God transformed my life because of the Foursquare family, and it was all because a small Foursquare church had a plan and a strategy to reach the next generation.
My life today is unrecognizable to the life I had before I met Jesus. As a young man growing up in the largest trailer park in the U.S., I had my share of troubles. My father, who had been abused as a child by his father, had repeated the cycle with me.
By the time I was 16, I had been in a gang, experienced multiple arrests, and was a drug dealer. That I am a Foursquare pastor today is nothing short of a miracle.
An arrest for an assault with a deadly weapon landed me in juvenile hall, and for what can only be explained as divine intervention, it turned out to be my last stay there. Following my release, a woman from a local Foursquare church sponsored me to go to camp, where I met and surrendered my life to Jesus. That same church welcomed me into their family with open arms when I returned home, and I was mentored and taught what it means to be a man of God.
Because of you, my Foursquare family, my kids will never know what it’s like to have their dad hauled off in handcuffs. My wife will never know what it’s like to have bruises on her arms. My son will never know what it’s like to go to school and have to lie about a black eye on his face.
This is why I’m passionate about Foursquare today and reaching the next generation. Generation Z is the largest generation in the world today. In the U.S. alone, they are 26 percent of the total population. U.S. pastors: Generation Z is your largest people group.
NextGen ministry doesn’t have to be flashy or cost a lot of money. But it will cost our movement and the kingdom of God if we don’t have a strategy to reach our young people.
My challenge to you, pastor and leader, is to commit to, and invest in, NextGen and camping ministries. Let’s be expectant, believing that God is going to continue to transform lives at camps.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 edition of Foursquare Leader magazine. Find more articles celebrating the next generation.