Youth Ministry Update – 2023

Hello Abiding Savior!

On October 3rd 2020 (2wks after I became the Youth Director) A good friend told me, “Chris, the UNDERGROUND in your life is going to become the new UPPER ROOM” I didn’t know what he meant until I walked into the Rooted Youth main entrance, and saw in huge bold letters, “WELCOME TO THE UNDERGROUND.” That’s when I knew God was about to do something far beyond all I could do on my own.

Rooted Youth is not just a “youth group” to the students that attend, but a home. Our Mission is “to create a safe place for students to build relationships, boldly activate their faith, and disciple others.” We don’t have it all together, but one thing I know we do well is create a space that allows both students and leaders to come as they are and feel that they can be themselves.

As you see in the video below, Rooted has grown so much that we have officially moved to the “Upper Room” (aka the Auditorium) in January of this year.

We have an average of 80-100 students on a weekly basis. We have 23 adult leaders that are not only consistent every week, but spend their own time outside of Rooted pouring into the students by taking them out to eat and attending their school activities.

We have an amazing student-led worship team that is currently led by Issy DeWit, Jackson Brunick, Jayden Lewis, and Jake Knobloch.

I have a group of 13 students that I call “Rooted Elders” that meet weekly after youth group is done and talk about the night, talk about our lives, and pray/worship together.

I have a strong Advisory Board that meets monthly, and plans for the future of Rooted Youth.

I’m so honored to work alongside Ann Boerger, who is the part time assistant for Rooted. She has done an amazing job with helping me plan upcoming monthly events, FLY, mission trips, and many other things.

This Summer we will be bringing 50 students and 13 adults to FLY in Estes Park CO. We will attend both JR High, and High School Pickerel Lake Bible Camps, Assist in the AFLC Annual Conference, and meet bi-weekly serving the church in unique ways.

Just two weeks ago we had 3 students surrender their lives to Jesus. 1 of the students is a senior in high school and had never attended Rooted. In fact, he didn’t attend a church at all. As I connected with him and gave him a new Study Bible he started asking me questions. I asked him if he had ever heard of John 3:16, and I cited the verse. He never heard that verse before. I was challenged. I was thinking to myself, how do we live in South Dakota and still see people that have never heard of Jesus. He literally had no clue. This student has since texted me multiple times throughout the week asking me questions and sharing what the Lord has been doing in his life. They asked me, “is it ok that I pray out loud for my ex who treated me poorly? You see, he heard the name of Jesus, but he never knew Jesus. He never knew what Jesus did for him, or why having a relationship with Jesus was important. These are things that as a believer most of my life I take for granted. I get challenged just as much as these students do. I’m challenged to not only be an example of Jesus, but truly live out my life as a follower by praying for those who persecute me, and loving my enemies as Jesus does. I love so much that I get to do life alongside these amazing students! I don’t take being the youth director over Rooted Youth lightly. I love all my students and leaders and am honored to watch them become the amazing people God has called them to be.

If you want to be challenged in your walk with the Lord and see Jesus work through our teenagers, I want to encourage you to come check out Rooted, and consider becoming a leader. We are currently recruiting both Men and Women for the 2023 – 2024 school year! Men, I’m going to target you for a second. I need you the most. I have some young men that need to be poured into, and we are needing more male leaders that are willing to be consistent and pour into our young men. If you feel you aren’t “good enough”, or you wouldn’t be able to make a difference, I want you to disregard those thoughts. This isn’t an easy ministry to be a part of, but you’re not alone!

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~2 Timothy 1:7

Just know that because you have the Holy Spirit, You have access to the spirit of power, love, and self-control. There is nothing to be afraid of!

There are many more things I can share about Rooted, so if you are interested in hearing more, please reach out. I would love to share what God is doing.

Thank you Abiding!


Chris Crenshaw
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