While the sound of coffee filling up cups is what fills the lobby at each Mercy Hill campus on Sunday mornings, sounds of laughter, giggling, and pens writing can be heard in Route 56 rooms at each campus. Route 56 is a special part of our Community Group ministry here at Mercy Hill, and there are three big reasons students love being a part of our ministry, and why we love having them.
Who doesn’t want to have fun? We tend to get excited when we are going to places where we have a lot of fun. That’s just the way we are. We love games, competition, being on teams, and being able to laugh at ourselves. Not only that, but sometimes our truest selves come out in competition. That means that when we play games in Route 56, we see the truest versions of our students. We see what makes them get really excited, their biggest fears like being rejected, and the way they love their friends. And we get to challenge them to step out of their comfort zone. We are constantly coming up with new games, and we love to see their faces light up when they finally figure out how to get good at that game and work together to beat their leaders in some instances.
Mankind was not created to live alone. We know this to be true. So even though our Route 56 team is extremely passionate about every student cherishing Jesus as their ultimate treasure, we know they can’t live out their Christian life alone. No one can. Not only that, but for those who aren’t yet in a place in their spiritual walk where they are surrendered to the Lord and walking daily with him, Christian community can serve as a great witness to the reality of our Risen King. If our students are walking with God, our ministry is a tool to help them grow. If our students aren’t there yet with the Lord, our ministry is a tool to show them that Christian community is altogether different than the way the world does community. Being around the word of God with people that you know love you and people that have your best interest at heart is a big deal to our ministry. We are passionate about seeing our students leaving our services each week knowing they are loved by God, by their leaders, and by their friends in that room.
3. The Word
We easily get the most excited about students being challenged by God’s word. This is where the real life change comes from; we want our students encountering God in his word. We are equipping them each week to become greater students of the word with the tools necessary to get the “gold” from God’s word. We pray these lifelong skills will serve to grow their relationship with the Lord more and more.
So, What Does This Have to Do with You?
Our Route 56 team strongly believes that all three things above are needed for a successful Route 56 experience. Why all three? Isn’t the word sufficient? Often times, if students aren’t having fun and don’t feel loved, they don’t want to come—even if they love Jesus a ton. The combination of relationships, having fun, and being challenged by the word is something we’ve seen God use, and we pray he will continue to use. Please pray that every student who connects to our Student Ministry here at Mercy Hill leaves with laughter, deep friendships, and conviction in their heart.
As crucial as fun, friends, and the word are to our ministry, leaders who get that vision and embody that vision each week in our classrooms are what drive our ministry forward. Route 56 volunteers are just that: they are leaders. They are the ones praying for students to take steps in discipleship, using every teachable moment, creating fun-filled momentum, and modeling for students how to walk with the Lord. If fun, friends, and the word sounds like you, we ask that you would prayerfully consider joining the Route 56 team. If this is something you would be interested in, please click here to email our Associate Director of Student Ministries, Tanner Hogue.
Grace and peace,
-Route 56 Team