Hey there, my name is Max Boyd and I am currently working as a youth pastor in Highland Park, MI. I have felt called to ministry my entire life, and that calling led me to this wonderful city about 3 years ago, and I have loved serving every minute of it, even in the difficulties that COVID 19 brought. Highland Park may be one of the poorest cities per capita in America, but that simply just means that there is so much room for us to serve, give, and spread the love of God. The youth of this city have my heart, and I want to do everything in my power and my ministry to lift them up, serve them, and set them on the course that God has for them!
For the first few years here, I have somewhat managed financially by having multiple jobs and being a single man, it was enough to just get by. But as seasons change, I am gearing up to get married and have a new family to provide for. But more importantly, as I continue to seek out the calling I have, I know that every minute that I spend focused on other jobs is time that I spend away from what I truly want to do there – serve and be with young people. Which is why I am asking that you partner with me in this journey! If some incredible people (you!) were able to come alongside me financially, however small or large the donation, I know that it could help me buy food, pay for rent and monthly bills, and keep my focus on building the kingdom in Highland Park! Whether it be a one-time gift or a recurring donation, I would be so grateful to be able to continue what God has placed in my heart and reach the lost, raise disciples, and release leaders of the next generation into this world!
*I would humbly ask a favor from you – please do NOT share this campaign on Facebook or social media, in respect for the privacy of our students. If you would like information as to why I’m asking this, or would simply like updates on the ministry, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org!*
A bit about the ministry, if you have a desire for more reading, and so you know what you are freeing me up to do! Updated June 2022
Our youth ministry has had its fair share of challenges over the last 3 years, but it has been God’s favor the entire time! When I first arrived, there had not been a dedicated youth pastor there for about 3 years. When we started, we simply wanted to create a safe space for youth to come and be themselves, discover more about their world, find amazing friendships, and encounter God. We were gaining traction and seeing connections grow! In late 2019, we received a grant that was an astounding gift from God to be able to do ministry unencumbered AND completely renovate our youth room (the youth room previously had not been touched in 3 years due to asbestos, and had not been renovated in over 10 years). At the top of 2020, we got to attend a winter retreat with our students – some of them it being their first trip away, ever! It was so amazing, and of course, everything was interrupted in March of 2020!
During the beginning of COVID, our church shut down like many others, and we shifted our youth ministry to Instagram Live! It was a new frontier, full of opportunities we didn’t have before. There’s no sugarcoating that it was hard to connect, but while there was difficulties there, throughout 2020 and 2021, we found more students that joined us on Instagram that we never would have met if we weren’t online – we ended up GROWING our ministry substantially! During 2021, we spent time growing in memories with students as the grant allowed us to do fun, rare, and COVID-safe events for these amazing students – like renting out a movie theater, going to TopGolf together, and going to a lakehouse where most never had that experience to before! We had a few in-person services in a BRAND new youth room (completely renovated, repaired, new carpet, paint, design, furniture, sound equipment) a room that was now THEIR space at the end of 2021.
We are slowly but surely getting back to a consistency of meeting together in-person (while still holding our online presence!) currently. Our goal as a ministry during COVID was to simply hold on to consistency, and keep connecting with students that were a part of our ministry. This year, our main goal as a ministry is to make a space where these students connect with each other and with leaders – to connect with a squad, or mini-families, as we call them. To have a group of people running towards the same goal as you, and to have a leader that cares for you and wants to walk this life with you. My goal as a pastor this year is to get back into a regular rhythm of meeting one on one with students and leaders, and getting more involved in the community surrounding the church. During the pandemic, we were able to utilize the grant money to update the computer lab of the Highland Park Rec Center, where tons of students and youth spend their time! This year, it is places like the HP Rec Center that I want to spend my time connecting with youth. As summer begins, our sights are set on fun events and consistent in-person services to guide those blossoming relationships!
In lieu of the other ministry hats I wear, I also am a part of our creative team, running both social media accounts for the main church and youth ministry. In addition, I am also head over our food distribution, a weekly endeavor which we receive food from Forgotten Harvest and redistribute it to needy families and individuals in Highland Park. In 2021 alone, we distributed over 120,000 pounds of food to those in need! And, of course, there are many other hats and duties shared around the church on a weekly basis. From our monthly Serve the City Saturday event that hosts, feeds, and clothes many (in 2021, around 1,000 people were touched by this event), to youth owning our main service in “YK Sundays” and so much more – but that is the great joy of being a pastor. Although the work is never done, the work always has purpose!