Walk into Mrs. Pope’s room at Buchanan on a Wednesday at Lunch and you’ll see kids sitting on the floor and lining the walls for Campus Life club. It is thrilling to see that energy and excitement. I am most struck, however, by the adults in the room who are leaders from 3 of the largest churches in North Fresno and Clovis. How beautiful it is when brothers dwell together in unity!
Just this week over 1,000 teens gathered for United Worship and Prayer. Volunteers in the room were mind-blown to see young people so fervent and excited for Jesus. It was loud, it was electric, it was authentic. Just before the event Youth Pastors from over a dozen churches gathered in prayer for these kids and the evening. It was a room filled with trust, love, and shared purpose.
Scenes of unity and collaboration are playing out across the ministry. Over three churches banded together to launch Campus Life in Kerman this year. Two more are doing Clovis North for the first time. Clovis East has three churches working together for it. The list keeps going. Right now over a dozen churches are reaching kids through Campus Life ministry this year!
Youth For Christ is a ministry of the church that lost kids would connect in a Christ-sharing relationship and become lifelong followers of Jesus. We are a vehicle for kids to meet the church and to find a home within it. What God is highlighting this year, like a bright neon sign, is that the kingdom wins when we work together in unity.
“Partnering with Youth for Christ and being part of Campus Life has been such a joy. We work together and rally behind the one goal of reaching and caring for students. This unity has been healing for many leaders and kids. Campus Life is often a great first place for students to invite their friends to learn about Jesus.”
Unity is hard. We have agendas, we have preferences, we have quirks (well, maybe some of us at least!) But we are deciding in youth ministry to focus on who unites us and our common mission as brothers and sisters in Christ. As Youth For Christ facilitates the Youth Network our top secret strategy for success has been to pray together and grow together. I know, it feels too simple right? Well, maybe we make unity harder than it’s meant to be.
Jesus’ literal prayer for us is that we would experience such perfect unity that the world would know it sent Him (John 17:23b NLT). We are experiencing moments of this now in the room at Buchanan, through the Youth Network’s United Worship and Prayer, and through new collaborations in Kerman and Clovis North.
It’s working because it’s not about any one of us. It’s about Jesus and about kids knowing Him.