God Answers Prayer for Youth Ministry
God has answered Sarah’s prayers for a youth ministry in Bristol,” exclaims Matt Hallum, pastor of the Bristol, Tenn. Church. Several years ago, this wasn’t the case, and it would have been hard to imagine the vibrant youth group now at Bristol.
When Sarah and Paull Dixon first went to the church, there were just a few youth attending church. But they wanted more, and prayed about it. They needed to build from the ground up, making every young person feel important and needed in the church.
In December 2019, the Dixons attended a youth training weekend. They came back with ideas and $500 from a drawing to start a youth ministry. Dixon prayed constantly for a teacher. Shortly after, Brooklyn Arant, an energetic young college student, walked into the church with the dream of teaching a class for young adults. Dixon offered her mentorship and encouragement on Sabbath afternoons when she was available.
“Sarah was full of light and energy, and helped me believe that the young adults were not forgotten,” said Arant. Dixon introduced her to “A Reason to Believe,” a great resource to stimulate discussions about values, goals, ministry, and beliefs.
When Hallum became the pastor of the Bristol Church, he shared a vision of involvement and evangelism. Every Sabbath, young people became involved in the worship service. The church began to grow. Arant continued as the co-leader of the youth for two years, along with Hallum continuing to mentor her. Week after week they prayed for someone to come.
Now they have a small group of students on a regular basis. “My greatest satisfaction is seeing God’s hand in all this,” said Arant. Micah Hallum, one of the youth, and Dixon worked together for many weeks creating a three- dimensional wooden sign with the word “Impact,” the name chosen for the youth ministry.
Late this summer the youth joined with the adults in speaking for an evangelistic series of nine sermons — Thursday through Saturday night. The theme was “To Know Thee in ’23.” It is amazing how God answers prayer!
Georgia-Cumberland | December 2023