Building in Youth, a new addition to the long-standing Hard Hats for Christ ministry, seeks to use the profession of construction to teach youths the importance of craftsmanship, integrity and hard work.
Building in Youth is coordinated by Phil and Lucy Hayes of the Seattle-Bellevue area. Phil Hayes has been involved in the construction industry since 1974, and started his own construction company in 1984.
Although the couple originally intended to build senior housing in the Longview area, their call from God changed when they met the CEO of Christian construction group Hard Hats for Christ, Dave Williamson, and saw the great need for leadership in the church’s youth community.
Phil Hayes told The Christian Post that he has seen many changes during his experience in the construction profession, not all of them positive.
“In many cases, there is a lack of professionalism and craftsmanship. Youth become disenchanted when it comes to considering the construction industry as a vocational choice,” said Hayes.
“Likewise, the construction industry needs a work force that has been taught work ethics and skills,” he added.
Building in Youth seeks to reestablish what the Hayes call the nobility of the construction industry as exemplified through Jesus, whom the Bible indicates was a carpenter by profession.
“Construction requires hard work under difficult conditions and quality tradesmen should be recognized as the true artisans they are,” Hayes said.
As Hayes told CP, the ministry echoes Jesus’ philosophy of “head, heart, and hand” by connecting passion, hard work, and ethical practice.
“Not only do we want to teach youth the skills needed in the construction industry, but impart godly character, good work ethics and a marketable skill level,” Hayes said.
The couple hopes to rebuild the connection between the church’s youth and adult population, thus encouraging a stronger relationship with God and perhaps shrinking the large number of teens and young adults currently leaving the church.
The Hayes couple hopes that their hands-on training of construction skills will show the youth “that challenges, drawbacks and time delays build character and the ability to persevere.”
The pair have “B.I.T.S. & Bites” (Builders-In-Training and Service- who like to eat) seminars planned for winter and spring 2012. These seminars will incorporate hands-on construction techniques with the importance of safety practices.
As for Summer 2012, Building in Youth will collaborate with various Bible camps and youth-groups to initiate construction projects.
Phil and Lucy Hayes maintain a humble attitude in light of their momentously charitable work, telling CP that it is God who is “doing incredible things.”