Friday, July 24, 2015

What If I told you

I saw someone on Facebook recently describe Joel’s Place as ‘That Christian skate park place”
It bugged me, and I really wanted to respond, “We are more than a skate park! We have kids who come EVERY SINGLE DAY who have never stepped foot on a skate board!”
and it’s true.
But, I showed restraint and instead of sounding like the online equivalent of “Get off my lawn!, I said nothing.
So, in case you didn’t know- I’ll just say it here. Joel’s Place is not a skate park. It never was.
 It has always been a place for young people to learn and grow and pursue their passions.
Joel’s Place began because a group of teens wanted a place to gather for worship, have concerts, build relationships and create a community of belonging. It started around music, then expanded into skating, then expanded into biking, scooting, art,  gaming, sports, gardening and lots and lots of FOOD.

And we’re taking another expansion step that even I’m a bit surprised about.
A group of Joel’s Place kids are starting our first ever scouting group.
Venturing” is a program of Boy Scouts of America, and is open to boys and girls, ages 14 to 21.
 They can do pretty much anything they want to. Some of the activities thrown around today were skydiving, cooking, drag-racing, photography, and taking a trip to the World’s Largest Skatepark,
oh, and also a trip to Iceland.
Some other words thrown around today were “adventure, danger, creative, independent, and youth-led.”
It sounds like a perfect fit for our “creative, adventuresome, adrenalin-seeking youth”.
 Each week we are so encouraged by the energy and excitement that this new generation of kids are bringing to Joel’s Place. They belong. They are Family. 
We hold them close, but not too close.
This new opportunity is possible because we are willing to partner with other organizations. We know that our building, staff and resources can only go so far.
As a community that wants to help kids, we are stronger together. 
The kids are stronger if we’re together.
 If your church group, club, breakdance crew or whatever…. is interested in partnering with us, please give me a call and let’s talk. Not everything is going to be a good fit, but I would have never guessed that scouting would be until we had the conversation.
 Hope to hear from you, I’ll even buy you coffee.