It’s 1 a.m. A mob of teenagers forms in front of a stage in a dimly lit room. The bass drum thumps as an electric guitar sings. Energy surrounds the crowd; it moves through the crowd. A scream begins with one and then another, then another. This is it.
The song they have been waiting for. The song that speaks the words they can’t always express. Soon the crowd is moving as one, singing as one…
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior” - Hillsong United, "Oceans"
What is this strange place where at 1 a.m. middle schoolers have exchanged sleep for community, video games for worship, and meaningless chatter has been exchanged for a challenge to ask God to reveal himself and his will? What is this place where students are asked to reconsider the Jesus they think they know for the radical Jesus who said...
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” -Luke 4:18
This is the Vault. And while you have heard the legends of energy drinks, inflatables in the sanctuary, and pizza grease covered Xbox remotes (which are all true), there is more to this event than you may have thought.
The Vault is a planned attack on enemy territory. Almost 20% of the students who attend the Vault have never been to Summit. Most of them are invited by friends. Some have never stepped inside of a church before. This is the most important reason The Vault exists. We always say we want students to take their next right step toward God, but for many of these students, this is their first step of any kind. For some it is the first time they have even considered that there are steps, that there is a God. We might not yell “Hallelujah” at Summit very often but… Hallelujah! Praise God who is pursuing these students!
There is also a second reason we sacrifice sleep, and time, and so many other things for our students. We want the students involved with Summit Student Ministries to know that what they do with their life matters right now. That they are empowered to invite and encourage their friends into taking steps toward a relationship with Jesus. When these students reconnect a friend with the God who is crazy about them- it matters. When they serve others- it matters. When they hold their hands open to the God of the universe and say “Whatever you have for me”- it matters.
This is the Vault. Now you know the whole story- or at least the beginning of the story.
Shhh… Don’t tell the middle schoolers. It’s more fun when they think it’s all about energy drinks.
Cody Stanley is the Student Ministries Minister at the Herndon campus. If you would like to learn more about Summit Student Ministries and ways you could get involved, he would love to hear from you! You can email Cody at firstname.lastname@example.org.