Youth Experience ‘Summer of Service’ BY David Hunt and Rick Martin
David Hunt and Rick Martin, cofounders of Rejoice! Outreach Ministries, have sent out the S.O.S. signal, and hundreds of youth have responded.
In 1997, SOS signaled the beginning of an exciting new youth ministry, conceived and launched in Center, TX, where David Hunt is pastor and Rick Martin is Assistant Pastor. SOS stands for “Summer of Service.” Its mission, according to their mission statement, is “to engage outstanding, spirit-filled high school students and other young people in a summer of intense evangelism, departmental church work, fellowship and ministry thus providing a full-time summer team laboring in unity with the local church for the furtherance of the kingdom of God.”
According to Brother Martin, “SOS was birthed out of a desire that Pastor Hunt had to see the youth in our church have a summer of evangelism instead of a summer slump. SOS team members were sponsored financially by members of the local church and their families allowing them to come to the church on a daily basis for leadership training and real hands-on ministry.”
Brother Martin taught the youth the same church-growth principles that he has taught pastors and church leaders for several years through his Ambassador Advantage program. “Not only did they grasp those principles, but they implemented them with zeal,” states Brother Martin.
“The highly structured daily program began with prayer and then went right into leadership training. By 11:30 a.m. each day, they were on task working for the local church. They were involved in everything from street evangelism to ushering and hostessing.”
Brother Hunt said, “The second year of SOS began with our first SOS Director’s Training Academy, two and a half days of intense training. Sixteen churches were represented at the academy in Center. These churches represented 693 young people that would be touched by the SOS ministry.
“We have just concluded our second Academy which involved churches from Maryland, Texas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana and the Philippines.” Brothers Hunt and Martin have written a 200-page Director’s Manual that includes nine hours of training cassettes that they now make available to pastors and youth leaders across the globe.”
For those who have not attended the yearly academy, the SOS materials are available by calling: (800) 973-7105, or you may write to: Rejoice! Outreach Ministries, P.O. Box 1602, Center, TX 75935.