Because of the intensity of the theory of change work Exodus is doing, the high school schedule has changed, as the team focuses on building up the metrics, curriculum and impact in the k through five groups before tackling a new and improved teen program.
Operation Exodus recently sat down for an interview with Aldo Guerrero, one of the Junior Leaders of our high school group. He gave his thoughts on teens and faith, and sounded off about the new shortened schedule that’s in place for high school this year.
OE: Aldo, thanks for being willing to sit down and chat. We’re calling this interview Street Beat 2.0.
A: The title reminds me of a movie called “Beat Street,” a movie about teens running everything in the city, so I like it.
A: It’s going good. There’s been a big improvement. Over the summer we spent a lot of time building into everyone, and one kid especially. We were helping him with a personal issue and some with school. He was at standstill. Stuck on an unhealthy relationship, feeling down. Chris (another leader) and I helped out a lot.
A: Not by telling him what he wanted to hear. That’s not what we do. We make a space where you can come and be yourself. But, we’ll also hang with you as you figure out what’s the best decision. We’ll tell you stuff that will help you figure out where you need to go.
A: Yeah. I mean, he’s leaning toward making a decision to give his life over to God. But, just ‘cos you make that decision, things don’t get easier. Make a decision for almighty, that’s the best but it’s still not easy. You can’t rely on somebody else. You gotta get your boots wet, go to war. It’s a declaration that you have to make for yourself, to live through Him.
OE: The war analogy is interesting.
A: That’s a point of interest because we don’t force anyone to think any one way. My Mom forced me to go to church my whole life. But at 16 nobody forced me to make that decision. I just knew that I was supposed to be a vessel for His plan. We don’t throw it on everybody. The difference is knowing your true self, no matter who you’re with. But, it’s not easy.
A: That’s something I learned at Hillsong (Church). People would ask about Christian hypocrites. At Hillsong, the saying is, “we always have a seat for you.” I mean, last year, Oct 10th, I made a decision I knew wasn’t right. It was in front of kids I mentor. After a long time of prayer, the revelation was, in the long term, it’s is not going to deter me. It was wrong. But, I know it won’t happen again. I’m not the same kid.
A: We want to re-open five days. We want to get our own space. Bring back that home feeling. There’s a lot of opportunities, what we can do with anything you give us. No matter what, we want this to be a place where you can find your true self, create a life where you live through Him.
A: Stick to your guns, ‘cos. God…He’s got you.