It’s a big deal for a bunch of high school students and adults to take time out of a busy summer to travel hundreds (or thousands) of miles to serve people they’ve never met. That’s why I love being a part of the missions experience called PowerPlant, which partners student groups with new church plants in serving their communities.
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In June, I coordinated PowerPlant in Denver/Loveland and it was great. Everybody had a good attitude and was willing to get out of their comfort zones by hosting sports camps for kids or doing art projects or cleaning a hundred bikes. Hamburgers were grilled, block parties were thrown, and every night, these students were ready to pack into a gymnasium to sing to Jesus.
It was inspiring.
As a review of the week, I wrote a big thank you to all the students and adults who led them. I’m really thankful that these people were willing to leave part of themselves in Colorado. (See photos here)
Here’s what I wrote:
PowerPlant Group Leaders,
It’s a new beginning for the church plants that we worked with, reenergized for their continued ministry as the body of Jesus. It’s a new beginning for people in the communities of Loveland and Fort Collins who connected with a church for the first time, or maybe realized for the first time that there’s a God who actually loves them. It’s a new beginning for each of your students and leaders, as we have transitioned back into “real life” routines — but this time with a refreshed mindset of being on mission with Jesus wherever we’re at.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. And as leaders
, we have the opportunity and responsibility to help those around us gain traction. I was so encouraged and inspired by the way you each led and served your team, and how the students responded with joy and humble service during the week of PowerPlant. It was one of the best-behaved, loudest-singing, and fun-loving groups of students I’ve been around. Keep challenging them with Scripture and with God’s call to be missionaries wherever they’re at. Keep them tenacious about the Gospel. Keep leading well and loving these students. It matters. You’re doing eternal work, and I’m grateful to have partnered with you on a small part of the journey.
Here are a few numbers from the week:
- 20 participants recommitted their lives to Christ
- 2 participants decided to follow Jesus
- 200 tracts distributed
- 17 people in the communities decided to follow Jesus
- total offering to benefit the church plants: $1035.05
Dina and Mark
As I wandered around the park during the final block party at one of the ministry sites during PowerPlant, I met a couple named Dina and Mark. They were watching their two little children playing in the bounce house and waiting for hamburgers to cook. They were curious about who was putting this block party together, and what it was all about. I told them that Elevation Church was in that community to love and serve people, and this was a way they could meet families in the area. Dina and Mark were grateful for the opportunity.
I really hope that there were Dina’s and Mark’s all over Loveland and Fort Collins, who saw Elevation Church, or The Pursuit Church, or Fort Collins Community Church, or InsideOut Church, and said, “You know, maybe there’s more to these church people than meets the eye.” I think Jesus loves to work with little seeds, tiny hints of love and grace that get into people’s souls and minds. Perhaps some of the work we’ve done in Colorado
will grow into something far bigger than we expect.
After all, that’s what the kingdom of God is all about.
Godspeed on the story you’re living back at home. I want to sincerely thank you for your hard work, planning, late nights, early mornings, herding students, loving students, helping students, and putting up with all my phone calls and emails. This project would not have happened without you and your students.
I’m really excited to hear stories of how the trip influenced you and your students. Please tell me stories! And in future PowerPlant projects, or future missions opportunities, or for anything, really — let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. I’d like to think that we’re friends even outside of the PowerPlant system. Tell your students “hey!” for me.
Grace and peace,