Since 1989, I have had the joy of calling Mechanicsville Christian Center (MCC) my church home. For twelve of those years, I have served the families and students of MCC as a volunteer youth leader in the high school youth group. It has been a joy to see so many young people grow in their faith and relationship with Christ. For the last couple of years, I have been on a journey with the Lord involving ways to help even more young people at a crucial transition phase of life. And doors have opened wide for me to launch just such a ministry at a different local church based in downtown Richmond.
It was with a sad heart for what I am leaving behind and yet with full excitement for this opportunity and how it can bless the Kingdom of God, that I announced last week at the Mix that I would soon be leaving MCC and stepping down from its youth ministry. My last week at the Mix will be this week, and I am going to be speaking and will share my three challenges for high schoolers to effectively follow Jesus.
Please come this Thursday to the Mix if you would like to hear what I have to say. I know that MCC will be praying me out in the future as a missionary to do this exciting work in the city. And I am so thankful for the support that the pastors, elders and MCC family have given me. I especially want to thank Pastor Carter, Pastor Daniel, Pastor Mitch, Pastor Dwayne for their support, guidance and encouragement through this process. And I am thankful for guidance in developing the ministry that I received from Pastor Philip Watkins, Pastor Fred Michaux, Jim Patterson, Rev. Tim Matthews and many others.
So what is this ministry? The idea is to develop a gap year program for young adults. A gap year is a transition phase between high school and college/work life or college and work life. Many major colleges and universities have recently recognized the value of taking a gap year off to prepare young people for the difficulties of higher education or the workplace.
Most young people don’t know what they want to do with their life at the age of 18. This school will focus on helping young people discover their unique callings, giftings and passions to prepare them for the future. It will help them develop a disciplined routine to follow and know Christ. This school will also allow them to work or go to college part-time and learn how to engage the secular world around them with the message of the Gospel. Through one-on-one mentoring and counseling, this school will also help young people process through their life experiences and even emotional struggles. And the school will include outreach opportunities both locally and around the globe.
This school will take critical aspects of the DNA of YWAM DTS, Bridge Builders, communal church life, and a college ministry without really being any of those things. This ministry (which has yet to be named) will be centered in downtown Richmond where students will come to live in community while engaging in the world around them. It will be a discipleship and a leadership development school for both young men and women between the ages of 18-25 years old. And the hope is to open up the opportunity to young people from all over the city and possibly other parts of the country as well. If you have a young person in your family who wants to follow God closer and is not sure about next steps, this new opportunity could very well be for them.
If you want to know more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep me and the school in your prayers. I know this is a big faith leap for me. But I am sure that it is safer and better out on the water with Jesus than sitting in the boat wondering what if I had dared to follow.
In Christ’s Love — Chaille Brindley