Perdido youth group — 4 to 25 in 1 yearcomment (0)
May 24, 2012
By Anna Keller
When Robert Klotz became Perdido Baptist Church’s pastor almost two years ago, one of the first things he and his wife noticed was the lack of a youth program at the church. Though there wasn’t money in the budget for a dedicated youth pastor, Klotz felt it was an important enough gap to fill that he decided to use the support of volunteers to help build a program.
The youth program at Perdido Baptist launched last May with just four teens and has since grown to a group of about 20 to 25 weekly attendees. Because Klotz acts as both the senior and youth pastor, the youth group meets on Thursday evenings so he’s able to lead that event as well as standard Wednesday night services at church.
“In just a year’s time it’s pretty impressive growth, and nothing we can attribute to anything but the Lord working,” Klotz said. “At first, we bribed the kids with candy to get them to invite friends, and then it caught on and we started having several youth who aren’t from Christian homes attend.”
Because so many of the youth are “young” Christians, Klotz focuses the curriculum around basic discipleship. He also includes a lot of application-based lessons, since he said the youth are interested in learning practical ways to incorporate learning from the Bible into their everyday lives.
“Nothing has excited me more with this group than those nights we see them respond and you see something click,” he said. “The best part of that experience is those nights when you have someone respond to the gospel.”
Since the group began last spring, four youth group members have been baptized.
Klotz is quick to recognize the work of the volunteers, who help with various aspects of the youth group.
Perdido member Mary Richburg prepares meals each Thursday for the youth and has been encouraged by the group’s growth in both numbers and enthusiasm.
“This is a group of really good young people, and for me this is something I feel called to do,” she said. “Brother Robert is really involved with them, and it helps that he’s a young pastor and can connect with them.”
Klotz said he hopes his church will soon be able to support a part-time — and eventually full-time — youth pastor, but meanwhile he’s enjoying watching the youth group start to truly thrive.