Lives Transformed. We see it happening over and over at Mount Hermon through many different avenues. Two of those avenues, investing in the youth of local churches and investing in volunteering, are merging together in a new program that has Bill Fernald sending off sparks of enthusiasm as he shares the “whys” and the “hows” of this exciting new ministry.
“Great leaders are shaped out of service; they learn how to serve and care for the needs of others.” —Bill Fernald
“Great leaders are shaped out of service; they learn how to serve and care for the needs of others”, Bill said recently as he explained the vision behind the Mount Hermon Youth Work Crews program. This new avenue is designed to be a precursor to the popular and impactful Mount Hermon Youth Intensives: CILTs, Echo, Amata, and the newest intensive, Band of Brothers, which got off to a great start last summer.
Youth Work Crews are designed to give youth pastors a place to bring their student leaders to learn the power and value of service and to experience the impact of service on building group unity and community. Not to mention the fun that’s to be had in serving together! There’s something profound that can happen when kids work hard together toward a common purpose and goal. To help someone else out can bring a boost to the individual and give a touch of the Kingdom of God.
So what are Youth Work Crews and what do they entail?
Youth pastors from local churches put together teams of students to come to Mount Hermon for work retreat weekends held during the fall, winter, or spring. There is no cost for this working weekend. Leaders and students work side by side three to six hours each day, assisting the kitchen staff with meal preparation and clean up. The staff provides all the training and a safe service environment for the group.
The work is easy to learn and fun to do as a group. It provides an essential service to enhance the ministry to the hundreds of guests who come to Mount Hermon with the opportunity of growing one step closer to Jesus.
Once students get a taste of the personal value of service and experience the unity and team building that can result from serving together, the next natural step is to return in the summer for participation in either the Echo or Band of Brothers youth intensives. Those students who complete one or more full service weekends are eligible for up to a 25% scholarship for their intensive program.
What a win–win! Students grow in their experience and understanding of servant leadership while connecting in a very literal way with the truth that living out your faith means living into service. The staff benefits from a wonderful assist that allows an enhanced dining experience for our conference guests. Mount Hermon is supported by the local church as the local church is supported by Mount Hermon. And, once again, lives are transformed.