Experiencing a Networking Vision Transition
Nick and I both share a vision for ministering to our local campuses. This has been on my heart since I arrived to the Sunland/Tujunga community. Unfortunately in the time of B.N. (Before Nick), my effectiveness as well as the opportunities have been limited. As Nick and I began to talk and share this vision and as the vision began to take shape, doors began to open.
Last year, Nick and I became connected with Young Life. In brief, they are a campus outreach ministry designed to share the gospel in a fun and relevant way. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with YL or you want more information you can check out their website.
Unfortunately, Young Life does not have meetings at our local high school. The area director, to which our school is assigned, currently holds meetings at two other campuses.( If you know YL, than you know that ministry on one campus is huge undertaking. There is contact work to be done besides meetings.) This left us with a dilemma. How could we partner with Young Life to impact our high school?
Nick decided he would try to bring YL to our campus by leading it and was doing a great job. He invited me and a few of my leaders as well as another youth pastor in our area to jump on board and help out. Despite the support and efforts, Nick was overly committed and extra time involved organizing YL was taking its toll on him. He finally had to step down.
Enter Youth With A Mission. I have been connected with YWAM through a strange set of circumstances for the past few years. A few of the people that attend our church are part of the Los Angeles YWAM base (our close proximity has made this possible). Through passing discussions on their base about our youth ministry program, I was connected with the Freedom Project LA team.
Since then, there has been a mutual inclusion, allowing us to be part of their activities as well as sending interns to be exposed to our particular ministry setting.
I received a visit from my friends in YWAM after a hiatus of communication for approximately 9 months. It seems they are really interested in re-developing our past relationship and taking it further. They are interested in community impact but also impacting the local campuses (God’s timing is seriously ridiculous).
What does each group bring to the table?
- YWAM has a history of quality skits, dance teams, and outreach techniques
- Nick and I have relationships with students and campus staff
- YWAM has personnel and trained leaders equipped to evangelize
- Nick and I have hearts and skills to disciple students
How is this mutually beneficial?
- YWAM gets the opportunity to train their staff through a hands-on local program
- Nick and I get to work with talented individuals whose programs are hard to duplicate in the small church setting
- Students in our community are not only impacted but have the opportunity to become active in the local church
I would encourage you to seek outside of the church and look towards para-church organizations as well. There are some great organizations out there that can compliment what you are doing and vice-versa. Find a local Young Life Club and get onto the campus and maybe help their area director. See if there is a YWAM base nearby and team up with them to help train their students and improve the quality of your own ministry. Get connected with the campus Christian Club. Is Campus Crusade for Christ active at your local schools? There are tons more!
Our vision for campus and community impact hasn’t been destroyed. I like to think that God has refined that vision and brought it into focus. Nick and I shared what I believe was a God given vision; it was only the execution that remained veiled. A God given vision is always accomplished. Tthe vehicle for that vision may change along the way.
Has there been a time in your ministry where you had envisioned something being accomplished in one fashion but that vehicle ended up being somewhat or vastly different?