What is FOCUS?

FOCUS is an event designed to challenge teenagers (open to 5th – 12th graders) to step out and bring help and hope to our communities. Together, we will bless others and serve them in practical ways. Small acts of kindness done with great love will change our city – that is our mission.

FOCUS is a wonderful opportunity for students to serve and grow in their faith. The spiritual experience for each person is a vital part of the weekend, and we want every student to experience what God has in store for them.

What is the general format of FOCUS?

FOCUS starts on Friday night with a high-energy program.  Students will spend the night with their small group at Crossroads Church.  Saturday is spent volunteering at a local service project.  Trained adults will supervise the students at all times while at the job site. During work time, they will be provided lunch.  All work crews will meet back for dinner and a closing program before parent pick-up on Saturday night.

Special Guests:
Angela Madden – Speaker 
The Threshing Floor – Worship Band
Shama Mrema – Comedian

What is the schedule like?

Friday, April 19, 2024

5:30pm – Check in at Crossroads
6:30pm – Session #1
8:30pm – Comedy Show w/ Shama Mrema
10:30pm – Discussion Groups
11:00pm – Lights out

Saturday, April 20, 2024

7:00am – Wake up & Pack Belongings
8:00am – Breakfast
9:00am – Session #2
10:00am – Students transported to project sites
4:30pm – Transportation back to Crossroads
5:00pm – Dinner back at Crossroads
6:00pm – Session #3
8:00pm – Saturday night parent pickup

What types of projects will students complete?

Service projects may include:

  • House cleaning
  • Yard work
  • Painting
  • Wood Removal
  • And more!
Will food be provided?

A continental breakfast will be provided Saturday morning. Pizza and snacks on Friday night will be provided at Crossroads Church. Lunch will be delivered to the project site on Saturday. Dinner will be provided Saturday night.

Who should I contact in an emergency?

Ryan Kick – Pittsburgh West – 716-946-3756

Anthony Jarrell – Pittsburgh South – 724-833-4257

Who will be supervising the students?

Every student is a part of a small group of other teens and 2 or more adult leaders.

Registration information is used to ensure:

  • Small group size is limited to 5-7 teens.
  • Groups are organized by gender & grade, where possible to keep similar ages together.

This year, students will be spending the night at Crossroads Church (Pittsburgh West).  Students will be placed in a room with their small group and adult leaders all of the same gender (air mattress or cot recommended;  sleeping bag, pillow, blankets, required). Each small group will be assigned a Small Group Leader. The Youth Pastor(s) recruit the Leaders for the small groups. There will not be a small group of teens without an adult.

Leaders will:

  • Have background clearances required to work with minors.
  • Be able to lead a group of teens and create a safe atmosphere to grow spiritually.
  • Be the primary leader, relational contact, and encourager of God’s love to the teens.
What are student expectations for FOCUS?

In effort to maximize the spiritual experience for all, each student should understand a few expectations.

1.  Cell Phones

If a parent is comfortable with a student leaving their phone at home, our team strongly recommends that students do so. If a student brings their phone, there will be certain times during the weekend that students will be asked to put away and/or turn off their cell phones (including program gatherings, small group time, and after lights out). Parents will have the contact info of the youth pastors and the adult group leaders in case of an emergency, and students will be able to contact their parents in case of an urgent matter. We hope that, by minimizing the distraction of social media and devices, every student will have a powerful experience during the weekend.

2.  Weekend Participation

All students are expected to arrive on time Friday night and participate until pick up time on Saturday evening.  This includes the Friday program, the overnight, the job site, and remaining for Saturday activities. Parents may speak with a staff person about extenuating circumstances and/or family emergencies that may arise. By participating in the entire event, each student will fully experience the positives of the weekend.

3.  Student Conduct

Students are expected to conduct themselves respectfully towards others.  This includes demonstrating kindness and tolerance toward other participants and leaders.  Bullying, physical aggression, and disrespecting an adult leader will not be tolerated.  Students are expected to remain with their FOCUS group and adult leader at all times during the weekend.  The staff reserves the right to contact parents and arrange pick up if a student’s behavior does not follow these expectations.

What is the cost to attend FOCUS?

The early registration fee will be $60.00 until April 7th. Use discount EARLYBIRD until 4/7 for the discount. On April 8th and beyond, the cost will be $75.00.

Is there anything special that I should pack?

□ Bible, pencil and/or pen
□ Pillow and sleeping bag
□ Toiletries (tooth brush, deodorant, etc.)
□ Air mattress/cot (recommended)
□ Comfortable work clothes (may get dirt or paint on them)
□ Change of clothes after service projects
□ Closed-toe work shoes (may get dirt or paint on them)
□ Sweater or hoodie for layers
□ Rain gear!
□ Work gloves (optional but recommended)
□ Protective eyewear (optional but recommended)
□ Prescription medications (as required)