Jesús Márquez Combines Music and Youth Ministries
This summer third-year Master of Divinity student Jesús Márquez presented his project Éxodo Guitar to the Fund for Theological Education (FTE) in conclusion of his yearlong fellowship.
Éxodo Guitar is a program that reaches out to young people through music in the hopes of bringing them into church communities.
For Jesús this was the combination of his passions. He said, “(this) motivated me to see my passion for music, particularly the electric guitar, and my passion for youth ministry as interwoven rather than separate possibilities. In my spiritual journey, the gift of guitar within the worship space has been crucial in allowing for creative expression.”
Jesús used his passions and gifts to reach out to at-risk youth across the city of Chicago. The key demographic for Éxodo Guitar was young people ages 13-21 that have been disconnected from the communities of local churches because of gang violence, drug abuse, a lack of education and other resources. The main host church for Éxodo Guitar was located in the neighborhood of West Lawn but youth were drawn in from Pilsen, Little Village, and Englewood in Chicago and spread even further to Harvey, IL and Hazel Crest, IL.
This project allowed for Jesús Márquez to name his own gifts from God and encouraged young people to find their own gifts. The name Éxodo Guitar comes from the Spanish word for Exodus (Éxodo) and 4:2 where God asks Moses, “What’s in your hand?” This question has now been posed to youth across the city of Chicago through Éxodo Guitar, “What has God placed in your hands which can be used to bless others?”
Jesús Márquez’s year fellowship with the Fund for Theological Education has concluded, Jesús hopes to integrate this experience in his current work with the youth at Liberation Christian Center where he is participating in his field studies.
For more information about Éxodo Guitar you can visit their blog at: http://exodoguitar.tumblr.com/
Or watch a video that explains Éxodo Guitar at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdeZJZgdnz0