By Kaye Wolfinger*
Lee Nicolson, youth pastor at Christ UMC in Louisville, (Tuscarawas District) is this week taking the community by STORM (Service To Others in Relational Mission) Nicholson, who is serving as director for the week, caught the vision for this week long teen mission ministry from the Minnesota Conference three years ago. The first year he took another leader and three youth to experience the week first hand in Fairbault, MN. By year three, 10 youth and adults made the trip to learn how to duplicate the week back in Ohio. This week they are watching God’s hand and their planning take shape.
Groups from Danville Kentucky, as well as Mentor and Louisville, Ohio are joining forces. There are an average of 20-30 adults per day, and 25 teens working on 25 projects for homeowners in and around Louisville.
The goal of STORM is to allow youth to experience the power of Jesus through the vehicle of service and leadership. Teens each get a turn to be a Servant Leader of the Day, where they learn to make decisions regarding the projects, lead Bible Study with fellow youth and the people they serve. Each night they are worshiping together and sharing testimonies of how God is working each day. Nicholson says one of their mottos is, “Work hard, Worship hard.” This experience supports the ministry model that mission work is a part of the discipleship journey and not a stand-alone event. Nicholson’s vision has been three years in the making, and his prayer is to have 45 youth and 45 projects next year.
For more information you can contact Lee Nicholson at STORMlouisville@gmail.com
*Kaye Wolfinger is director of Young People’s Ministries and Higher Education and Campus Ministry for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.