Imagine you are in the 8th grade. One of your friends has invited you to come to his church on Wednesday night. At first, you say no because you haven’t been to church in a while but you are sure that it doesn’t sound like something you would want to do on a random Wednesday night. Church is a place where you have to get dressed up, sit still for over an hour, sing to a bunch of music written before your great-grandparents were born, and listen to an old man tell you how you are going to hell. After your friend assures you that it will be fun you eventually relent and agree to go.
That night your friend and his mom picks you up and drives you to a building that says “warehouse247” on the front. This doesn’t seem normal. As you open the door to the car, you hear music pouring out of the building… good music. As you enter smiling faces from adults and other students greet you. Someone who looks to be at least a junior in high school asks you and your friend if you want to play basketball with him. “Basketball in church!?” You start to notice that there is something different about this place. People are super kind and encouraging. Students who you have never met are asking you to hang out with them. And then when worship starts, you wonder, “is this Christian music?” It says a lot about Jesus but you have never heard Christian music you like so you wonder.
After the music, a person gets up to speak. It seems like he is talking right to you even in a crowd of others. He talks about Jesus and how the Bible is applicable for today. You have never thought that the whole Jesus thing was for you but just maybe it is.
When it’s time to leave your friend asks you “do you want to come again next week?” Without a hesitation, “yes”.
This is a common occurrence on Wednesday nights in warehouse247. We have students who have spent their whole lives in church and others who have rarely (if ever) stepped foot in church. Our goal is that both groups and everyone in between grows closer to God. In Psalms 122:1 David writes: “I was glad to go to the house of the LORD.” That’s what we want every middle and high school student to say on Wednesday nights. We don’t serve a boring God or a dead God. We serve a God that is alive and more awesome than anyone can comprehend and we desire for students to see that.
warehouseWorship is one way that our students choose to carry out our church's vision of “loving God”. We meet together every Wednesday night in warehouse247 to experience fellowship and a worship gathering. We are intentional about creatively designing every aspect of warehouseWorship to point students to their Creator and Savior in a way that is current and relatable.
In 1 Corinthians 9:20-22 Paul writes about how he reaches people who do not yet know the love of Jesus:
20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
You could easily fit the phrase, “I became like a student…” into that passage. We meet students where they are, teach them about Jesus and then let the Holy Spirit work in them. The heart change that can happen when we get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit work is astounding.
Please continue to pray for our student ministry (warehouse247) as we seek disciple students by teaching them to love God, Connect with Others, and Reach their World for Christ.