I believe this issue began even before you came to the valley. Towards the end of our service as youth leaders, this same family began to gain influence in the church and we began to see a radical change in the demeanor of the Senior Pastor. It all came to a head when we began asking questions.
The issue? The Pastor took us on a field trip. with some of our the youth, to a Mega Church in the Riverside area to see how they served the youth of their community. We loved the set-up and were eager to get started. The youth was given a set of rooms in the basement which included a small kitchen for the project. The kids, Youth Pastor, and I began working hard to fix it up—with planning meetings every Wednesday, with the Senior Pastor, all summer long. The kids brought in donations of furniture and activities, and cleaned and painted their hearts out. Within weeks, it had become a rousing success. We made dinner and served the kids from the kitchen before every Youth Group meeting, had an awesome Youth Worship Team, and had up to 100 kids at a time attending. But a months later, “someone” told the Pastor that the way the kids had painted the rooms was ugly—especially the Arcade Room. “They” felt the rooms would be better used to serve adults as a Bistro/Coffee shop between services, and BAM! The Youth Rooms were taken away and the kids were shipped off to a one-room “classroom” upstairs.
The kids were crushed, and when I protested, I was told that I needed to step away. After 10 years of being the Youth Leaders, we were told to go home.
It wasn’t hard to figure out who had complained, as the Bistro opened shortly, all Hobby Lobby decorated.