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The previous Collide event in August drew around 200 kids. File photo by Adam Wolfe

Collide, a coalition of four youth ministries in Maricopa, hosts another gathering of fun and worship on Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m.

The event will be at the Performing Arts Center at Maricopa High School.

Jim Lain, youth pastor at Maricopa Springs Family Church, said Collide is an opportunity “to bring all the youth in Maricopa together – those who are religious and those who don’t yet believe – and give them the opportunity and mix and meet and know Jesus better.”

There will be a climbing wall and wrecking ball set up in the parking lot. There will also be a live band and a DJ spinning music. Lain said organizers are also planning smaller activities and games.

Part of the evening will be inside the PAC for worship and sharing of testimonies. Michael Grigsby, youth pastor at Calvary Chapel, will share a message.

Other churches that organize Collide are Waypoint church and the Church of Celebration. All are invited. Collide is geared toward teens.

“We’ve learned from events in the past, and we’ll be doing things lots better,” Lain said. “We just want to share and bring Jesus into their lives.”

Lain can be reached at 970-481-0566.

The previous Collide event in August drew around 200 kids. File photo by Adam Wolfe

By Adam Wolfe

Nearly 200 local church youth came out to an event aimed toward providing them with a gathering place to socialize and worship.

The “Collide Back to School Splash” hosted by local pastors Cory Lehman, Jim Lain, Michael Grigsby and Richard Benevides provided hours of fun and continuity for local youth at Copper Sky Regional Park on Saturday.

Attendees participated in a massive water balloon fight, giant slip ‘n’ slide, gaga pit, concert, or just cool off under the water cascading from a fire hose.

“We had a vision that we could bring the youth of Maricopa together to praise and glorify God as one unit as opposed to our own individual little churches or sections,” Lain said. “Teens can sometimes feel isolated even in their own student ministries. Giving this to them is something they can’t do in their own ministries. They’re meeting kids they’ve never met before and that’s awesome.”

Each attendee participated in as many or as few of the events as they wanted.

The Maricopa Fire Department also joined in on the fun. Crews doused the crowd with water and made water arches for the youth to run through and cool off. In order to stay hydrated, event organizers also set up canopies to provide shade and drinking water.

The event wasn’t all about water and games though. Each activity always circled back to worshipping God. Whether it was the event hosts simple speaking by the activities or the Christian music playing throughout the night, the true purpose to show local youth they aren’t alone in their beliefs or in worship was clear throughout.

“We’re here just to worship God,” Grigsby said. “The most amazing way we can worship God is to enjoy his creation. We’re adding to it today, but it’s phenomenal getting all the kids together to worship together.”

The goal of bringing members of the community together was largely seen as a success by the event coordinators. They hope to continually grow this event for years to come.

Student pastors (from left) Cory Lehman, Jim Lain, Michael Grigsby and Richard Benevides are planning a Back to School Splash for teens at Copper Sky. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

By Raquel Hendrickson

Bigger and better is the goal for the “Collide Back to School Splash” for students in high school and middle school sponsored by Collide.

“Nothing has changed. We’re just trying to get bigger and get other churches involved,” said James Lain, student pastor at Maricopa Springs Family Church.

Lain is one of four youth ministers who created Collide to bring together area Christian youth for fun activities and spiritual experiences.

The Back to School Splash is set for Aug. 15, 6-10 p.m. at Copper Sky Recreational Complex.

“At 6:30 p.m., we will start what we hope will be one of the biggest water balloon fights Maricopa has ever seen,” Lain said.

There will be a “massive” slip ‘n’ slide and a splash tank. Keeping it cool, Maricopa Fire Department is scheduled to have a truck to spray down the revelers.

A bungee run will be a test of strength in a safe and bouncy setting. And a gaga ball pit will sort out the last person standing.

The event will be on the Great Lawn at Copper Sky.

“We will also have a live DJ from 6 until 8 p.m. and we will be serving hot dogs,” Lain said. “This is just in the first two hours. At 8 p.m. we will start with live music from two acts that are local and they are teens.”

Church of Celebration Youth Pastor Cory Lehman said his group will bring its worship band. Calvary Chapel’s Michael Grigsby said his church’s youth band Relentless will also perform.

For all the fun and entertainment, Collide’s purpose is spiritual connection.

“Glorifying God is the main point,” Lain said. “This is a Christian event, and our goal is to bring the students of Maricopa together in worship to glorify God, and to show these students that they are a part of a bigger body – the body of Christ.

“Sometimes students feel isolated and alone in their faith. Our goal is to show them they are not.”

To that end, three student pastors will share a message of salvation and “new life in Jesus.”

The first time the youth pastors from Calvary Chapel (Grigsby), Church of Celebration (Lehman), Maricopa Springs (Lain) and Waypoint Church (Richard Benavides) combined for a Collide event was in February. Lehman estimated there were 50 participants.

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