StudentCity is the youth ministry of Redemption City Church in Franklin, TN. Kali Hicks is a senior at Centennial High School and has been a key team member in helping to plant and cultivate this ministry. We asked Kali to reflect on these first 18 months of StudentCity and what makes the youth ministry in a new church so unique. Here are Kali’s thoughts…
StudentCity is more than just a youth group; it is truly a youth ministry.
“This ministry is unique because it is developing and changing every day. I’m amazed to see how this ministry has grown in only a year and a half. Through the leadership of Brittany and Tucker Watson, we are forming this group into the encouraging, open life-ministry team God is calling us to build.”
Through StudentCity, relationships are being formed — even with the variety of age groups. To be honest, I was worried when I first found out that I would be in a youth group with kids up to eight years younger than me. I was worried about the maturity difference and even just the awkwardness of me being in the same youth group as a kid I babysit! I quickly learned that God had bigger plans; He knows how to unite us all. With this wide variety of ages, I have been able to mentor and encourage other girls who are going through similar things I once went through. The leaders invest in us and we invest in the students around us. Just because I’m the oldest out of the youth doesn’t mean I’m always the one teaching. Some of the younger students express an eagerness to speak up and ask challenging questions and that has inspired me to continue grow and dig deeper into God’s Word with the same enthusiasm! And for the kids I babysit, I have surprisingly loved getting to openly talk about the Gospel and prayer requests we have together – both on Wednesday nights and when I’m over at their house. Even with our great differences, The Lord has united us as friends.
Although I originally felt God calling me to Redemption City to help with the children’s ministry, I now see that He also placed me at RCC for the youth ministry. This ministry has helped me open up and be vulnerable about things going on in my life that I was never able to talk about in a large youth group. I have also been able to encourage others to do the same. This openness has unknowingly become a form of guidance to get others involved and turn a sermon into a group discussion.
Who would have thought God could use my “abundance of words” to help others open up and express what they have to share?
It still amazes me to think back to just two years ago and see how different my life was then and imagine how different life would be now without the impact of StudentCity at RCC. Redemption City has become the greatest blessing God has ever put in my life. This ministry has helped guide me through my last two years in high school, as well as aid me in making important decisions for my future including my future. And for that, I say thank you: thank you God, thank you Redemption City, and thank you StudentCity.