Q & A: One Youth Pastor to Another


Interested in doing the 30 Hour Famine, but first want to get the low down from veteran youth leaders? Hear from five leaders to learn why they do the 30 Hour Famine, and how they manage a  group of hungry teens for 30 hours! With years of famine experience under their belt, Becca, Jared, and Bobby of Cornerstone Poway church near San Diego, are seasoned 30HF experts. They agree it’s their best event of the year. Read on to also hear from Jonathan and Mansel of Clovis Hills Community Church in Clovis, California and learn about their unique experience with the 30HF.

Q: I’m lacking creative ideas and I’m worried about entertaining hungry students for 30 hours. 

A: Community service projects are a favorite among 30HF participants. Groups, such as Cornerstone Poway, often go to soup kitchens to serve. Preparing meals on an empty stomach is definitely an eye opening experience! Cornerstone Poway also serves the elderly members of their church. “There are a lot of elderly people that help at our church and don’t ask for anything in return,” says Becca. While fasting, the youth group sets out to the senior’s homes on a mission. They do yard work, house work and anything else that that needs to be done! Afterwards, they invite the seniors to break their 30HF fast with them by sharing in a community barbecue at the church. Other ideas are holding a car wash, sleeping in a tent city (always a favorite), playing the competitive and eye opening game of TRIBE and watching World Vision’s new movie, Journey to Jamaa (which is included in your leader guide!) Check out more ideas here!

Q: Will the 30 Hour Famine really affect my students?

A: For Bobby, and the other youth leaders highlighted here, the resounding answer is yes. “This year we had a senior who ran the fast. It was probably the best 30 Hour Famine we have ever had, and this was just from a senior kid who was passionate about ending hunger,” said Bobby. Youth leader Jonathan from Clovis Hills shares a story of one girl in his youth group who wanted an iPhone. “Upon doing the 30HF, her birthday came and she didn’t even ask for it. She couldn’t rationalize having an iPhone given what is going on in the world today. Grasping the fact that people go days without food, not by choice, but because it’s not available, was very humbling for our kids to understand,” said Jonathan.  

Q: So, should I do the 30 Hour Famine?

A:  “You gotta do it. Do it once and you will be hooked! The 30HF is a way you can be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself,” says Bobby. At Cornerstone Poway, their 30HF event is always a hit. Becca agrees.“Our kids look forward to the 30HF all year long,” she says. “They get so excited about it and invite their friends. People you only see come to church for Christmas and Easter come for the 30 Hour Famine!” Jonathan and Mansel from Clovis Hills agree, “Hunger has become a major issue, and we as a church need to be involved. If we aren’t involved in an issue where 25,000 kids are dying every day then we’re missing a pretty major biblical teaching. We are letting our kids know that this is a big deal and they have to be involved. It’s not optional.”

Ellie Hutchison interned with the 30 Hour Famine this last fall. In October she traveled to the National Youth Workers Convention in San Diego, CA with the 30HF. While in San Diego she she met youth leaders Becca, Jared, Bobby, Jonathan and Mansel and had the pleasure of interviewing them for the 30HF blog!