Editor's note: This story was written as a part of the Observer's Explorer Post program, which gives high school students the chance to learn about journalism.
Aaron Moore, 35, is faced with a challenging task ahead.
He is the youth leader at Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church. The task he currently faces is that of attendance inside the youth group. The number of youth attending on a weekly basis is small. On average, the youth groups will consist of four leaders and normally three youth.
Albemarle Road is not a small church and is home to a few dozen youth, from infants to college seniors. Yet high school and elementary age students are the most consistent in coming.
This is where Aaron comes in. His challenge is to provide the youth group with as many kids as possible.
Already Aaron has had many successful trips where the youth attendance is more than the average. These trips included a visit to a corn maze, Laser tag, and Sky-High and countless other trips.
Payton Hall, 16, has known Aaron for close to nine months and says her favorite part of youth is “all the trips we have gone on.”
The only negative view she has towards youth at this time is the number of youth in attendance.
Sandy Blackwelder is one of the four youth leaders at the church. Sandy has been going to the same church for close to 60 years. Blackwelder said the difference between Aaron and other youth leaders he has seen over the years is that Aaron “has a true heart for God that I have not seen in many years. His focus is on Christ and Christ’s salvation. “
Blackwelder is also part of Praise Team, a singing group inside the church, in which Aaron also takes part. Blackwelder said that Aaron “always brings joy to Praise Team.”
Aaron has said that being in youth is like “reliving your glory days” in a sense. During youth it’s easy to be a kid again.
He said he “doesn’t understand the new generation of music,” but he is willing to learn.
Willingness to learn is an important trait for someone looking to be part of the youth experience.
This isn’t Aaron’s first job in youth ministry. He was once a youth minister at Abbest Creek in Florida. When asked if he was at the time looking for work in youth ministry he simple said he
He “wasn’t looking for a job in youth ministry but at that time I had given my life to Christ and he sent me on the path to ministry,” Moore said.
Aaron has many more plans set for the summer as well including a mission trip to the mountains, a day at Carowinds, and a weekend at the beach.The goal is to get more youth begin to show up and participate.
Aaron knows he can’t do it alone.
“You simply just have to trust that God will send you those that he want to be ministered and you can only accept that and hope more will come,” he said.