Thursday, October 3, 2013

Magic Moments: The First TNT

As I recall, Todd did NOT win!
Before I get started this morning, I just have to say-- How 'bout them Rays?!

It's another Throwback Thursday, and for today's youth ministry Magic Moment we take the way-back machine back to High Point, NC and my days at Springfield Friends Meeting.  The "moment" was the night we gave birth to a ministry changing and life-altering program called TNT. Seems like only yesterday...

In the Fall of 1987 the youth ministry of Springfield Friends Meeting was a tiny little band of excited students who wanted to take what we were doing to the community we lived in.  Thus began our new outreach program, which we called TNT.  What TNT stood for was a little up for grabs.  Sometimes it meant "That New Thing."  Sometimes it meant "The Next Thing."  For the most part, we just stuck with TNT!  It was going to be a Young Life style meeting, with lots of craziness and a brief devotional time. We had spent a month advertising and talking about it, building interest and enthusiasm throughout the community. I had been hanging out at lunch at the high schools trying to convince students how cool this was going to be.  Some of the Trinity High School cheerleaders, friends of our own Robin Simmons, were coming to be part of a pie eating contest (see picture- that's Todd Farlow!).  Not much else about that first Monday night stands out in my memory.  There are a few things I am certain of.  I am certain that we sang, and that one of the songs was the old Olivia Newton John classic Let Me Be There.  The song became a theme song of sorts for us, and was also the last song I ever played and sang with the youth of Springfield at our farewell party in 1994.  I am certain there was a melodrama, and that it almost certainly included a character named Pup (which, spelled backwards, is Pup!).  I am certain we played several games, including our own version of the MTV classic Remote Control.  And I am absolutely certain it was the start of something wonderful.

Shelley Godwin, Mummy, Jon Moran & Robin Simmons
That first TNT did not attract huge numbers.  That came later.  Eventually we would pull in non-Springfield students from Trinity, Southern Guilford, Ragsdale and High Point Central High Schools, as well as from the middle schools that fed them.  Students and leaders from Archdale Friends Meeting and High Point Friends Meeting became regulars at our Monday night event.  There would be times when we would draw as many as 80 youth to TNT.  In later years we would drive 30 minutes to Greensboro to take kids home after the program.  TNT did the three things we wanted it to do almost immediately.  It connected us to lots of new students in our community and helped us to connect them with Jesus.  It put Springfield on the map as "the place to be" for student ministry.  And it gave our students an outreach ministry.  TNT would have never succeeded if our youth had not invited their friends.  Amy SimmonsTodd FarlowJennifer WoodLaurie ReesHeather Beggs, Jill Gilbreth, Mike Mercadante and many others were much more responsible for our success over the years than I was. We were eventually named a national Youth Group pf the Mnnth by Youth! Magazine.  And we had a great time doing it!

I've been gone from Springfield for nearly 20 years now, but I often think about those days and all of the wonderful people I came to know and love.  It always strikes me that so many of the youth who were a part of my life I would have never have even known were it not for TNT.   That ministry was used by God to change all of Springfield Friends Meeting, not just the youth department.  We were faithful, and God blessed us.  It was a magical moment that lasted for 7 years.  And in youth ministry, that's saying something...

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous10/03/2013

    Yes sir, those were some excellent times! The level of innovation seems even bigger now that it did then, which is amazing. Thanks for that and the many other things you did for us all. Hard to believe it's been 20 years!

    Danny McCorquodale

    1. Thanks, Danny- they were indeed great times! And I have video evidence of you playing a bouncer at a KISS concert at the Betsy B to prove just how innovative we could all get!!! Your family needs to see that someday... Hope you guys are well!

    2. Anonymous10/05/2013

      I remember that concert well! Good ole Bestsy B - a lot of cereal, cookie dough, and great times went down there. Jon and Mike were masterminds of creativity that day! I'd love for Zoe and Aubrey to see that, they'd get a real kick out of it. We're doing well, hope you are too!


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