Word has spread that Hope Christian Reformed Church in Grandville, Mich., is a great place for teens to spend Tuesday evenings.
Among the 30 or so teens who show up regularly is Carrisa Byers, 17. She explains her own presence by pointing to her friend, Amber Miller, 17. “Because of her,” Carrisa said.
And how did Amber know about The Shop? “I heard it from a friend,” she said.
Richard Main, 13, a skateboarder, couldn’t wait to come. “My brother found out about it. When I got old enough, I started coming,” he said.
Teens ages 13 to 18 can drop in at The Shop for skateboarding, pool, video games, snacks, guitar playing, and Bible talks.
Leaders Sam Krikke and Rev. Darin Compagner lead short devotions aimed at teens’ needs.
Greg Main, 16, said, “If I’m not sure about something, it helps me see what the Bible says.”
Although Cameron Brocker, 18, admits to an ambivalent opinion about the talks, he said, “They make me think about my life.”
Most of the teens who come have not attended Hope worship services, Krikke said; nonetheless, they gain spiritual guidance at the center. “For many of the students, The Shop is ‘church.’”
The program has also opened the way for the church to visit neighborhood families during bereavement, illnesses, and financial crises.