Owning Your Faith
Joining in the mission of the “Our Turn” campaign supports what is going on in the Youth Ministry, as well. We tell our students to “own your faith” and we are seeking to equip, create opportunities, and make space for our students to do just that.
This semester, we have seen a lot of changes in our Youth Ministry. Obviously, the biggest change has been moving all of our youth programming to Sunday night Mountaintop. This has been a big change for us and for our families, but we believe it has been a huge success and helped us better accomplish our mission of “owning your faith.”
One of the biggest reasons behind this change was to open up Sunday mornings completely so that families are able to attend worship together. The discipleship that can now happen within families as they come to church together and later discuss what they learned in worship service is immeasurable!
We also have students and families that attend both services. This change has allowed our students to now serve on Sunday mornings, instead of just “receiving” for two services, as in the last format. We currently have 18 students who serve in the kid’s ministry, pouring into the next generation! Even more incredible than this, we have eight students who now serve alongside their parents. Once again, this change has created a unique and amazing discipleship opportunity that was not available until this semester. These students get to learn how to seek the welfare by investing in younger students while being taught how to do this by their own parents!
Another big reason we wanted to make this change was to maximize the assets we already have while creating a space to have teaching tailored toward our students. Our greatest asset has been and will continue to be our volunteers, and this semester we have 40(!) volunteers who take time every week to invest in our students. These volunteers have served in numerous capacities: leading Life Groups, set up/tear down, greeting, mentoring, being involved in worship, leading games, giving testimonies, planning events, being on the creative team, and even giving talks.
During Mountaintop, we have incorporated a teaching component geared toward our students. Topics have included learning about prayer through the Lord’s Prayer, God’s heart toward the outcast through the Prodigal Son and the Woman at the Well, and talking through the meaning behind church activities such as tithing, worship, baptism, and communion. Our students then break off into their Life Groups, separated by age and gender, as their leaders lead discussion contextualizing what was just heard. This has helped our Life Groups, as there is no time to forget what was just said!
Our amazing students are our second greatest assets, and Mountaintop has created a place for them to truly lead out. We have had 15 different students lead from stage in some sort of capacity this year: games, worship, prayer, announcements, and testimonies. Not to mention all the students who have been a part of different areas such as videos, set up/tear down, planning activities, and welcoming. We are excited to have our Graduate students lead an entire Mountaintop by themselves in April!
Mountaintop has created a place where students are able to invite their friends who are not involved with church to a less intimidating environment than was available previously. We believe this is an essential part of “owning your faith,” and our students have bought in this semester. Twenty-one visitors have become a part of Life Groups, turning into regular attenders. And this number does not include numerous others who have come just once or twice. We have grown from 8 to 11 Life Groups, but we are out of room. We use up every room in the church, and even have 4 groups meeting in different parts of the sanctuary.