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Campus Ministry Corner

Guys and Fries
An article from guest author Michael from Sacramento Youth For Christ at

Dynamic ImageSome kids are too cool to do anything.  Part peacock, part pubescent, their pride gets the best of them at almost every turn... NOT these kids.

My kids will laugh at silly jokes.  They eat Happy Meals.  They watch kiddie shows and are unashamed.  They wear cat ears, 3D glasses with the lenses taken out, and give themselves names like Batman, Nightwing, and Doctor Wolverine (that name is mine, by the way). They are nerds…to the EXTREME.  So of course, we get along JUST FINE.  

Nowhere is this hardcore geekiness more evident than at our awesome new boys group, Guys and Fries Thursday. Every week I meet a small group of junior high 6th and 7th grade guys at McDonald’s to eat french fries, play card games, and talk about important life topics. We build mountains of french fries and use ketchup packets to make them into volcanoes (or we would if the kids actually ATE KETCHUP with their fries). Last week we had an epic battle of slapjack and used the parable of the unforgiving servant to discuss the topic of forgiveness. We also went off on rabbit trails, leading to one kid talking for ten minutes about the best way to get out of a cave. After all, these are junior high school boys, so focusing is always an issue.  Many have the attention span of a 6-week-old-puppy in a field filled with butterflies.  

And that’s on a good day.        

And yet, in spite of the silliness and beneath the crazy laughter, coupled with the random card games and the nerdy times, there are real Gospel truths being presented, and barriers, like walls, that are tumbling down.  

See, some of these kids you’d never spot worshiping in the youth room at your church on a Sunday morning.  But campus ministry is a different animal altogether:  With us, atheists mingle with Christians, agnostics with Mormons, Jews with Muslims.

And that’s Youth for Christ/Campus Life at its best. That’s what we can be: A haven for people who do not know the Gospel; a place where kids can go to just be themselves. We gather representatives from various tribes, tongues, and nations together in one room to learn stories, build relationships, and point kids to Jesus Christ.  

This is just the beginning of what we’re doing here at a Sacramento suburb middle school.  In less than a school year, we’ve launched a successful weekly Monday Campus Life club, a guys group, and continue to build contacts within the community, all while maintaining a breakfast club that regularly sees an average of 120 students every Friday (we’ve written about that before in this column).

How are you reaching the campus near you?

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Comments on this post

   Michael Chase         4/3/2014 3:09:07 PM

Hi Cam! We have a lot of trouble getting on campuses in our area. A few of the campuses have asked for us specifically. It all depends on the attitude of the administration & superintendent. We're blessed to have an awesome staff that welcomes us with open arms. We've had to get more creative with other schools that haven't let us on campus. For instance, at one of our closed middle schools we hang out at the Subway right outside of the campus, where a lot of the kids tend to congregate. It allows us to get to know the kids off school grounds. We also find that going to extracurricular activities on campus gives us an in. Giving flyers to kids involved in your program is a good way to spread the word; students are usually allowed to pass flyers out at school without too much of a fuss.

   Cam McLaughlin         4/2/2014 4:37:31 AM

This is all so awesome and a great way to reach middle schoolers. How did you first get on to school campuses? The ones that my youth go to are very standoffish and will not even entertain the idea of letting me or any other outside groups come in. Do you have any advice?


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