The biggest youth group of the year has come and gone, and for me personally, I am really starting to see the range of this ministry. This is my first year here at the Chapel, and for the first month or so I saw it as an evangelism outpost, reaching the world. What I didn’t notice was the work that the Chapel did in the lives of the groups that came here. These groups do not just come to help us in our mission to the Wildwood Boardwalk, we work in their lives!
Pastor Adrian Crum from this week really emphasized this part of the ministry in his interview with me. His favorite part about the Chapel is how the Gospel is used here to really challenge and grow the students. In looking back on past interviews, I’m really amazed how I was able to miss this, as it has been a theme for more than the last 5 weeks.
Over one hundred students have come and gone, and one of the things that I have learned is how great the impact of one week can have on someone’s life. We have 18 year-olds come nervous or skeptical, and leave having experienced the best weeks of their life. This was especially true for this week’s group from Harvest OPC in Wyoming, Michigan. Pastor Adrian saw, through the course of one week, his students making their faith their own, giving it to others, and leaving with a desire to join their church as members.
This is one of the best things about the Boardwalk Chapel. When youth groupers leave after their week here, they have opportunities that the hopeful converts on the boardwalk don’t often get. They can go home to a church that loves and supports them, that can disciple and nurture them. They are presented with opportunities for service and for ministry, and have godly examples and role models in their life already! Much of the Boardwalk Chapel Staff consists of people who were greatly impacted by their weeks here in the youth group. This becomes a beautiful pattern of raising up godly men and women with a heart for the Lord and a talent for evangelism. Let’s pray with Pastor Crum for this youth group and the others from this summer, that their evangelistic efforts would not cease.