Editor’s note: This is one in a series of 20 PE News articles on 20 people in the Assemblies of God under the age of 20 who are making an impact in their communities.
It all started a year and a half ago. Mikaela Maloy, 17, was sitting in 365 Student Ministries, the youth group of Concord First Assembly of God in North Carolina, when she says the Holy Spirit stirred her heart. That week, Pastor Jonathan Hernandez was in the middle of a sermon series called Rebel Radio.
“Rebel Radio was a call to take back the airwaves, to make sure we are using our voice to communicate the one message that truly can change a generation,” Hernandez says.
For Mikaela, it proved to be more than a series; it became a defining moment. She says God clearly gave her an idea for an arts-focused club at the school she attended. A year and a half later, that prompting has turned into a full-fledged ministry.
In the fall of 2015, Mikaela gathered some friends and formed a new student group, Rebel Radio. Just like the sermon series, Rebel Radio seeks to make Jesus known through the arts, in this case at Concord High School.
Once a quarter, students gather in the high school theater for 25 minutes in the morning before classes start. There, students get to watch three gospel-inspired and student-led performances, as well as a short message from a speaker.
“It’s been very encouraging to see God’s faithfulness through it all — to see people get excited about it!” Mikaela exclaims.
In unexpected ways, God provided people to help. For example, the night Mikaela and her team prayed about what to do in terms of running the theater’s tech, a student with years of audiovisual experience randomly messaged Mikaela on Twitter asking if the team needed help.
Mikaela had few expectations for Rebel Radio’s first meeting, hoping at least 30 people would show up. But 145 students came, and eight of them accepted Jesus as Savior!
The next meeting brought even more students, with 170 attending. Another three made salvation decisions.
“As a youth pastor, this is what it is all about!” says Hernandez, now in his eighth year at the church. “Sometimes we feel like in order for something to be successful, it must originate in us. The problem with that mind-set is that we rob our students of the opportunity to learn how to hear and respond to the voice of God.”
Since age 10, Mikaela has found her passion in the arts, specifically music. She plays guitar and is an avid songwriter and worshipper. Hernandez says she is one of the most talented vocalists to come through the youth ministry.
Mikaela says National Youth Ministries Fine Arts helped her discover that her gifts were meant to glorify God. Mikaela has performed an original song at every Rebel Radio meeting, allowing her to reveal songs birthed in her heart from a burden for the school.
“At the end of the day, I have to fully give it up to God,” Mikaela says. “ I want to fully want to use my gift for Him.”
Here is an sample of Mikaela leading worship at CFA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IisCM-fkXc