Working together with the local church…

Posted on by Tacoma YFC

Growing up, one of my favorite TV shows was the "A Team". Although Mr. T with his gold chains and "I pity the fool!" attitude gathered quite a bit of attention, it was the words of Hannibal, the group's leader, that stuck in my mind.  With cigar tucked in the corner of his mouth, he would say "I love it when a plan comes together" at the end of every successful mission. 

I, too, love it when plans come together. I love it even more when that successful plan includes partnerships and collaboration.  The other day Ken Schmidtke, 25 year Tacoma YFC/Campus Life director, shared the story of Graham area ministry through a note written by Justin Henderson, youth pastor at the Church at Cedar Springs.  Check it out:

A year ago, our church had no significant involvement in our community. It felt that we were simply waiting for others to come to us. We desired to get into the local schools and work with other churches, but there was no clear avenue to make it happen. We were becoming desperate. One day, fed up with navel gazing in my office, I remember crying out to God, asking him to push us beyond the walls of our building. Then came a miracle. Not long after this prayer, a member of our youth group approached me with a card from another local youth pastor. She stated that this youth pastor was hanging out with kids in her junior high lunch room and was interested in meeting me. 

I had no idea that this other youth pastor, Tim Smyth, was running a Campus Life ministry. Actually, I had no idea that Campus Life even existed in our area. Tim and I met for coffee and he asked me to attend the final club gathering at the end of the school year. At club, I was astounded. There were over 50 kids! They played games, shared the gospel and served root beer floats. I had seen nothing like this in my life- on the school campus, directly after school and the gospel is being presented with an opportunity for salvation. Several kids accepted Christ that day. 

Our church has not been the same since. This last year, we joined Tim and now help lead Campus Life at two schools, Frontier Junior High and Graham-Kapowsin High School. Our church is learning from Youth for Christ. We are becoming more outreach focused. Our people are moving beyond the safety of our church and into the community. We are now serving in all sorts of capacities, in several schools and neighborhoods. And we are partnering with other churches. Our youth group recently joined Tim Smyth's youth group for an all-nighter, located at another church in our community!  We have begun discussing ways that we can gather all the area pastors to meet and pray together. 

I am immensely thankful for impact that YFC has laid on our church. It has started us on a brand new path. 

What a great picture of Kingdom partnership and reaching kids together as the body of Christ! Thank you, Ken, Justin and Tim for passion to reach kids in Graham with the great news of Jesus!

Part of our mission statement says "working together with the local church." To learn more about Campus Life ministry sites, CLICK HERE

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