We wanted to get to know each of the three key speakers at TeenStreet (TS) this year and what it's like to be on the programme team. Let us introduce you to Rich.
Where are you from/living: (USA; France)
How did you get connected with TS; how long have you been connected with TS? [See Q&A with Rachel]
Describe the process from last year to this year: Josh and Debs [former TS speakers] have been extremely supportive and praying for us, keeping in touch to see how things are going and showing their support. I feel like they’ve passed the baton very well. That helps us feel like we’re able to move forward [with TS].
Last October, the [programme] team met together in Austria to start going through the theme of the Lord’s prayer and how we were going to dissect it, the ways we could apply it into our lives. We were meeting every week via Skype up until the March meeting, when we got input/feedback from al the country leaders on the materials (the Big Adventures). From that point, there was some polishing work, breaking down some of the details.
What was the highlight (‘wow’ or ‘aha’ moments) of the planning process?
The March meetings: it was one of the occasions when I realized how big of a team TS has. There’s not a small group of people planning everything and then presenting things. It’s a huge team of people that’s multi-cultural, coming together from all these different countries that create TS. One of the cool things about TS is that everyone has ownership in it. This isn’t just a few people’s project. It’s a huge, global group effort.
What are one or two things that 1) you want to take away from this week, and 2) you want the teens to take away from this week?
My heart for this week is the same for myself and the teens: that we would draw closer to God. In preparing these studies, I found way more practical application in the Lord’s prayer in my life. I sincerely believe that when you’re teaching something, it’s usually something that’s applicable to yourself. I’m excited that, at the end of the week, I’ll be closer to the Father. It’s trusting God’s Spirit to move through us in the same way.
Practical way of drawing closer that sticks out: the immensity and glory of God isn’t always the easiest to relate to. On Day 1, we spent a lot of time talking about how big He is. Practically, studying, teaching and getting a grasp of that allows me to worship in a more meaningful/complete manner.
What does it mean for you to be part of the whole TS process?
It’s a great example of God’s grace, because we’re all broken, crooked and have issues. The fact that God has chosen to use us, despite all the imperfections, is grace. That we get to observe all these different nations worshipping the same great God in different languages, giving their all—just worshipping the Father—is grace.
What comes next for you guys?
We go home to France, take a couple days to breathe and thank God for everything He’s done. Then we go to our home church in France and kick off the year for the youth group and children’s ministries.
If you had a life motto, what would it be?
Put others before yourself, because that’s what Christ did for us… and always eat your vegetables.