Metro Community Church is steeped in spiritual purpose, which has compelled our body of believers to be Christ-like incarnations in Englewood City, New Jersey. Akin to most congregational and/or citizen-driven endeavors, MetroLIFE "the program" has utilitarian functions that underpin and actuate its philosophical paradigm; hence, our framework is comprised of eight components that effectuates each experience of our MetroLIFE mentees. At the conclusion of the 18-month journey, each young person would have been connected with an individual mentor, trekked over 1,000 miles for colleges visits, trained in martial arts and yoga, logged multiple hours in SAT prep and community service, received professional-grade career development resources, attended sporting events and other exciting activities, engaged in 15-20 group counseling sessions, spent a few dollars of their rewards-based stipend allowance, and eaten tons of food.
However, MetroLIFE "the project" cannot be limited to hours, accolades, forms, formulas, best practices, naive mistakes, or any expectation that may be tallied as a successful outcome, but rather, MetroLIFE is the innocent eyes of a first-timer on a college campus; or possibly, soulful tears shed - due to deep disclosures - during a group counseling session; or perhaps, the endearing exchange of unwitting smiles while volunteering for others; or maybe, the bowing of their heads as we decide who will bless our food; or perchance, it's the occasional "thank you, Mr. Mike" that seemingly leaves me breathless every time those words are uttered.
MetroLIFE is love, because God is love - and His love enables us to serve...and crazily enough, the kids love you back when you love them well. Paul illuminates in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, "but have not love, I gain nothing." I've learned more about love from our mentees in 13 months, than I have in almost 40 years...so, I praise God, because I've gained everything through love!
Submitted by Michael W. Smith
Director of MetroLIFE Program