When Cat Arce moved from Hallsville High School to Longview High School before her sophomore year, she noticed not many people from her new high school were attending the youth group at Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview.
Arce wanted to change that. She started by inviting the school’s leaders, the boys from the recently crowned 6A state champion football team, to the church’s Wednesday night youth event, called Elevation. Not only did 12 of the football players come to Elevation, but several of them received Christ as their Savior—and they started inviting more friends to attend. Over about eight weeks, students from Longview High School were saved every week.
And it all started with an invitation. As Arce has seen God use her invitation to engage so many others in the school, her confidence has only grown.
“When I see people giving their lives to Christ and I see people you’d never expect to come to church, I know God has huge plans for me,” said the 16-year-old Arce, who is entering her junior year at Longview. “I’ve gotten people to church you’d never think would come, people who say that if they ever stepped foot in church, it would burn down because they were so devilish. Having God use me and give me just the right words at the right time … It is just crazy.”
Arce’s commitment to invite others to her youth group isn’t random. Mobberly Baptist’s high school minister, Michael Curl, regularly encourages students to have at least one friend they’re praying for and inviting to church.
“We push it hard,” Curl said. “There’s an expectation that if you come to Mobberly, if you’re a part of Elevation, you need to be inviting your friends. We put that expectation on them, and then the expectation on the staff is that we’re going to have a quality program that students won’t be embarrassed to bring their friends to. They’re going to have a lot of fun. And then the students know that if they bring their friends, they’re going to have an opportunity to hear the gospel.”
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Source: Southern Baptist Texan