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.


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