Workshop Session 1

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How do we get the Youth Working Alongside Adults to Make a
Difference in their COMMUNITY?
Who is 12th Rock Ministries?
12th Rock Ministries is: a 501(C)3 non-profit organization seeking to build partnerships with
local churches in the Hudson Valley to offer sports programs, camps, and events, with a focus of
bringing to life positive characteristics and self-esteem in every child.
Mission Statement: Creating opportunities for youth in the Northeast to experience God
through camps, sports, and missions. Building on the Rock of Jesus Christ by teaching Godly
values and discipline!
Vision Statement: Empowering a mission minded generation to spread the gospel, both
locally and globally, using sports.
Local and Global Missions
Finding the connection point with culture is a difficult task, especially when it involves getting people into churches. The great news is
that God is a God of sending. Sports is a universal language and it can be used as an avenue for spreading the Good News of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. We’ve effectively put this into practice in the following ways:
Evangelism through mobile sports camps
Our organization, with teams made of families and individuals, has run four North American sports mission camps:
two in Cleveland, Ohio, one in Baltimore, MD and one in Ottawa, Canada. We worked with a local church to run
FREE 3-hour sports programs, using their facilities, for the kids in the community. The goal of these camps was to
help train the churches to run a similar program on their own after we returned back home. We also took on service
projects for their areas.
12th Rock is putting this passion into action here in the Hudson Valley with programs like:
Local to Global service projects
Our most recent project was the “Dirty Water Project” helping to provide clean water for communities in Ghana,
Africa. Liquid Church of Morristown, NJ provided us with the resources to make this project a great success in our
community. We also collected soccer jerseys which will be sent to kids in Ghana. In the future, we are planning a
trip to Ghana and/or Haiti to facilitate soccer and basketball camps. 12th Rock is also planning to oversee a basketball
clinic in Brooklyn, NY at some point in the future.
Community Partnerships
One of our goals as an organization is to partner with community organizations. We have developed partnerships
with local youth sports programs, and youth organizations, to provide camps and programs for the kids in the
community. One example is our partnership with Pine Bush Youth Soccer to run a summer soccer camp.
Local Sports Programs
The founders of 12th Rock Ministries have been bringing quality Upward Sports programs to children, and their families in Orange
County, NY since 2002. The original vision of bringing Upward Sports to the area was to unite the churches in a community
based ministry.
In Upward Sports, success is not based on wins and losses. Coaches are trained that success is determined by how they
convey salvation, character, and self-esteem to each child. Upward Sports® defines winning as learning and/or teaching
lessons in the game of life.
The local Upward Sports® Soccer League has been running since 2005. We partner with Trinity Lutheran Church
in Walden, NY. Participants enjoy beautiful field space for games and practices. Since inception, over 700 kids have
participated in the program. We held our first summer soccer camp in 2011. It was a great success as we teamed up
with an organization from England who provided a stellar week of soccer training.
The local Upward Sports® Basketball League has been going strong since 2002. The program runs at Circleville
Church in Circleville, NY, whose facility is remarkably set up to accommodate up to 1500 people each game day.
The program is a huge draw in the community, and we have had almost 3000 kids participate in the program since its
beginning year. We have also run an evening summer basketball camp since 2005.
2011 marked the beginning of the 12th Rock 7th-8th grade Basketball League for boys and girls. Many of our
local schools have had to cut their modified sports programs due to budget deficiencies. We feel it is important to
keep this age group involved in a positive program. The 12th Rock Basketball League is off to a great start with 70
kids involved. God has given us favor to use the Public Schools’ gym facilities in Circleville, NY. Games and
practices are held in each of their 3 buildings.
At 12th Rock Sports Camps, our goal is to present a solid skills development camp,
using drills and game situations. We also provide the classic camp experience with
fishing, hiking, roasting marshmallows, arts and crafts, and much more, while
weaving in strong character development. Our focus is to build relationships with
the kids and teach them the love of God using an exciting curriculum based on
Christian values.
The ultimate 3 for1 Camp Experience: Hone your skills...Build your character...Grow your faith!!
Recently I was made aware of a new Barna Group study that says, “Most Americans remain relatively upbeat
about the role that local churches play in their communities.” It continued to say “that three-quarters of U.S.
adults believe the presence of a church is a “very” (53%) or “somewhat” (25%) positive influence for their
communities.
In contrast, only 1 out of every 20 Americans believes that the influence of a church is negative—either very
(2%) or somewhat so (3%). That leaves about one out of six adults (17%) who are indifferent toward the role of
churches.” People who tend to view churches in a more favorable view are the elderly, married adults, women,
churchgoers, Protestants, African-Americans and political conservatives.
The first part of the study shows really positive results, but in the later part of the study, things are looking
grim. In the second part of the study it shows groups of people who have a less favorable view of the church.
These people are young (18-27 age), men, never-married adults, those living in the West and Northeast,
unchurched adults, and political liberals.
