The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Churches reaching out to youth


March 24, 2017

Alisa Boswell

Mickey Morgan explains the Yam Theatre lighting system to youth pastors Franklin Smith, left, and Jef Firestone Wednesday in Portales. Local churches are coming together to hold a teen event called "The Way" tonight at the theater.

PORTALES - When local youth leaders acknowledged there were barriers between their congregations, they knew something had to be done to fix it. After some discussions and brainstorming, they came up with the way - literally.

"The Way," is a worship event intended to break those barriers and more. The inaugural citywide event, created and sponsored by the Roosevelt County Ministerial Alliance, is directed toward junior high and high school students - churchgoers or not.

"The Ministerial Alliance has been pushing a strong idea of unity throughout the churches in the community for about a year now," event organizer and Central Christian Church Youth Pastor Jef Firestone said. "This idea spawned from the fact that all of the ministers spend time with each other getting coffee or dinner, but a lot of times, in our congregations and youth groups, we put up walls between our churches ... Those walls take away from our ultimate goal of getting everyone into heaven."

"The Way," Firestone said, is a nod to John 14:6 of the Bible, in which Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

According to Central Christian Church Senior Pastor Don Thomas, the goal of "The Way" is twofold. The desire is not only to empower pre-teens and teens to impact Portales, but also to encourage different denominations to work together for the good of the youth.

The Roosevelt County Ministerial Alliance is composed of various Portales churches, some of which include Trinity Church, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Third and Kilgore Church of Christ, First Baptist Church and Central Christian Church.

"It will be a fantastic evening of fun, laughter, stories, music," Thomas said, "and (teens) will come away encouraged."

The free night of worship is set for 7 p.m. tonight at Portales' Yam Theater, 219 Main St. It will feature local youth leaders, games, music from a local teen worship band and prizes - complete with a hoverboard giveaway.

"Our teenagers struggle constantly with all kinds of issues in their lives," Firestone said, "but the only thing that really should matter is that we follow Jesus, we love God and love others."


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