Posted on by Seattle YFC

By JJ Vancil, Chief Ministry Director

If you are like me, you’ve had the unfortunate experience of forgetting someone’s name and then having no choice but to say "Oh hey…pal" when they approach you at a gathering. Or perhaps it is your name they have forgotten and you question whether or not you were memorable enough. Either way, both of these experiences can be awkward, but they highlight the power of remembering someone’s name.

There are piles of books in my office that claim to have the newest technique, strategy, or method of reaching young people with the gospel. However, in the middle of trying to be ‘relevant,’ it is easy to miss one of the most important parts of ministry: a name. A name represents a life, a story, a kid who needs Jesus.

I want to tell you about 13 names. At first glance, it is just 13 names on a spreadsheet, but these names represent so much more. They represent the first-fruits of a new City Life ministry we believe God is going to use mightily in Bellevue. These 13 names are students at Sammamish High School. 

In October, I hired Nathan and Joey, students at Northwest University. Together, we began to meet weekly with a local pastor to pray, plan & dream about developing new ministry in Bellevue. We started with an honest question, “What is God doing in Bellevue and how can we be a part of it?” As we prayed and learned about the community, and it was clear God was calling us to build relationships with students at Sammamish High School. Working under the leadership of Jubilee Reach, Nathan and Joey started volunteering at the school in the beginning of January. In just 2 days, they wrote down the names of 13 kids they met. It might not seem like a big deal, but now Nathan and Joey are praying for these kids by name, every day! Names are key.
In 2017, we are doing something new. Every staff, intern and ministry leader is committed to take note of every name of every kid they meet. Our goal is that we first learn their names, then we learn their stories. Only then can we share our stories and God’s story. 

It all begins with a name. Thirteen names is a good place to start! 

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