Hanging Out at The Hangout

February 1, 2014

The HangoutWhen I first took over the Student Ministry at New Life just over 2 years ago, I wanted to look for different opportunities to use the nZone as a way to reach out to teenagers all over the area.  Out of that brainstorm of ideas came an event called the “Hangout”.

The reason why we started the “Hangout” is because we wanted to provide students with a fun, safe place to go on a Friday night.  Teens desperately want to do something on Friday nights.  They’ve had a long week and they want to get out with their friends and socialize.  Despite all the mischief students get into on the weekends, I don’t believe that all of them desire to cause trouble.  It just happens, especially when there isn’t something out there for them to do.

The “Hangout” is really simple.  We get together on Friday nights and play games.  Usually they are turf games but we occasionally have a Wii and/or movie playing.  I did something like this when I was at another Church but nothing where I had the ability to use multiple turf fields, basketball courts and a multipurpose room.  The response has been overwhelmingly good and we are currently looking for more activities we can do as we are drawing between 75 and 100 middle and highs school students regularly.

The great thing about the “Hangout” is that the relationships we have started with so many students there have caused us to continue to minister to them in other areas.  For instance, two years ago, we started a summer camp that will kick-off it’s 3rd year at the end of June.  The goal of that time was to continue to minister and build relationships with them as well as help meet some of their other needs by providing lunch and snack for them whereas they may not normally have that opportunity.  In addition, last year we stared an After School program for elementary school kids at Virginia Run.

As we look to continue to minister to these teens, it becomes increasingly clear to me that God is using these times as opportunities for them to discover God and for adults to deploy into their lives by being an adult role model that some of them may never have.

So I want to put a call out to all adults, young or old.  God is doing some great and exciting things here and we are just beginning to scratch the surface.  We are looking for adults who have a caring heart, who can run around and play with them (especially soccer players) and who have a desire to share the love of Christ with students who really need a positive, godly influence in their lives.

– Tom Pounder



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