Grace Community Church, in Beaumont, Texas, believes serving begins at any age, and they put those words to action each month.
“My wife and I have this mentality of the rule of three – you serve, you worship and you fellowship,” he said. “I want these kids to learn that in today’s society we’re very privileged, and let’s take some of that and see we’re not as bad off – and how can we help others?” said Justin Horsley, Grace Community Church’s student pastor.
The youth group was given the opportunity to serve at the Buckner Children’s Home in Beaumont for the first time in 2017 after the original group backed out. Typically, adults had filled this role, but Justin knew his students could step up to the plate. He laid out the expectations and they prayed – and every student was begging for the next opportunity to serve with Buckner.
Within the past three years, the Grace Community Church youth group has served Thanksgiving dinners, managed the toy run and more.
“It doesn’t matter that you’re 14 or 12, you can still make a different. It’s so important for teenagers and young people to know what they do can influence people now,” said Laura May, executive director of Buckner Children and Family Services of Southeast Texas.
Each time someone comes to help these children with their homework or play on the swing with them is an opportunity to pour healing into previous wounds.
“The more healing moments we can give these kids the better,” she shared. “Telling them they are important, showing them they’re special and these young adults are doing that for these kids.”