It's a little after 6 p.m. on a Sunday. A band takes the stage. In the dimly lit room, a small but loyal following gets to its feet and sings along.
If this sounds like a scene that a teenager would want to be part of, it is. But it's not a club or even a trendy coffee shop. This crowd, middle- and high-school kids, plus a few curious parents, is at a worship service at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church in Sherrills Ford.
The band? Part of the youth group.
The 6:13 p.m. worship service, which has its own Facebook page, is officially titled "6:13 The Message." The program began last year when Mount Pleasant's pastor, Joe Westfall, wanted to offer a service that would attract young people.
The name comes from the Bible verse Romans 6:13: "... Offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness."
The band, whose members offer both themselves and their instruments to the worship, consists of two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and three vocalists. They gather to rehearse about an hour before worship begins.
Oddly, time was the central topic at a recent session of 6:13.
After the band led two or three contemporary worship songs, youth director Kevin Smigielski asked the group to briefly interview each other on how they would use a time machine. Then he talked to the kids about how they use their time: Are they procrastinators, prioritizors or slackers when it comes to getting things done? Where does their relationship with God fit into their daily lives?
To illustrate his point, Smigielski, who at 23 is not much older than his charges, used video and slides and his own personal examples. He told how, as a 17-year-old, he ignored the curfew his father had set. Smigielski said he thought he had gotten away with coming home late, but the next morning he discovered his father had removed the front tires from his car.
"It was awesome!" Smigielski said of his dad's creativity. He admits that he didn't look at the punishment that way then, but appreciates it now.
Smigielski's high-tech, low-key approach is intentional. "We want 6:13 Worship to be a time where people can be engaged in heartfelt praise (and) challenging messages," he said. "The church is losing younger generations."
One goal of the service, he said, is to provide an inclusive environment. "Our vision is to reach the young unchurched and dechurched with the power and love of Jesus Christ," he said. "I would personally love to see teenagers come to know the Lord and live out a trusting faith because they went to 6:13 worship."
That vision extends beyond Mount Pleasant church. This summer, its youth will travel to Florida and Oklahoma for mission work.
These opportunities for outreach, as well as the positive social environment of 6:13, make it a natural draw for Callie Elliot, 12.
"I make my parents take me," she said.
How many kids say that about church?