One of my favorite mentoring initiatives was the Westwinds Windternships designed and administrated by Del Belcher, our former campus pastor at the Hub, and Terri McGarry, our children’s pastor. This program was designed for youth ages 10-12 and gave the kids opportunities for hands-on experience with our espresso bar, media, Christian Education, and worship. Participants completed a six-week internship that fostered 21st Century job and ministry skills through mentor-based learning.

Windterns developed inter-generational relationships and fostered community, gaining awareness about their own talents and interests. The results have been wonderful—friendship, laughter, camaraderie. Sometimes even sports. Sometimes dates. Sometimes babysitting and movies.

Another pair of staff members, Ben Redmond and Lori Gordon, have been connecting our Owners to those people who get baptized. That’s also been amazing. Our Owners have been adopting new believers, bringing them gifts and writing them encouraging letters, signing prayer journals and giving spontaneous hugs.

It’s starting to feel like we’re a church