By: Ken Schmidtke

Walking into the school cafeteria can be a daunting task: 230 hungry students chatting with their friends eating sandwiches from their lunch bag or the chicken tenders and fries from the school lunchroom.  The students’ interests are not Tim and Tom as they pass down the aisles trying to meet students.  Tim and Tom are not deterred - they sit down with a group and begin a conversation as simple as “Hey, how is it going?”   Their goal is to meet at least 100 students, by name, before Campus Life starts.  At first it is intimidating and Tim and Tom are tentative.  Yet, as they progress in their pursuit of contacting kids it gradually becomes easier to meet students and to allow the conversation to lead them.

Tim and Tom are volunteer site directors in a small, rural community outside of Tacoma, Washington.  Tim, as a local youth pastor, wanted to connect his church to greater ministry in the community through Campus Life.  As a result, he along with Tom and several other leaders have developed a thriving Campus Life outreach at the local middle school.  Finding ways to meet students as a volunteer team has been challenging but not impossible.

They have found themselves at school lunches where they can meet the highest percentage of the student body.  They also make themselves available to serve the school as volunteers - chaperoning events and dances, visiting school sporting events, and participating at back to school programs.  Where the students are is where you will find the team.

Also, living in the community where they lead the Campus Life club lends to meeting kids and parents in town and community events -  the local fair, Safeway, Walgreens or Starbucks.  Contacting students and family becomes a very natural activity as they intentionally pursue teens and their parents.

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