By John Albrycht
After investing 20+ years in youth ministry, I had witnessed first hand— we were losing a lot of students after they graduate every year. We had crafted great programs, taught countless hours in large group settings and planned some incredible trips, but when it came to what matters, we had been utterly insignificant encouraging students to have a faith of their own.
In 2006, I realized I had to radically change the way I viewed and did youth ministry. So I started to look through the Scriptures and landed on the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus. I was amazed at the simplicity of how Jesus mentored. He mentored in a three step process, without skipping a step.
– Invested relationally
– Loved unconditionally
– Spoke truthfully
The problem was that the way we did youth ministry didn’t allow me to go through these 3 steps with young people in a one on one mentoring environment. We were missing the mentoring piece in our youth ministry programmatic structure.
It was at this point that we decided to wed our passions with purpose. We took a love for restoring VW Beetles, a passion for how Jesus mentored and created an environment where we could minister and mentor 16-18 year old young men one on one. We grabbed the eight high school junior and senior guys in the youth group, a few men, my auto mechanic shop, and went on a 16 month journey to restore a 1971 VW Beetle.
And this is how Bugs4Christ, Inc. was birthed.
Every week you can find us out at the shop crawling under a car with a few guys. We developed the slogan “Mentoring Men While Building Bugs“. It is so amazing for each of the men to take one or two of the young men and pass on a trade while mentoring them deeper in their faith.
Currently, Bugs4Christ is an independent ministry that has mentored numerous young men in their faith, restored over 15 cars, and given away numerous vehicles. We even had the opportunity to do a 5 day restoration of a 1973 Beetle in New Mexico!
We now meet every Thursday night in an 8 car shop with 15-18 guys.
The reality is that men in our churches can do the same thing for the teenagers guys in our youth ministries. They just need a passion for Jesus, a passion for something else and mentor in the way of invest relationally, love unconditionally and speak truthfully.
John Albrycht’s Bio:
John Albrycht is a long-time resident of Jones County, Georgia and the founder of Bugs4Christ, Inc. He has been involved in Youth Ministry for over 20 years and has served as Youth Minister for several churches in the Middle Georgia area. He recently concluded serving as Interim Youth Minister at Greenwood Baptist Church. He resides in Gray, Georgia with Sandy, his wife of 24 years, and their five children ages 21, 18, 11, 9, and 7. He is also employed by Terrell, Hundley, & Carroll R/W Services Inc. as an appraiser, negotiator, and project manager.
Bugs4Christ, Inc. was founded in 2006. The purpose of the ministry is “to mentor young men in their walk with Christ, while teaching them how to restore Volkswagen Beetles.
More information concerning the ministry can be found on Facebook. John can be reached at 478-297-7180 or by e-mail at Bugs4Christ@windstream.net