For one week this summer, students from Dixon, Illinois, sacrificed sleeping in to go loco for Christ. From June 13 to 17, 30 middle and high school students participated in a community service project called Go Loco—or “Go Live Out Christ Only.”
Nathan Meeks, associate pastor of Hope Bible Fellowship in Dixon, says the idea for the event was born six years ago when he and several other pastors asked the question, “How can we show the love of God to our community?” Go Loco is a yearly event and combines the efforts of several churches across denominational lines. The goal of the event is to give students the opportunity to show the community the love of Jesus.
“Go Loco is not about exalting my church, or someone else’s church, but exalting the body of Christ,” Meeks says.
The students began each morning by sharing the gospel with children through “backyard Bible clubs.” In the afternoon, Go Loco partnered with the city of Dixon to provide service projects for the teens. Projects included painting streetlamps and old walls, landscaping and serving in a local group home. Each day concluded with worship and a time of debriefing. Some of the churches treated the week like a mission trip, and all of their students stayed together in the church for the duration of the event.
Amanda Fassler, a key volunteer at Bethel Evangelical Congregational Church in Dixon, says it was exciting to watch students see the impact they were making in their community. By serving in a hands-on manner, the students were able to see the direct results of their work.
“Go Loco was so special to me because we were able to literally be the hands and feet of Jesus for an entire week,” says Megan, a 14-year-old student who participated in the event. “Helping out in the community and seeing the looks on people’s faces when they realized we just wanted to bless them was priceless.”
Fassler and Meeks both affirm that the success of an event like Go Loco relies on the willingness of churches to work together. To replicate an event like Go Loco in their communities, Fassler suggests that churches start by relationships with other churches in their area. The real impact of Go Loco is getting the community to, as Fassler says, “see Christians united for one cause.”