Elijah and Ashlee Hollis of the PowerPlace Church spent their Tuesday night in a classroom to share their personal experiences as youth pastors and the values they have learned through these experiences.
One item that stood out for me was the vision they have for their ministry as youth pastors. They said “take youth and raise the standard of living with them.” This statement opened my eyes.
Understanding the culture of today’s youth, there is a tremendous epidemic of an identity crisis that says “if you don’t look or act like the world tells you to, then you don’t fit in anywhere.” You can imagine the level of self worth within today’s youth when they decide not to live up to the world’s standards.
Elijah and Ashlee make it their mission to build these kids up with a strong self-esteem that is identified with Christ. Through their experience they have discovered just how broken kids are these days. The pressure to fit in and live up to the worlds standards has brought suicide to a new level. Bullying and self mutilation are also among the big issues this couple has also dealt with. Therefore, building self-confidence within these kids is their main objective.
How do they do this? Intentionally “doing life together”, walking along side them in their struggles and fears, but most importantly they lead these kids by living a “real-life” example for them to follow. As they extend themselves and invest into the lives of these young people, they gain influence in their life opening the door to share the life changing message of Jesus Christ.