Dream big but start small was a word of advice I received last week. 

Had I heard that a year ago I may have dismissed it but the last couple of years have taught me a lot. Too much to blog that's for sure. So if you read the other Project Collide blog posts you'll get a good picture of my "starting small." I have a dream to reach all youth, middle and high school age, boys and girls but at this point in time I'm not equipped to do that. That will take more leaders joining me and more resources. 

Right now all of my leaders are women, so girls ministry it is. I do not have a place to meet so the Mulford house is where we meet for our Taco Tuesday Bridge Ministry. But one outreach and one Bible study is not my dream, it's just the "starting small." My dream involves so much more.

I see a place where teens are given the chance to truly change the world around them. A place that feeds the needy through a food pantry, clothes the "naked" through a clothing outlet and provides worship opportunities on-site and out in the community for those who may never enter a chruch. And the best part is it is mostly run by our group of Project Collide teens. 

Project Collide will be a group of young people who are not afraid to move toward those who need Jesus, not asking them to come to us but us going to them right where they are. Project Collide seeks to offer several opportunities a year for inner-city missions in the U.S. as well as overseas missions. 

I believe that our teens are capable of so much more than we ask of them. They are seeking to live life on Facebook and other social networks with "friends" they barely know because we have not offered them a more compelling story. More simply put...they are board! Project Collide can be the place that gives them that opportunity, gives them purpose and gives them possibly a life mission. I see Project Collide being a place where teens can learn life skills and life lessons that will prepare them successfully to enter college and the world. 

What if Project Collide could offer high school students actual paying jobs to be serving as the hands and feet of Jesus? What if those High School students were apprenticing Middle School student to take those jobs when they leave for college? What if Project Collide could provide scholarships for those leaving for college? What if kids were excited to get out of school in the afternoon, get their homework finished and get to "work" on a Project that made a difference in the lives of the most needy in Wilson County and the greater Nashville area?

Some of you may think I'm crazy. You are looking at the teens around you and thinking that they are not equipped to handle that type of responsibility. I think you would be wrong. In fact I think they would rise to the occasion and blow our minds. Most teens still believe that they really can change the world we live in (something adults have lost) and I personally think they can too. I think that Paul thought the same thing when he wrote the following words to Timothy his younger "apprentice": "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

I agree with Paul. Our young people are not to be looked down upon. They have the ability to be the ones who teach us a thing or two about speech, life, love, faith and purity. I think we are the ones who have dropped the ball and left them with too much time on their hands and we are not pointing them to a purpose. They are playing the cards they have been dealt, seeking out the most compelling life story, even if that involves things that hurt them. Project Collide can hand them something worth betting it all on! LifeLife in Christ. Life being the hands and feet of Christ on this earth. And maybe they (and I believe that they will or I would not be doing this) will be the ones that breathe some life back into the church. 

So, on the website you can see my starting small. But what do I need to fulfill the dream? God. So first I need your prayers. Pray that God will continue to open doors and encourage me along to not allow me to give up. Pray that God will send leaders, mentors, teens that are desperate for a purpose, a place, funding, and most of all His love. The mission of the teens at Project Collide will be to reach out. The mission of Project Collide will be to change the lives of the teens involved in PC in God-sized ways with God-sized love. Above all else I want them to feel loved by God through Project Collide and also allow them to be the love of God to another. There is no greater calling.

Want to join me in this wild ride? Drop me and email. But please if you have read this far I just ask that you spend the next few minutes in prayer for Project Collide. Then jump in.

Thank you,
Jen
The Mission of Project Collide:To inspire teens to love God, live a compelling life story & learn to see everyone through the eyes of Jesus.The Vision for Project Collide:To have a place that acts as a community outreach/learning/worship center run by teens in the Mt. Juliet/Wilson County middle and high schools. To be a place to collect and distribute food, clothing and care to those in need. To deliver food and clothing to those in need who are not near the Project Collide Center. Delivering necessary items to the most needy in Wilson County and downtown Nashville homeless.To act as a place where teens can be mentored and learn to mentor others. To be a place where much is expected and much is given. We wish to give teens responsibility therefore giving them purpose. We believe that teens can achieve much more than is usually expected of them. We want to set the bar high and give them the tools to reach it. When they miss we are there to mentor and love them through and when they hit that high bar we throw a party!To be a place where everyone is respected and honored as person created uniquely by God. To offer paying jobs to high school Juniors and Seniors (job's they have apprenticed to do). To offer scholarships and college application assistance to Project Collide Team Members.To build relationships with local charities, churches and colleges.
 
 
I recently read a book by author Donald Miller called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (a must read!). In the book he tells the story about a conversation he had with a friend over lunch. The friend told Don about some trouble they had been having with his teen daughter; nightmare boyfriend, drugs in the closet, etc.. Don responded "Wow, she is living a terrible story." And they talked a while longer and finished lunch. 

A while later he ran into his friend and asked about the daughter and the friends went on to explain how things had taken a wonderful change for the better and all because of that comment Don made to his friend. See the friend realized that he had not provided the daughter with a compelling story so she had sought one for herself. Against many financial odds he decided that his family would build an orphanage through a program he found online at the cost of $25,000 (He had just taken out a second mortgage on his home). 

Through this process he and his wife started to get closer and finally the daughter came to them one day and asked to go to Mexico to take pictures so she could post them on a website to help raise money. In essence dad gave the daughter a new life story to tell. And yep, you guessed it, she broke up with the nightmare and really began to turn her life around. What I love most about this story was what the dad said about his daughter when Don asked about the boyfriend. The dad said, "That's done now. No girl who plays the role of a hero dates a guy who uses her. She knows who she is. She just forgot for a little while."

I've read it a thousand times and I get tears in my eyes every time. I can tell you that my true life story is so like that girl that it hits my core every time. I just forgot for a little while. My heart is broken over the girls in our community that have forgot who they are. Maybe they are following a guy, friends, addiction, all of the things we follow that just use us. Some have wonderful parents who have loved them and they have just lost their way searching for a more compelling story. Some have never been told that they deserve, and God has planned for them, a beautiful story. He has a place for them in His family. They have never heard that they are Princesses. And not a princess sitting in a salon getting a mani/pedi, when God says Princess He means Warrior! God has in mind the princess that's not afraid to get her tiara dirty in battle! That is a princess I can relate to.

I believe that God has put Project Collide on my heart to create a new story for the teens in our area, maybe in our world. I see a place where they are the ones creating a life for others and in the mean time changing their own lives in profound ways. Over the last few years God has been slowly planting this God-sized dream in my heart. How do I know it's God you ask? Well because quite honestly it scares me to death! I have had so many ideas and projects that I have tried it's crazy. Each one began because I knew I could do it. I'll be honest with you, I have no idea how I do this. But every day God is opening doors and hearts to Project Collide. That is the fun part about doing something you are completely unable to do, you know it's not you doing it. That brings me such comfort, you have no idea. 

So please pray for PC and join me is asking God to give the kids in Mt. Juliet what He has given me...a more compelling story by colliding my passion and purpose. Let's help them write a better story. It's all just part of God's story that He is still writing to this very day. You may hold a "finished" Bible in your hand but the story is far from over and we all have a character in it. Are we willing to put down our pens and allow God to write for us the story He has planned? 

Jen