How New Directions is serving the community and beyond through its youth ministry was what Greenfield Rotarians were served up at Thursday’s club meeting.
Mike Anderson, director of New Directions, outlined the ministry’s youth programs and spoke about the students’ missions trips.
The fall programs for students have recently started and include a middle school program, Wildside, which is held each Tuesday from 6-8 p.m.
The high school program, known as SALT (Student Action Leadership Team) meets each Monday at McClain during lunch. The high schoolers also take part in a monthly activity.
The newest program, Kid Connection, is for students in the third, fourth and fifth grades, and meets each Thursday from 6-8 p.m.
The ministry also offers life groups for students who “want to go deeper into their faith and in their relationships with others,” according to an announcement of the upcoming programs.
New Directions’ youth programs and activities are facilitated with the help of about 40 adult volunteers, Anderson said.
The ministry, Anderson said, is solely community supported and it does not cost the students to participate.
The middle school and high school students each summer go on mission trips and there is cost involved, he said.
This past summer the high schoolers went to Puerto Rico while the middle schoolers traveled to Savannah, Ga.
Next summer, the middle school trip will take them to Niagara Falls, N.Y., and the high school students will go to Washington, D.C.
While the students are on the trips, Anderson said, they go to serve in poverty-stricken areas, places like homeless shelters and soup kitchens.
“Those events have been life-transforming,” he said.
The students being able to step outside the “bubble” of Greenfield, he said, helps them to see “that the world does not revolve around them.” He said the students often find ways to serve at home following the mission trips focused on serving others.
Just over a year ago, New Directions moved into its new home at the Greenfield Area Christian Center, located at 910 N. Fifth St.
Began in 1989, New Directions has been located in downtown Greenfield.
Anderson said those associated with the youth ministry were worried that the move away from the center of Greenfield would negatively impact students’ attendance, but on Thursday he said “the opposite was true.”
“This week alone, more than 140 students” have attended activities at the ministry.
For more information about New Directions and the youth ministry programs, go to the ministry’s Facebook page or contact Anderson at 937-876-9868.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.