Small Church with a Big Opportunity!

I recently received an e-mail from Rev. Richard Klemm who is the pastor of Everman UMC in Fort Worth. He described an incredible ministry that this church has taken on – a ministry that has grown because of the Holy Spirit to be larger than the church can maintain for long. Please read Rev. Klemm’s story:

We are a small church with a big opportunity. We are located across the street from the Everman High School and down the street from their ninth grade campus. For the last three years we have been ministering to the students through something we call “Hangin’ Out.” Twice a week we open our Fellowship Hall to the students from 3:30 to 5:30. We provide bread, peanut butter, jelly, and lemonade. Sometimes other treats are donated. The students “hang out” and eat, have fellowship and wait for their rides or just pass time before going home. The idea came from a previous pastor and a church member during the spring semester of the 2008-09 school year. They went over after school and told some of the students about the free food and some of them started coming over, slowly at first.

By the end of the school year there were between 25 and 35 students coming over and the church volunteers figured they could handle the pace for the next year. Right after the fall semester began, and just before I arrived in October, an email was sent out by the layperson involved. They had 75 kids that day! Since then, the growth has been phenomenal. Last year’s average topped out at 100 each day twice a week. This last November we had a day with 196 students, and we are now averaging between 150 and 180.

Now that we have developed our system for feeding their bodies, we want to go further and offer spiritual nourishment as well. I mentioned we are a small church, and we have a small budget and a few members, mostly past retirement age, who have a heart for this ministry, but no recent experience with Youth ministry.

We have committed ourselves to ministering and have begun a great mission. We want to do as much as is possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

This is absolutely wonderful! Do you represent a church with time, resources, or willing volunteers? Please contact Leanne or Rev. Klemm to volunteer your time or resources to help Everman UMC. Ideas of things that could help: volunteering time, sending money, sharing curriculum, or other ideas!