"Pardners" in Texas Momentum,
Kurt Klement became my friend over lunch in Dallas, Texas. Along with 11 of his 45 youth volunteers from St. Ann's Catholic Church, he came to Irving Bible Church in April for our Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry training. His church illustrates Reach Out's momentum in Texas.
Kurt Klement and St. Ann's Catholic Church
What the Lord is doing already at St. Ann's and what He is preparing them to do, demonstrates how the Holy Spirit wants to work in His Body to reach and disciple the younger generation. This story is "outside the box" for some, yet it expresses what I say often about God's work around the world: "The Holy Spirit is always working, at all times, in all places, with all people."
During our JFYM Forum and over lunch I discovered that Kurt has served as the youth pastor at St. Ann's for 17 years. 10,000 people attend Mass every Sunday. Over 600 teenagers actively engage with their ministry weekly. 45 committed adults lead them. The 11 who attended the Forum serve on their Executive Youth Leadership Team--a lively, energetic, and relationally well-connected group. As we discussed the Catholic/Protestant issue over lunch, he told me, "I have found nothing about Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry that I, or our church, cannot embrace." Later during a break he asked me what we do with our resources on the Display Table. "We send them back," I said. He responded, "Can I buy them?" He bought everything!
During the day and later in our weekly "coaching calls", I sensed Kurt's humility and hunger. He expressed to me, "Barry, my greatest desire for our leaders and students is for them to love Jesus more and for our ministry to more intentionally disciple our leaders and kids like Jesus did." I wish I heard that more often from other youth leaders!
As Kurt and I got to know each other better on our calls, we dug down into practical ways a large ministry like St. Ann's can more intentionally pursue a relational disciple-making ministry. Together, we discovered a series of practical actions that Kurt wants to take. Once implemented at St. Ann's, Kurt envisions us introducing Jesus-Focused Youth Ministry to Catholic churches throughout the Dallas diocese.