Insyder: Joel Alexander
Youth Pastor Name: Joel Alexander
Youth Group Name: Pulse Youth Ministries
Who: Cornerstone United Pentecostal Church; Pastor C. Patton Williams
Where: Ocala, Florida
InsideOut: How many students are in your group?
Joel Alexander: 30
IO: What is their average age?
IO: What is the coolest event that you have put together for your group?
JA: We plan an out-of-state trip during the off year of NAYC. This trip is on average 3- 5 days during the first week of August and usually includes whitewater rafting, a visit to an amusement park, and sightseeing of the nearby attractions. Each night is set aside for a time of prayer and devotion where our young people recommit their lives to God and His will. This is also an excellent opportunity to mend the bonds of unity that may have weakened during the summer months.
IO: What does your group do for outreach?
JA: Door hangers, bible studies, church cards, youth services, and community projects
IO: What is your group’s claim to fame?
JA: Every year, we are in the top 5 giving churches in the state of Florida to Sheaves For Christ with an average giving of 12- 15 thousand dollars. Our youth team, students, parents, and church sacrifice six weeks of their summer to the efforts of SFC fundraising through camp concessions.
IO: What do you do to disciple those that join your youth group?
JA: On the first visit, we have the visitor fill out an information card. We use this information to make several contacts to encourage future visits. During one of the contacts, we ask if there are any questions about our church such as our doctrine or services. Once an individual starts to come on a regular basis or has joined our youth group, we try to get them involved in youth and church activities regardless of whether or not they have received the Holy Ghost or been baptized-this will eventually come. Once they have experienced salvation and have established a walk with God, we encourage being a leader to others in the church such as joining the choir or helping teach a Sunday School class. Our main goal is to help every young person find their place in the Kingdom of God.
IO: Is there a “hangout” for your group outside of church?
JA: Yes. The nearby restaurants, our campgrounds, and the homes of our Youth Team and young people, especially the Thorne’s.
IO: Do you do crowd breakers?
JA: Yes on occasion. The objective for the evening and how many visitors may be present determine if and what kind of crowd breaker is to be done.
IO: When does your group regularly meet?
JA: On average every Friday night. This varies during the summer due to camps.
IO: Do you have a youth choir?
JA: No. Our young people sing in the church choir; however, certain church services are set aside where the young people do all the singing, playing, and preaching. These are wonderful services that build and prepare our young people for future ministries. It also keeps the saints connected to the vision of youth ministry.
IO: What type of music does your group like?
IO: If you could narrow it down to one song what would be your group’s favorite anthem?
JA: The More I Seek You
IO: Does your youth group have a worship band?
JA: No. Our young people play with the church band.
IO: Is the ministry emphasis of your youth group more evangelistic or discipleship?
JA: It is a combination of both. We want to disciple those who have received the Holy Ghost and have been baptized so they in turn can further the Kindom of God by helping others receive the gift of salvation.
IO: Do you have a prayer meeting for youth?
JA: Yes. Prior to every Sunday night service and at least one Friday night a month. On the other Friday nights, we have a short devotion with prayer.
IO: How many people are on your youth leadership team?
JA: 6; Joel and Jessica Alexander, Chrisean and Felicia Bollers, and Jason and Mendy Rhodes
IO: What is your vision for your student ministry?
JA: Short term: To help our students grow spiritually and discover their strengths and weaknesses, talents, and passion for their own ministry. Long Term: For our students to mature into active members of the church body functioning in unity with the Pastor and his vision.