the Rolling Thunder of Student Ministry

Ever since I can remember, living in Washington, DC on Memorial Day is special. I know, Memorial Day is special everywhere in America because we are remembering those who fought bravely and died for our freedom.

imagesBut what makes living in DC on Memorial Day so special is experiencing Rolling Thunder.  Ever since “1987 and continuing through the present, Rolling Thunder has conducted the Run to the Wall on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend to show their continued support for the efforts to find lost service men and women of past conflicts.” (Thanks Wikipedia for the reference).

On motorcycles, they meet at the Pentagon and sit silently until 12 noon.  At that point, they start their engines, igniting a huge rumble of thunder as they ride their motorcycles to the Vietnam War Memorial (the Wall) to pay their respects.

I really enjoy seeing the motorcyclists ride through the streets of suburban DC all weekend long before their big ride.  It helps me remember those fallen heroes who selflessly gave up their lives for my freedom.

Thanks for the History lesson Tom, but what does Rolling Thunder have to do with Youth Ministry?

Rolling Thunder’s ride to the Wall is a way that many veterans remember America’s fallen heroes and their friends.  Just as it is great to remember all these men and women, in many ways, this is a great opportunity for us to remember those who have sacrificed so much for us in the name of Christ.

Maybe they didn’t die for Christ but maybe they did some great act of service or sacrifice something big for Christ to be glorified.  Or maybe it is remember something your Youth Pastor or a Volunteer leader did for you so that you could experience Christ in a different way.

I know for me, as I’ve been writing this post, I’ve been reflecting on my Youth Pastor and some Volunteer leaders in my life who impacted me in a huge way.  I am extremely grateful and bless to have had them impact my life and I know many other people are blessed as well because of what they did.

If you were going to get on your Harley and ride for those who impacted your life, who would they be and why?


Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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