Games, worship, community outreach define youth ministry

growth faith

The youths of First United Methodist Church attend a recent service. The church's youth program has expanded rapidly, from 10 people to 90 in three years.

BRIAN HUGHES | News Bulletin
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012 at 10:34 AM.

CRESTVIEW—First United Methodist Church’s youth program had a welcome problem. In less than three years, it grew from about 10 kids to more than 90. The youth house across Texas Parkway from the church was bursting at the seams. Now the ministry has brand new facilities and equipment, and participation is higher than ever.

Finding the associate/youth pastor, the Rev. Brandon Dasinger, among the hubbub of Wednesday youth nights isn’t always easy. His boyish countenance makes him easily mistakable for one of the many teens shooting pool, playing foosball or pingpong, or just hanging out. The kids say it’s appealing that Dasinger easily blends in among his flock.

“He’s so nice and easy to relate to,” 16-year-old Matthew Slayton said. “And he’s young.”

“He’s cool. It’s easy to forget he’s a pastor,” Taylor Ruschmeier, 17, said.

“Brandon does a good job of getting the kids involved,” parent Jody Woodward said.

Dasinger, however, credits Woodward, his fellow adult volunteers and an initial handful of kids for the success of the program.

“It was really a team of adults and a nucleus of kids that got excited about this and about God,” Dasinger said. “They invited their friends to come along. We didn’t have cool facilities, and we didn’t have the greatest band, we didn’t have any sound system. There was no reason for our growth. There is no way of explaining it except it’s what God wanted.”

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