More than 40 years ago, M.A.D. Ministries (MAD House) committed to providing urban young people (ages 12- High School) a pathway to discover what they were created to be. It was not our idea. It came from the Creator and we believe the ultimate difference maker is Jesus Christ.
The drawing card is primarily basketball. With the cooperation of churches and schools, we offer at least 5 opportunities a week to play in a gym for free, under our supervision and we give free rides home. The atmosphere at MAD House is safe, respectful, educational and fun.
In our meetings every week of the year we emphasize several mantras or phrases in teaching the Make A Difference pathway. They include:
1. Prudence – Asking “Then What?”. In every decision, learn to ask yourself “if I make the decision I feel like making, then what? Prudence is making decisions with a broader and longer perspective.
2. Right responses to wrong circumstances. Wrong circumstances are experienced by every human being. What keeps us from being dictated to by our circumstances is learning the right response. What keeps us locked in to our “wrong circumstances” is the wrong response thereto.
3. Delayed gratification. Learning to plan ahead and work for something that will be more gratifying than the minor pleasures that come our way easily and without work. Learning to save and not invest in the immediate so that you can have the more valuable just by exercising discipline and prudence.
4. Personal responsibility. Taking responsibility for yourself and others by rejecting the easier “victim” role and the feeling of entitlement that goes along with it.
5. Respect for each person in the human race. The Creator tells us that human beings are made in his image with characteristics that separate us from all other creatures. In that alone is the basis of giving respect to every human being.
None of these principles can be externally instilled in any young person. The young people have to want to adopt them. The most persuasive tool MAD House has is the demonstration of lives committed to following the Difference Maker and sharing His Word.
To join our meetings and events the only cost is the young person’s willingness to follow the behavioral rules (no profanity, no fighting, keeping your hands to yourself, taking turns and listening to the leaders). At the close of every meeting, the young people are given rides home.
M.A.D. Ministries, Inc. is a 501c3 public charity. Our expenses are primarily supplying our leaders with the ability to give their time without missing any income from regular employment. We also have the expenses of providing vans for transportation and some food for the young people.
Over the years we have had special ministry efforts including annual trips to a college in San Diego for sports, music, talent competition and spiritual retreat; trips to visit colleges in other states, college scholarship help; educational basketball trips to major cities across the country; South American basketball missions and a variety of local service projects.
The primary work is committed adults, consistently living and sharing a pathway to fulfillment for young people who need it desperately. The best evidence of the value is that many of our leaders are former MAD House young people.