Three years ago I got offered a job at a gymnastics gym to coach their competitive cheer team. I have written about this before so if you would like to read the whole story, please look back through my previous posts. The prayer in the beginning was for God to do what He will with the job here. I began to realize that He put me here to develop a program that would disciple the cheerleaders without them even knowing it.
About a month ago a conversation blossomed into an incredible opportunity. While talking about what “I do” as far as ministry is concerned, three of my cheerleaders said, “Coach Mo, if you start a church here, I will totally go.” This was confirmed by another conversation I had with a different girl who said virtually the same thing. So “The Gathering at the Gym” was born, and our first conversation was held two weeks ago today.
The Gathering at the Gym is nothing more than a simple conversation about the truth of Christ that just so happens to meet in a cheer gym. Never had I thought that this simple gathering would be the strongest one I have ever been a part of. The conversation is real, the questions are legitimate, and the Spirit is moving powerfully. Here are a few quotes from some teens that were there tonight, who began the night saying, “Church is a waste of time.”
“This is the best church I have ever been to, I will be back for sure. We should do this every week instead of every other week.”
“No one has ever answered my questions until tonight, this was good.”
“Thank you so much, this was cool.”
“I like church done like this.”
I have no idea what is going to happen with this, but I do know one thing, God is being glorified. I stood there in this moment realizing that I was exactly where God wanted me and everything He has been doing in the last three years was leading to this moment. God has blessed the work in the gym to a degree that I could have only dreamed of. Tonight was our second meeting and from the first one to this one the number of people doubled, and the conversation continued until well after the end of the gathering.
Tonight I was reminded that young people feel like the world does not take them seriously. They ask questions and get no answers because they have an orange mohawk, or because they are seen as a “cut-up”. They feel that they have no voice, and that adults think they have little to no value. What if a group of teens came together and started to serve the community? What if they saw needs and did what they could to meet them? What if the youth of a city gathered together and started to worship God in truth and spirit? What if the youth of Slidell gathered together in a gym and their lives were changed? What if every gym had a gathering like this?