Disclaimer: I may be a little biased in this next statement. There are few greater joys in a Christian’s life than to see God move in and through the life of a teenager. Yep, a teenager. There, I said it!

I have served in a variety of youth ministry capacities since 1998. I began as a college student at Mississippi State University volunteering with a local church youth ministry and have now served as a full-time youth pastor since 2001. During that time I have seen the glory of God as youth have taken hold of their faith and become bold in surrendering to God’s will in their life. In addition to God’s constant pursuit, there is one other primary constant – the role of youth volunteers who encourage, enlighten, and empower the youth toward knowing and serving Jesus.

Youth volunteers have a tremendous challenge, to be honest. But what I have noticed is that God gives vision, spirit, and purpose to those whom are called to serve with youth. Youth volunteers experience great joy as teenagers ask deep questions, seek honest answers and make crucial decisions during some of the most inquisitive years of their lives. And youth volunteers get to participate in God’s shaping these youth. If that does not get you fired up, I don’t know what will.

Here at Cornerstone Church, we have the greatest youth volunteers, about 72 of them! Our volunteers greet our youth with warm hospitality, serve food with a smile, have fun on scavenger hunt drives, empower youth to serve in our local and global communities, listen to the heart of youth who are struggling and encourage youth who are seeking God’s truth. (The photo to the right is Adam Thompson  – in the middle – with a portion of the 10th grade guys small group.)

On Sunday nights, you’ll see youth volunteers throwing footballs, laughing about the tackiest Christmas sweaters, praying intensely with youth about current situations, digging into the Scriptures to find truth and clarity in small groups, and empowering youth worship leaders.

During the week you will see youth volunteers at Byron’s BBQ at 6:30 in the morning, on Friday nights at ball games, on Tuesday nights in the home of one of our families, and Saturdays at the roller skating rink.

I love our youth volunteers and am so grateful for their commitment to the youth at Cornerstone Church as they build relationships, show hospitality, and grant grace to our youth! If you have a heart for youth and would like more information about how you can be a volunteer, please contact me at pat@cornerstonebuzz.org.

Pat Bethea
Youth Pastor

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