GRIP programs are designed to reach and connect with youth, but they’re also a platform to begin building relationships with our teens and their families. Programs such as SLAM and GRIP The School open doors for our volunteers to practically serve and share the gospel with our youth and their parents, grandparents, and siblings in the home.
Chicago public schools are where many of our youth spend the majority of their time, but they can also be among the darkest places in the city. Our GRIP The School program mobilizes Christian adult volunteers to shine the light of Christ in the public schools.
Programs such as SLAM, GRIP The School and Miracle Basketball League are used by churches as an outreach to youth in their neighborhoods and congregations. In fact, 33 local churches use our outreach programs as their own. And resources such as Streetlights, Urban Youth Network, and the Legacy Conference equip and encourage urban ministers on the frontlines. They also help churches share the Word of God with youth in a relevant and engaging way as they endeavor to raise up young leaders.
GRIP provides resources that can be used by individuals and churches alike—equipping and encouraging urban ministers on the frontlines, as well as supporting their outreach efforts. These resources include Streetlights (the world’s first urban audio Bible and multimedia curriculum), as well as the Urban Youth Network and Legacy Conference.
We designed our programs with this question in mind: What do fatherless young people need? At GRIP, we realize that the only thing that can fill the void in the life of a fatherless child is the love of God the Father. Our mission is to reach and connect at-risk youth to Christian “life-on-life” mentors and develop them holistically in Jesus Christ to the glory of God. As we mobilize an army of adults to model the love of Christ to teenagers who desperately need it, we are obeying God’s commandment in Isaiah 1:17 to “defend the cause of the fatherless.” And along the way, we’re extending to our youth an invitation to know their purpose and identity, and to experience an even greater love—the love of God, their creator.
What exactly is “life-on-life”? It’s a relationship that is so much more than what people commonly think of as “mentorship.” It’s simply doing life together, modeling what it means to be a man or woman of God—not just during a program or in a classroom—but while in our homes, running errands, playing ball, working hard at a job, serving others in the community, or studying the Bible together. And GRIP’s programs are a strategic means to that end, creating opportunities for teens and adults to connect in a fun and safe environment. Ultimately, we want to establish a network of support for our youth, providing practical resources for their development, serving them and their families at home and in their schools, and partnering with local churches in our outreach programs.
Take a virtual tour of our ministry model by hovering over the image above, then scroll down to learn more about our programs.
SLAM is a high-energy sports and team-building outreach program that runs every Monday night.Throughout the year, hundreds of youth come to SLAM ready for an exciting evening of creative games, Christian hip-hop music, drama, video, Bible teaching, small group discussion, pizza, and lots of hugs. SLAM creates the perfect environment for our army of adult volunteers to start building meaningful, "life-on-life" relationships with our teens.
|Miracle Basketball League||
Each summer, Miracle Basketball League (MBL) serves more than 250 young men from 25 communities across Chicago, creating a safe and loving environment where youth from different neighborhoods can compete at one of the city's premier basketball facilities. In addition to this year's 3-day tournament, teams will gather together to participate in All-Star activities and be encouraged by the Word of God.
|GRIP The School||
GRIP The School (GTS) is a program dedicated to assisting Chicago's under-resourced, underachieving, and violence-filled high schools—leveraging youth/mentor relationships to create a safer and more effective learning environment for our teens.
Streetlights is the world's first urban audio Bible—word-for-word Scripture set to hip-hop beats. Our desire is that people of all literacy levels would be able to hear, understand, and internalize the Word of God. A massive undertaking, we are producing Streetlights in thematic sections of Scripture accompanied by music videos, written curriculum, and more.
Attracting roughly 1,000 attendees from across the country, the Legacy Conference equips those that are serious about being disciples of Christ to make disciples for Christ in their local communities and churches. With workshops, outreach events, and nightly concerts, the annual three-day gathering draws ministers, national recording artists, and passionate young Christian adults for biblical training and networking with like-minded urban leaders.
|Urban Youth Network||
The Urban Youth Network (UYN) exists to provide support, relationships, and ministry partnerships for urban youth workers throughout Chicago. UYN supports Learning Communities—monthly gatherings for youth workers to discuss a book selection, enjoy great food, play, pray, laugh, share deeply, and more. The heart of this project is to help leaders grow spiritually, live accountably, and to experience community.