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By Pastor Chris Popadich

   The incredible worship team was halfway through the second song during second service. For those unfamiliar with our second service routine, junior high students sit on the left and high school students sit on the right in the front two rows of the sanctuary.

   On this particular Sunday, the first row was packed! I mean it was elbow-to-elbow with junior high boys and girls squeezed into the first row. Then, a young woman arrived in a bright yellow shirt. Meagan, our Junior High director, was worshiping in the second row when she spotted the young woman approaching the very full row of students and invited her to join the second row.

   As one of the pastors who most often sits in front of these students, I knew she was new to the junior high. Something magical happened as the set of three songs finished and the students began to sit down. Like a giant centipede, one-by-one the guys inched over and a space opened up enough for this young woman to be called from the second to the first row.

   I could see it was clearly uncomfortable for most of them. Some of their arms were over the pew; some leaning forward to not bump shoulders; all were now squeezed next to their neighbors. But it didn’t matter. This row of 16 junior highers invited a new member into their community, despite the discomfort of adding a 17th person. It may have been awkward, but this is a powerful testimony to the incredible work of God in the lives of our junior high students. I am certain these things don’t come naturally, but only as a result of Gospel transformation that is occuring in the hearts of our students.

   Thank you Meagan Bergem and Jr. High leaders for discipling our students in the area of hospitality!


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