Mel Walker: The Greenhouse Project

Mel Walker: The Greenhouse Project

With a heart for youth and a love for speaking and writing, God has called Mel Walker to minister to teenagers and youth workers.

Mel ('76, BBS '96) is President and Co-Founder of Vision for Youth, an international network of youth ministries that began in 1985. His involvement with Vision for Youth is the fulfillment of dream.

The former Director of Student Ministries at Regular Baptist Press, Mel speaks frequently at youth, family, and parenting conferences across the country and at many BBC events including Teen Leadership Conference, Church Ministries Conference, and Growing Leaders Conference.

He recently co-edited "The Greenhouse Project" with BBS alumnus Mike Calhoun, a book that deals the challenges of youth ministry.

Read other In the Spotlight here.

Insight Questions

What is The Greenhouse Project about?
"The Greenhouse Project: Cultivating Students of Influence" is a call to churches and youth workers to develop student leaders.

This book is an anthology - a collection of essays from selected youth ministry specialists. These writers are some of the leading voices in conservative, evangelical student ministry today from all across the country.

What led you to write it?
Mike Calhoun and I both believe the idea of developing student leaders is one of the most important priorities facing local churches today. We must be about more than entertainment, programs, and short devotionals. The number one time people quit going to church and, in fact, walk away from their relationship with God is right after they graduate from high school. We must intentionally help transition students into the overall life of the church and intentionally help our students go on for God as adults. The idea of a greenhouse is that the greenhouse is not the end result - the end result is a life of maturity.

Who are some contributors?
The book contains chapters from some key youth workers with ties to BBC: Mike Calhoun just graduated from BBS and I graduated both from BBC and BBS. Plus, we have chapters from Glenn Amos, Tim Ahlgrim, Cheryl Fawcett, and Ken Rudolph. The book also has chapters from other well-known voices in youth ministry today - people like: Greg Stier, the president of Dare to Share; Steve Vandegriff, a professor at Liberty; Alvin Reid, a professor at Southeastern Seminary; Alex McFarland, a well-known youth apologist and president at Southern Evangelical Seminary; Ed Lewis, the executive director of CE National; and Jay Strack, the president of Student Leadership University.

Why did you want these people involved?
These people are all leading experts and specialists in specific areas of youth ministry. Plus, they are all strong advocates of the authority of the Scriptures and the importance of the local church. There are many youth ministry anthologies out there today, but we wanted to produce one where readers could trust the theological perspective of the writers.

What have you learned in this process?
I've learned the value of networking and cooperation in ministry. There are tons of people out there who believe the same things that I do and who are doing the same things I am doing. So why not get together and do something bigger for God? We serve a big God who is doing big things and I want to be a part of that. Working on this book has been a collaboration of a whole group of people - some who know each other and some who do not know each other. But we all have a common calling to impact the next generation for eternity - and that collective passion makes this project so incredible.

What do you hope to see come out of this?
We hope to see a renewed passion for reaching the next generation and cultivating spiritual leaders for the future. I really believe youth ministry is the most important ministry any church or fellowship of churches can do. The world is growing by a billion people in 12 years; one-third of the population of the world is under the age of 21; and almost 90 percent of people accept Christ before the age of 18. We must reach the next generation - and we're praying this book stirs a renewed passion in churches, church leaders, youth workers, and students to do that. We're also hoping that others see this model of collaborative ministry and do the same things themselves in other God-honoring disciplines.

Book Information
Among the locations the book is available: Vision for Youth and the BBC Campus Bookstore.

Contact Information

B.R.E., Baptist Bible College
M.Min., Baptist Bible Seminary
Graduate studies at Iowa State University and Faith Baptist Theological Seminary

Learn more about Vision for Youth here.

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Posted on: 9/22/2009 11:47:03 AM

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