FERGUSON – Helping young people understand the relevance of the gospel is the focus of Tony Jones, youth minister at First Baptist Church, Ferguson, and his musical group, “Surrender 2 Him.”
“We’ve got outreach on our heart,” Jones said. “We want to partner with churches and create these events on their parking lots to attract the community.”
Music is one of the primary attractions, and “Surrender 2 Him” has that covered. Jones and his partner Kiesh are both performers of music with a Christian message. Their music draws young people with rap, R&B and a pop sound.
“Our mission,” Jones said, “is to help people surrender to Christ through Christ-centered presentations. We want to partner with churches to reach people.”
Surrender 2 Him held their first event, “Take It 2 the Streets,” at Parker Road Baptist Church. “This helped us in our area,” Jesse Barnhart, pastor of Parker Road, said. “We want to reach out to young people, and this event helped us do that.”
The Parker Road parking lot was rocking with the sound of music. In addition, the FBC Ferguson puppet team was on hand to entertain both children and adults with the gospel and teachings of Jesus.
“We want to build relationships with other churches,” Jones said. “It is important to the body of Christ for churches to cooperate with each other. We need to start realizing this is not our will, but God’s desire for us to reach people.”
Barnhart agrees that cooperation is important. “It is important that churches not look at areas as turfs, but it is more important to advance the kingdom. We need to come together, sharing resources and working together. It is about the Lord, not us.”
Jones also stresses working together as he looks toward a “Take It 2 the Streets” event at First Baptist Church Ferguson in August. “This is a church event,” he said. “We want church congregations to understand this is a community connection. Our group comes alongside to support this outreach.”
In addition to music and puppets, the event at First Baptist Church Ferguson will feature activities for the entire family. According to Jones, plans are for free food, school supplies, a basketball tournament, a cakewalk and other games. Jones also said that promotion is done by church members. “We enlist the young people in the church to hand out fliers and to spread the word through Facebook,” he said.
“We want the church members to work and to come together,” Jones said. “We want the community to see the unity. We need people to talk to people.”
Barnhart encourages other congregations to get involved in this opportunity to share the gospel.
“Churches should open their parking lots and open their hearts to share the gospel,” he said.