Insyder: John Dial
Youth Pastor Name: John Dial
Youth Group Name: Anthem Student Ministries
Who: The Pentecostals at Royalwood
Where: Houston, TX
InsideOut: What is your average youth attendance?
John Dial: 85
IO: Average age?
JD: Anywhere from 12-30
IO: What is your youth group’s “claim to fame”?
JD: They are a lot of fun and enjoy a good time, but they also love to worship the Lord! They’re great at making our visitors feel welcome!
IO: What do you do for outreach?
JD: Our outreach team is called “OutLoud.” It’s still in the infant stages—just putting all the pieces together. We are in the process of developing cards—the size of business cards—for the youth/singles to carry with them everywhere they go to invite their friends or even total strangers to visit. It’s easy; you just hand them a card, and it pretty much says everything they need to know.
IO: Do you have a prayer meeting for the youth?
JD: Yes, the third Saturday of each month.
IO: What do you do to retain those that join your youth group? Bible Studies? Small groups?
JD: We have a new discipleship class we’re getting started. It will be available once a quarter. It’s called “InTune” and will be more of a teaching and interactive environment for new students to connect with our beliefs. We also teach Bible studies before “The Beat” on Wednesday evenings at 6:30. Our visitor card that we have them fill out asks if they are interested in a Bible study, and we do our best to make it happen.
IO: Is there a “hangout” for your youth outside of church?
JD: About once every two months we have a fun night on one Friday called “The Noise.” We all just get together and have fun and fellowship, either at the Anthem Center or other fun locations. Every Wednesday night after “The Beat,” we all hang out at the Anthem Center in our coffee shop, HeBrews Coffee.
IO: Do you guys do Crowd breakers, or is that a thing of the past? If not, what has filled the place of crowd breakers?
JD: We do crowd-breakers occasionally; they still work. We believe crowd-breakers are a great way to loosen the group up and get them to intermingle and forget about the day! It’s definitely a crazy/fun time!
IO: Tell us a little bit about your room (those garage doors, the screens, setup, etc).
JD: It was our old sanctuary about eighteen years ago, and we converted it into our Anthem Student Center after our Spanish Ministry had it. We remodeled it about a year ago. We have the garage doors on the side that roll up into our coffee bar, HeBrews Coffee, where we hang out after “The Beat.” The garage doors have clear panels that you can see through and are a great way to close off or enlarge the space if need be. Our drums are on a pad that rolls out onto our platform, and if we’re not using them, we push them in and pull the garage door down to give us more room on the platform. We have our church’s old soundboard and all of our own instruments. The really cool lighting and the décor was designed around the youth, but at the same time can easily be transformed into a small chapel if need be for weddings and other formal events. All the credit for the décor goes to our very own Sister Jeanna Macey!
IO: What is your “niche,” or what makes you unique and draws young people to your services?
JD: We have the cool building, a really cool look, but we realize that doesn’t save souls; however, it is important for the youth to have a place they call their own and are proud of. We do our best to make sure that the messages and everything we do is geared toward the youth; it’s youth-oriented. The students get excited about what they experience at “The Beat” on Wednesday nights and tell their friends about it. When they come, they love the atmosphere, the cool building, the lights, music, etc… but then they feel something they’ve never felt before, and they realize this is something different, something that can change their lives. We try and make the services fun, but we still teach the truth, with straight-up preaching/teaching that doesn’t compromise the message. The kids are still coming. They love it; they’re bringing their friends, and their friends are now bringing their friends! We have had some awesome alter services. God has blessed us!
IO: There is a special event called “Crescendo” that you guys put on; can you let us in on what it is about?
JD: “Crescendo” is an annual summer youth event we started a couple of years ago to reach out to our community. We usually have about five hundred or more students in attendance with worship, preaching, and awesome music! There’s a concert, food, coffee bar, gaming stations, and other gym activities after the main service. This year “Crescendo: Rewind” is July 17th with Brother Wayne Francis and The Royal Tailor Band!
IO: Do you meet on the same night as the midweek service for the whole church? What day is that?
JD: Yes we do, on Wednesday nights; this is what we call “The Beat.”
IO: Do you guys have a Youth Choir?
JD: Yes we do; we have approximately forty in our choir. We also have a girls’ group called “Divine Grace.” It’s nine of our youth/singles. We have gone on a couple of summer tours and hopefully we will be doing that again!
IO: What style of music does your Youth Group like?
JD: They like it all! However, mostly they respond to the contemporary style that they are familiar with, like songs they hear on the radio: Hillsong, Desperation Band, Israel Houghton, etc.
IO: If you could narrow it down to ONE song, what would be the Youth Group’s “Anthem” or favorite?
JD: Probably All I Need Is You by Hillsong.
IO: Do you have a worship band? What style do they play?
JD: Yes, we do have a worship band and they play all kinds of music. The band is a mixture of youth and singles, and we are in the process of establishing an all “youth” band. We try to use the young people in all areas of the service. We believe we are training them to be the leaders of tomorrow.
IO: Is the emphasis in your youth services more outreach-driven (pushing for young people to get the Holy Ghost) or more discipleship-driven? (ministering/developing/ maintaining those already a part of your youth group)?
JD: It’s a great combination of both. If we can keep a steady balance of each, we can really make a difference in our community as well as each life individually.
IO: How many youth staff members do you have?
JD: We have eight members at this time.