On any morning, except Sunday, you will find Destin’s Chick-fil-A packed with hungry patrons.

But on Friday mornings from 8-8:30 a.m., almost 30 teenagers hunger for more than breakfast — they attend a Bible study.

Leader of the group for the past two years is Ronnie Willis with the Youth Ministry Team at Destin United Methodist Church, who remembers his own days going to Bible breakfasts at Hardee’s when he was in middle school.

“Chick-fil-A has been gracious enough to let us use the facility free of charge,” Willis told The Log. “Our average number of students is about 30.  Parents are always welcome to attend, but most of them drop their students off and then we give them a ride to school.”

Not all students attend DUMC, and Willis said that was great because they could sow seeds into other churches in the area and partner with their students. Many of the students have their own Bibles, and most are able to look it up on their phones.

“Part of our vision as a church and youth ministry is to go beyond the lines of church denominations and be unified, as the Church of Destin,” he said. “So all are welcome.” 

This year Willis has taught mainly from the Gospels and uses different versions of the Bible depending on which translation “the Holy Spirit leads me to use that morning.”

“I usually teach from the NLT, but sometimes I like the wording for a particular verse out of a different version,” he said. “I don’t feel it confuses them because if you go back to the original languages some of the choices for the translation fit better in certain situations depending on the context of the passage.”

Willis wants the students to have a better understanding of their need for a Savior, especially in a world where they are faced everyday with things that do not line up with Scripture.

“I want them to gain a little deeper understanding of who their Savior is through his characteristics, teachings, and the depth of his love to die on a cross for them,” he said. “Plus the power of the resurrection and the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.”