Monday, March 28, 2011

Transfusion & Transition

Alex, Lexi, Santa and Ariel
 As we began the 2002-2003 school year at Wesley Memorial UMC we welcomed a new group of 6th grade students into the student ministry.  Being a small group, our high school and middle school students were all part of the same ministry.  That was not our problem.  Our problem, as I have mentioned before, is that just prior to my arrival the group had lost a number of high school students who had been important leaders in the group.  Then shortly after my arrival our senior pastor was moved, taking his two very popular teenagers with him.  And finally, two other very established youth (their mom was our children's director) had become so deeply immersed in soccer that after our 2002 Myrtle Beach trip we seldom saw them again.  The remaining youth were having a hard time adjusting to life without all of these departed friends.  Some of the older girls were on the verge of bailing out on me because they no longer had close friends around.  It was tough.  We needed some new blood.

Cullen & Colton
 Enter the new 6th graders.  Lots of them.  As I have mentioned in posts about previous stops in my career, every now and then you can see a class of students coming from a mile away that you know will change your group for forever.  This bunch was clearly going to provide us with the transfusion we desperately needed.  Included in this amazing group were kids who would go on to change that ministry- Zach Wehr, Colton Myers, Skylar Rogers, Cullen O'Brien, Matthew Preston, Alexis Woods, Alexandra Smith, Ariel Ringo and many more.  They hit the ground running and never looked back.  Their presence allowed some of the returning students to assume the role of mentors, and soon I could feel the ministry starting to take off...

But to go along with our transfusion, we also needed a transition.  It was time to cut some ties with the past and head in a new direction.  If we wanted to start hitting on all cylinders, we had to take our Sunday meetings, our Wednesday bible study and our fellowship events up a notch.  We had to change the way we did worship.  We needed to change the space we used for our meetings.  And we needed to refocus our ministry on Jesus.   Come back Wednesday and I'll tell you some of the radical changes that turned that "youth group" into Graceland!

Because of Jesus,


  1. Yay!!! I may have to stay up all night to be the first to read your blog on Wednesday.

  2. LOL Zach! I usually post around 5:45 AM on Wednesdays because I have an early bus to catch. So you can get some sleep...

  3. Anonymous3/28/2011

    Looking forward to seeing how you handled the transition. Change is so hard for churches- at least itis for mine. Thaks for sharing your experience. - Tim T.


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