Interview with Scott Post
“I would say youth who have participated in SERVE go on to be more regularly involved in local service opportunities, both while they are in high school and beyond.”
In a cultural climate which tells us our youth are leaving the church and faith in God is declining, Scott believes middle school is a key age to engage students in faith formation.
During the year, Scott encourages his middle schoolers to go past just reading their Bibles and praying every day. “We’ve spent a lot of time in the context of our community intentionally building spiritual practices that help us live out the gospel.” SERVE, for his group, becomes an extension of that goal. “SERVE is a spiritual practice of trying on, for a short period of time, what it means to live out the gospel. Because they had a good feeling or a good experience serving people in these other contexts, they have an easier time thinking, oh, maybe it would be ok to spend my time and my life serving people here, right where I live.”
The students on these trips cannot always see for themselves the impact SERVE has. “[If this is their first time signing up], they are expecting this is going to be an enjoyable trip, most likely with their friends, where they are going to meet new people, learn about God, serve some people and probably have a lot of fun. In the process of reflection [after the trip], they start to see how the experience of SERVE is deeply connected to what they believe about God or what we believe about Jesus or what it means to live out the gospel story.”
There is no doubt in Scott’s mind that bringing both middle schoolers and high schoolers on SERVE is valuable and worth it. He encourages others to “trust the results” and says, “Our church has seen the fruit of [SERVE] play out in these kids’ lives and years down the road. Easily.”