Recent small group Bible study taking off
Wednesday, Feb. 7
If you stumble upon a Starbucks in Christiansburg on Friday mornings, you may see a long table full of teenage boys. Wet hair. A book in front of each of them. Hungry hearts. That book has begun to start changing their lives. They’re turning into someone else. Someone new. A buzz is in the room.
Many customers have come to Starbucks during that time in the last few months. Minding their business. Peeking over from time to time as they wait for their drink to be made. Some have even felt inspired to say something. “Proud of you guys,” said one middle-aged man. Another man asked if his two sons could come.
It all started back in the fall. Alec, a junior, regularly attends Blue Ridge Youth’s events on Wednesday nights and really was getting a lot out of his time there. So much that he wanted more. “The conversation started when we had a ‘Welcome Back to School’ event after Passion Camp,” Alec said. “We discussed the verse when Peter walks on water and then takes his eyes off of Jesus and falls into the water. I later asked Carter [Lamm] if we could do something like that again and he was down to do so. He then invited another volunteer Taylor [Ayars] and it began to take off from there.” A junior in high school. A senior in college (Virginia Tech). And a 25-year-old married man. Most things start from humble beginnings, right?
But word began to grow. It was spreading amongst the youth group and others wanted to partake. Over the next few months it would range from 4-7 people. They’d read a little bit of the Bible and then break down what they read. Share some personal things that applied to it. Then a surge in attendance took place.
Jeremiah “JT” Thompson, a senior, got the opportunity to go to a Christian conference called Passion in early January with a Blue Ridge Church college-aged ministry called Sons & Daughters. Taking place in Atlanta, the three-day conference got a hold of him. He experienced God in a new way, and couldn’t help but share that with others as soon as he got back.
You see, for the Friday morning group to reach new heights, it needed a catalyst. Someone who was boots on the ground. In the high schools. Had influence. And wanted to bring others along. So Thompson entered the chat...
At Passion, there was a time of prayer. At that moment, a few males from the Sons & Daughters group huddled up with Thompson and specifically prayed over Christiansburg High School and that there would be a hunger for the Lord to break out. Through the Lord’s provision and Thompson’s boldness and obedience, the group has since tripled and seems like there are always new faces each time. The boys have been reading through the book of John, covering how to be selfless, ways to stop with their vices and more. Guys have been encouraged and have shared an openness and vulnerability with one another. It’s been a 180 for some. Waking up at 6 a.m. on a Friday before school to do this? The volunteers leading the group joked there was no way they would have done so when they were that age. They’ve enjoyed seeing the growth in the boys and the camaraderie that has been built over time, which will lead to great fruit heading into the new programming starting later this month.
A multiplication is taking place Feb. 21, when the newly-dubbed ‘Blue Ridge Students’ will have a middle school session (6:15-7:30 p.m.) and high school session (7:45-9:15 p.m.) on Wednesday nights. It will allow those respective groups to have their own programming and should make the environment a little more centric for each.
When the time at Starbucks comes to a close at the long table, everyone gets up together to go pray outside. As folks begin to stand, there is loud noise that comes from the 15+ chairs screeching all at once. On the surface, it probably comes off as annoying. But if you look deeper, that’s the roar of the Lord as He is using these boys to make change in the NRV for His glory. One Friday at a time.
If you have a boy in high school and are interested in him joining the group, you can contact Carter Lamm at email@example.com.