Low turnout and changing times cause Four Square Church to rework its youth ministry

The Door is closed, but at Eagle Creek Foursquare Church, another door is opening.

Youth in need of a safe place to go found refuge and friends at the church's inner-city youth ministry first known as 'The Cone,' when it was housed in the old Cone Saloon building, then at 'The Door' after the ministry moved to the corner of Fourth and Main. The Door was a place to hear live music, play video games, hang out with friends and learn a thing or two about the Bible.

Church assistant pastor Brendan Flohr helped get the ministry started in the late 1990s. 'We were seeing a need for something for kids after school, some place to hang out,' Flohr said, who was serving as the youth minister at the time. 'So we had the opportunity to use the old Pine Cone Saloon.'

Approximately 100 to 130 youth stopped by The Cone in it's heyday, Flohr said. After The Door opened, the numbers started declining. Flohr speculates it may have been due to more after-school programs and access to home video games. 'There aren't the number of kids hanging around downtown [that] there used to be,' he said.

The ministry the church offered through The Cone and The Door was not fashioned in the 'traditional' youth group mold, Flohr said, which is a youth group that meets once a week at the church building where they sing songs and listen to somebody 'preach at them. This outreach allowed them to not only listen to the Word of the Bible, but also to act it out, which boils down to 'go out into the world and reach others for Christ.' So many times we churches lose sight of the world around us,' Flohr said.

The changing atmosphere in downtown Estacada has changed the church's youth group focus. Along with a new church building came a new youth room. Some of the equipment and games at The Door will be incorporated in the church's youth room, including the pool table, video games and the sound system.

'We feel that our focus right now needs to be in Eagle Creek,' Flohr said. A new youth pastor, Steve Livengood, will lead meetings held Mondays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. All junior high and high school aged youth are welcome.

'Steve's great,' Flohr said. 'He has a really tender heart. I think most of the kids that come will find a real neat connection with him.'

Eagle Creek Foursquare Church is at 31121 Southeast Eagle Cliff Lane right off of Eagle Creek Road in Eagle Creek. For more information call 503-630-2444.

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