Sunday, July 22, 2001

Good kids make the news

Religion Columnist

No theft. No drugs. No alcohol. No violence. No, not in this news release!

This time, like many more times than actually get reported and printed, it's the good kids doing good things making the news!

It's mission trips. It's music tours. It's servant camps. It's community service projects. And it's NEWS! Good news!

All summer long hundreds, maybe thousands, of teens from our community have been making news ­ good news ­ with their activities of work and sacrifice. All summer long almost every church youth group in our community has or will be making news with extraordinary acts of goodness and kindness for the sake and benefit of others.

And please, young people, don't think your gifts and contributions have gone un-noticed because they weren't splattered across the front page of every newspaper! Those of us who notice such great things from you have celebrated you and your newsworthy fetes! Believe me!

As you read this on Saturday or Sunday, July 21st or 22nd, I know of one particular group of good kids from our community who are out right now making good news. That's "The God Squad" from our church, Prince of Peace Lutheran, right here in Fayetteville.

Many of you have heard of them or read about them before. My dear friend Dr. Knox Herndon wrote of them several weeks ago after he and the good kids from his church's youth group saw The God Squad production in Sams Auditorium. We were all honored that Dr. Knox lifted them up in such a positive and complimentary way.

Anyway, The God Squad is in South Carolina over this weekend and into the middle of this week to take their presentation of the Christian youth musical "Truth Slayers" to several churches and the good kids who will gather to receive the message and the "praisentation" (yes, "PRAISE-n-tation"!).

After these programs in traditional churches, the final "show" (yes, even though it's a "praisentation", it's a GREAT "show" as well!) will be for hundreds of youth assembled on the campus of Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina, for the Lutheran "Southeast Region Youth Gathering".

This is REALLY a lot of good kids making REALLY a lot of good news as they both present and receive a message that might just save their life in this world ­ and will most definitely save their life for the next!

Splatter that across the top of your front page, dear front-page newspaper editor!

As I said, this is only a drop in the bucket of good kids making good news multiplied hundreds and thousands of times over, not only all summer long, but all year long, year after year!

One more thing: The other good news worthy of front page splash are the hundreds (thousands?) of great adults who give themselves to lead, guide, support, and bless the good kids so they can accomplish all the good things that make for all this good news!

Since I have mentioned "The God Squad" in particular, I also mention their adult director Mrs. Karen King. What a blessing of good news she is! WOW! For ten years she has loved and coached these good kids toward great accomplishments. "Mrs. King leads God Squad" would be a most appropriate headline for a front-page article in any newspaper!

To ALL of you adults who do good work leading good kids we declare in headline-size type, "Youth leaders are declared champions!"

Whatever newspaper besides this one you read this weekend, I hope you look for articles about good kids making good news. And if you don't see it with your eyes in black on white, at least let your heart hear the cry, "Extra! Extra! Read all about it! "Good kids make the news!"

Start the presses!

[Kollmeyer is Sr. Pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Hwy.314 in Fayetteville. Youth and families interested in "The God Squad" can come to services on Sunday or call the church office at 770-461-3403. Visit on the web at]

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