Teen Ministry Philosophy
Some believe Teen Ministry is for entertaining the teens with all sorts of outings, con- certs, beach trips and alike. “Keep them busy so they don’t get in trouble.” Or “Give them a safe Christian environment so they are not tempted,” “Make it exciting.” However, the purpose of the Church is to lead all believers in loving God, learning His Word and serving others. This includes our young men and women. Outings that are purely entertainment in large venues provide little opportunity for personal and spiritual discipleship. Our goal is not to keep them corralled in Christian entertainment or protect them from the world but to build their spiritual immunity to it.
Having had experience in youth ministry for many years, eventually serving as an assistant youth pastor, and as a pastor today my perspective is simple, disciple our young people in God’s Word with the goal of establishing a firm personal relationship with their Lord so to build strong Christian character. This is in harmony with Scripture to “disciple all nations.” (Matthew 28)
Ask yourself, “What was the most important thing to you when you were a teen?” The answer is friends and being accepted. This is more important than sports, video games and fun. This has been confirmed by our teens and and other teens I speak to. So we first seek to establish a place within the Church where our teens can make friends and be accepted no matter who they are.
This is done by accepting every teen for who he or she is whether quiet or shy, talkative or opinionated, athletic or intellectual, small or tall. . . you get the picture. Each young person is unique and adds personality to the whole of the teen group.
TGIF or “Teens Growing in Faith” is our Friday youth group night and the place it all starts. All middle school and high school ages are welcome. There are activities to participate in, some organized and some not organized but there is always Bible study and worship attached. There is plenty of time just to “chill” with others but all are made aware that it’s Jesus at the center.
Teaching of the God’s word with participation in prayer, worship, fellowship. You may have expected this as first priority but Jesus was approachable because he was accepting even of the untouchable leper, but to all that came to him he taught them of the Kingdom of God.
So at TGIF the studies are practical and to the point. On Sunday and Wednesday we have a Middle School class while High School are in the regular gathering.
In addition to Sundays, Wednesday and Fridays we have a special opportunity of discipleship for those teens that demonstrate a level of maturity and desire for the Lord. Small group discipleship covers three areas of their Christian walk; Them and the Lord - building an
assurance in their personal life with Christ; Them and the Word - giving them a healthy foundation of the Bible; and Them and the World - opening their understanding of evangelism and missions. Those teens participating commit to regular meetings, reading of material and completing of assignments with opportunity for serve and disciple other teens in small groups or individually.
Yes there are outings but maybe not the typical. Our outings are to promote that friend- ship, acceptance, confidence building and team building. Group outings then encourage unity as a group to move as one and grow together.
Many of our outings are team building and confidence building with opportunities that we find have never been experienced by many teens. They will have had an array of trips that will develop character and leadership skills.
Each year we join other youth groups for a winter retreat and we have other great trips planned for our teens some being possible ministry and mission trips for those called and ready.
We are always seeking to improve our teen ministry and are always in prayer how to do it better for the benefit of the teen’s spiritual growth. We trust the Lord with the resources we have to increase our youth group to grow with sincerity and grace. We love teens at CCPV and believe our best is to give them Jesus.