Longtime supporters of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch know our flagship campus is a Christ-centered environment where hurting young people can ask God those understandable ‘why’ questions without fear or shame.
But, the faith experience at Boys Ranch is about far more than working through spiritual fear or anger. Boys Ranch is a place where youth are encouraged to openly explore their Christian faith, and to grow in both understanding and application.
“That’s a big part of it, being shoulder-to-shoulder with believers, just being about what Jesus is doing in the world,” said Mike Wilhelm, Cal Farley’s senior chaplain.
Over the years, Boys Ranch youth have increasingly taken an active role in leading their peers in worship. In a process similar to their peers who’ve chosen to lead Sunday school for our younger residents, youth who wish to participate in the praise band or lead worship in some way complete and application process and are asked to make a semester-long commitment to regular rehearsals and, more importantly, active discipleship.
“Chaplain Ray Martinez does a fantastic job developing kids to assist with worship,” Wilhelm said. “They sound good, and their hearts are growing.”
Cal Farley’s resident worship leaders — Sunday school teachers and praise band members — set an example for their peers to follow in putting their faith into service. Their commitment also reinforces the work of their staff mentors.
“Chaplain Ray is continually giving individual music lessons to pre-adolescent kids, who one day might be in the praise band,” Wilhelm said.
You could say, it’s like the Boys Ranch equivalent of what the Scriptures say in Proverbs 27: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”