Every first Wednesday of the month, November through May, over 200 people from Church of the Open Door Next Generation youth group, serve at nearly 25 different locations around the Twin Cities. For the last eight years, roughly 150 students and 50 leaders have served, packing meals and sorting at Second Harvest Heartland, hanging out and playing with the children at Mobile Hope, helping to prepare and serve a meal at Simpson Shelter or serving snacks at Crisis Nursery.
“We think it is important that teenagers learn and experience that the world is bigger than them and it is their job to help care for the world and people in it,” says Next Generation associate pastor Amanda Svensk. “We do this by seeing needs, listening and responding in the ways that we can to help. Serving teaches us and is more helpful to us often than those we set out to help. Serving helps us keep our problems in perspective and to realize our own purpose.”