticket. Around 10 churches did so with some of those purchasing more than 10. That enabled us to pay the deposit - praise God! After this, we divided up the work (many volunteers were needed) among our churches and that night 350 students came (exactly what we needed to pay for the bands. A local Christian University, Waynesburg University, co-sponsored the event with a generous grant that covered the lodging and meals. At least 20 youth groups brought students who were challenged to participate in See You At The Pole (we had some of our highest numbers ever this year) and to pray/reach out to their friends at school who don't know Christ. No one church could've pulled all of this off, but God blessed the efforts of His people working together!
This same basic thing has been done by a group of four youth pastors in the Murrysville area for the past three years now. That event is called IGNITION and we had 700 students from 30+ youth groups at the one this past September. These guys have proven that working together over the long haul is even more effective. This has become a $6000 budget event - and we've made a profit the past couple years! Together, these two events impacted 1000 students - our vision is to see that thousand take the gospel to school with them everyday this school year and to impact thousands more.