Freshman year I came into high school with a passion to see the kingdom of God move in my school. I was a young and zealous Christian that desired a movement of revival in my school.  However, I didn’t know how to get started or even what exactly needed to happen to see this revival happen. I remember one day I was looking at the list of clubs that met during the school day. I found one called CSU (Christian Students United), which sounded exactly like what I was looking for. I went to a few meetings and walked away discouraged. There were only about 15 kids there each time, all Christians who were quietly living out there faith in the safety of a small classroom. While that ministry was important, it wasn’t reaching out to those who needed to hear the message of God’s love.

Determined, I began to pray and ask God to provide me with an opportunity to start or take over a Christian group in my school.  I began to develop close relationships with the administration at my school. My position in ASB (student government) made it easy to create a line of trust between us. As a freshman, I knew that the only thing I could do at that point was to pray and spread the message through my relationships. But I knew God had a plan for me so I remained patient.

The summer after my sophomore year I got a call from a Christian teacher at my school. She called to let me know that she would be willing to be an advisor of a Christian group. That year there had been no plans for a Christian group to be on the clubs list, but God is faithful. Through his faithfulness I was able to get the club approved and put into the line up of clubs. An important thing to remember is that, as students, we have the right to start religious groups and clubs in public schools. Though there are a few guidelines, they aren’t hard to follow.

During my junior year, my leadership team and I started a club called “The Merge”. For the last two years, we have met in the schools’ auditorium and have seen countless lives changed. We have averaged around 140 kids every meeting and have had as much as 250. In a school of just over 1,200 students that is a decent number of kids coming to our club meetings.

Over the last two years, we have had musical performances from Christian rap groups, guest speakers like Judah Smith and Jeremiah Carlson, and a few different student speakers. By leading this group, I have grown tremendously as a leader and learned all about the trials of leading a large ministry. We’ve had a hand full of meetings where everything that I had planned failed, but through these failures, God has come through and done what he really wants.

The theme for “The Merge” this year is to be deeply rooted in Christ. Ephesians 3:16-19 describes this principle, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (NIV).  Our main message at “The Merge” is God’s love and to be deeply rooted in it.

In my life, this message has proven true time and time again as I, through my relationship with God, have been able to change the very atmosphere at my high school. I have seen the lives of so many kids change and I have seen the impact of God’s love move in a real way. My advice to any high school age Christians who have thought about starting a Christian group or club within their school, is to pray really hard about it and begin to develop a relationship with school administration. The most important thing to remember is that God is on your side and that through him all things are possible. Live by this truth and you will see the entire atmosphere of your school change and the kingdom of heaven come on earth.

Joshua McArthur
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