Hanging on the door of my office at Raleigh Youth Mission is a quote by Margaret Mead. It reads, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Mission, like ministry, often starts with small groups of thoughtful committed people. Being a part of the Raleigh community I have the distinct pleasure of introducing youth to those groups of people who are doing their part to change the world. I’ve seen youth come through the doors ready to serve, while others hung back, unsure of how they can take part. Raleigh Youth Mission has taught me the beautiful lesson that service can take many forms. For some youth it’s about making sure they find groups of people that want to build new things in the world around them. They want to get their hands dirty and look at see a tangible expression of their service. Others see their community and acknowledge the ways we are called to tend to what is already built. They love to serve food or work in gardens, because service to them means finding their role in the bigger picture. I also work alongside the youth that crave relationships. They see the beauty in a conversation, and want to break down the barriers that keep us from our neighbors.
This is the joy of being a part of this ministry of mission in Raleigh. When youth come to serve here, they get the chance to find their place in ministry. They get to meet some of the folks that are the thoughtful and committed citizens that change the world. In the end, our hope is that when a youth comes to Raleigh Youth Mission they see a little bit of their own home here. They not only have the chance to serve, but also to reflect and express their understanding of faith. Raleigh Youth Mission is a ministry of connection, collaboration, and co-creation. We strive to create an experience that will help form the next generation of thoughtful and committed citizens, encouraging them and empowering them to discern how the Spirit is moving in their lives.
Katherine Blankenship is the Mission Immersion Director of Raleigh Youth Mission and a Teaching Elder (ordained minister) in the PC(USA).