A few years ago I started a consulting contract at Westside Kings Church in Calgary. I was tasked with building a healthy, well balanced and sustainable youth ministry and building a team to make that happen. At that time I could identify about 30 – 35 students and 3.5 volunteers.
Recently, I spoke at a retreat with the students from Westside Kings Church. We had an awesome weekend. This past weekend we had 64 students and 12 leaders at the retreat. God did some great stuff in students hearts and some broken relationships were mended. A number of students who have been on the edge of the group were sucked right into the middle and the sense of community and unity grew by leaps and bounds. The cabin discussion times were great and God challenged some students to go beyond just being Sunday Christians and instead become sold out Jesus followers. Some students are beginning to face some areas of deep brokenness and addictions in their lives. The volunteers are absolutely fantastic. They were fully engaged with the students and are carrying on building relationships with the students that have the potential to be life changing for both the leader and the students. It was a fantastic, beyond all we could ask or think weekend.
Here is part of an email one parent wrote after the retreat:
We just want to send a big thank you to you and the leaders who made the road trip something that our daughter and son looked forward to as well as came back from changed. You are challenging them to be more as followers of Jesus Christ and I think they see their world differently for this reason. This community is important to them and I think they feel a connection to be a part of it more than any other.
The work at Westside Kings is not complete by a long shot but God has allowed us to see amazing growth in both numbers and in spiritual depth in the students. They are building a great foundation to a healthy, well balanced and sustainable youth ministry planted in that church.