Also despite people’s positive feelings about the church, only 21% of adults could tell how the church is
contributing positively to their communities. There also seems to be a disconnect for most Americans between
serving the community, and helping individuals find their way to God through Christ. A ministry-related goal
such as teaching the Bible, introducing people to Christ, and bringing people to salvation seems to be missing.
I can see this problem play out in this generation. The National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) show that
most youth see church as just something nice. Many teenagers approach church like an extra-curricular activity.
Teens see it as a good thing to do, but not a necessity in their everyday life. Kenda Creasy Dean talks about this
in her book Almost Christian. “Many youth said religion was important…though most could not describe the
difference it made to them personally.” Rick Lawrence from GROUP magazine interviewed students from
different church youth groups and asked them one question “Who is Jesus?” Almost all the students answered
“He is loving and nice.”
This is where the church and local organizations need to come in to help redirect and refocus today’s
youth. Not by pushing something on them, but by engaging them to MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR
COMMUNITY!!
These are some of the steps that we have taken to get youth and adults working together to make a difference in
their community:
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Evangelism through mobile sports camps- Over the past 5 years, we have organized multiple mission
camps. The goal is to unite generations to go into a community bring positive change. Our each of our
trips, we have challenged the youth to take leadership roles. Whether it be organizing the meals,
working in the clothes closet, or running sports drills the youth are put into these roles throughout the
week. The challenge, at times, is to get the adults to step back and let the youth lead.
Local to Global service projects- This is a great way to meet the youth right where they are. Challenge
them to think about what impact they would like to have on the world, both locally and globally. Last
year we had multiple youth spearhead a “Dirty Water” project in our area. The youth who lead the
charge challenged their peers, and adults around them, to put change in water bottles. The idea was for
people to skip their cup of coffee in exchange for giving someone clean water. In two months time, the
youth collected more than $5,500. The money was sent to Ghana to provide clean water wells.
Upward Sports programs- We train all of the youth and adults together. From the beginning of each
season, we allow the youth to fill the roles of: coaches, referees, and game day staff. The key is to
provide them with adequate training, but more so to show them that we trust them with the
responsibility. It is amazing to watch a youth who is empowered by trust. They are giving all the tools
necessary to be a huge success
Local Missions work- We bring youth into each and every event that we do within our community.
Our challenge to them is to look into what is taking place right here in their community. What needs
need to be met right now, and what is it going to take? Our most recent project was a school supplies
drive. The youth from multiple area churches organized the collection of school supplies, and then put
them in bags to be distributed in our area. Over 150 bags were put together and given out to kids in
Newburgh and Middletown.
12th Rock Sports Camps- We have a great counselor in training program that allows youth to take
small leadership roles at each of our overnight sports camps. They have multiple responsibilities
throughout the week that are getting them ready to be lead counselors within a few years.
All this would not be affective if we did not listen to the youth. Your success in getting youth and adults
working together hinges on your organization being willing to ask questions, set goals and action plans, and
then to follow through.
You need to be confident enough to strategically plan meetings that will be of interest and will have a greater
impact on the youth workers and adults within your organization and community. The goals of the initial
meetings will be to set goals and action plans in place, and provide the training to achieve these goals
These meetings need to provide a safe place for youth and adults to come and develop friendships where trust is
being built. Without trust, your mission will not be achieved.
What do these meetings look like?
1. These meetings must start and end on time.
2. Location, location, location! The location is crucial. Meeting in restaurants for the most part is too
distracting, and moving from church to church has also presented challenges when people get lost. If
you can find one location and stay there for six months, that seems to work best. What about the
atmosphere?
o Atmosphere is important.
o Leaders need to be ready when everyone arrives!
3. Do signs give direction to the location of the meeting and to also welcome them inside the meeting
room?
4. Is the room arranged to optimize communication? For example, round tables facilitate better discussion
and prayer.
5. Is there a table to display and share resources and upcoming events that the attendees can take
home?
6. It's possible to provide a "free meal" for every meeting, getting someone to donate the meals, or having
different churches provide funds. Everyone can then come straight to the meeting and know that a meal
is being provided.
7. Don't forget name tags. (Permanent ones that can be handed out and collected are the best.)
Here are some questions that you can start with, to obtain your goals and action plan:
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What is are some of the venues, or activities, that draw youth together in your community?
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Within these venues, or activities, what are some of the needs of the group?
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What are some of the connection points that adults have with youth in your community?
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Who are some of the other organizations in your area that are working towards equipping and
empowering the youth?
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What are some of the skills of the youth that want to be involved with your organization? How can you
put those skills to use to achieve the mission?
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What are some of the physical and spiritually needs of the youth in your community? Within your
organization? How can we work together to meet those needs?
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How can you get the youth within your organization excited about bring other youth to join the mission?
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What guidelines are we going to put in place to make sure we achieve our goals?
12th Rock Ministries
680 Rte. 211 Suite 3B-167 Middletown, NY 10941
“Held Back No More”
845-692-9092
www.12throck.org
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