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MHS Heroes: Serving the Youth, to Help the Youth Serve

Jenna Shockley

Jenna Shockley

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MARSHFIELD, Mo- What is more valuable than eternity? According to Terry Hardy, there is nothing that trumps eternity. This is why Hardy spends his time as the leader of the Sonrise Christian youth group. His mission is to guide as many people as he can to Christ. Throughout his many years, he has managed  to do just that. He has been a very influential person to his friends, family, and the kids he guides in youth group.

Hardy has been doing on-again off-again youth ministry for the past 20 years in affiliation with Sonrise. Hardy felt a calling to lead people to Christ. So, he got involved in youth ministry in 1986 through a friend who invited him. His friend wanted a right hand man, and afterwords Hardy was offered the job.

He does his best to assure and comfort kids in the youth group. He delivers Biblical and powerful messages that impacts the kids listening.

Recent graduate, Shannon Jester, says that Hardy really impacted her life, “Terry has impacted my life in a lot of ways. He is so much fun, and he is such an encouragement to me. I have known since Jr. High that I wanted to be a missionary and ever since then he has encouraged me. He’s told me that I could do it and that I’m going to do great things. He’s told me many times that he sees me being a missionary and that’s just a huge encouragement to me.”

Hardy encourages and prays for everyone that enters his youth group. Youth group sponsor Alyssa Stelmach said, “One of my favorite things that Terry does is that he puts a target on kids. I say that because he’ll think of someone, or have a conversation with someone that doesn’t know Christ and he’ll put a target on them. He makes it his job to approach that person, to talk to that person, and to pray for that person until they come to know Christ. He doesn’t do it in a Bible-thumping way, but in a friend way. He just lets you know that he’s there.”

Hardy is an inspiration to the kids that have experienced his preaching and mentorship. He constantly tries to lead kids in the direction of Jesus, and will do all he can to help someone in need. It’s hard to gauge how much someone really impacts someone, but considering the legacy that Hardy has left and the feelings of the current youth group, he is changing lives.


Representative Jenna Shockley spoke with Hardy about his work.


Shockley: “Do you think that you’re changing the lives of these young students?”

Terry Hardy: “I think at times I really do. You see these little gold nuggets appear. You know, you mine, you mine, and you mine, and all you’re getting is dirt or rocks. Then you’re thinking, man, am I getting through to anyone? Then all of the sudden you get a note, or a letter, or you get an interview like this, and you’re going ‘hey, maybe I’m making a difference in kids lives.’ I like to see kids make one little move, even if they make one subtle change in life, I think it’s success.”


Shockley: “What’s your favorite story about a kid you’ve impacted?”

Hardy: “My favorite story is probably Courtney Iceman, and she is going into the mission field now. She came to my room as an eighth grader, and God had laid it on my heart to tell her that she’s the one, and that I got big plans for her. I had no idea what that meant. So I remember telling her that from the time she was in eighth grade, and now she is headed off into the mission field. That’s just one in a large number of students that I could tell you story after story about. You know, where God intervened and God made a difference in their life.”


Shockley: “Do you have anything else to add?”

Hardy: “The reason you want to go in youth ministry should be because you want to point students to the cross, and who Jesus is. In other words, you want Him to get the credit for what you’re doing, and you want Him and His Gospel to be everything you’re about.”


“Students are worth it. Whatever you got to do to get the Gospel through to any student. They’re all worth it, every one of them.”

The Student News Site of Marshfield High School
MHS Heroes: Serving the Youth, to Help the Youth Serve