I am excited to bring you our first youth group update of the year. As you know some things have changed since last year with the way that we will do Christian Education and Youth Group. Our new Sunday Morning Schedule will be an opportunity for all of us to gather on Sunday Morning for Worship and Fellowship and Spiritual Growth, our youth included.
The youth group program starts on Sunday September 21 at 11:15, right after church. We will meet every week after church and this will be our main mode of Youth Group meetings. We will also do some events and activities outside of this time, but the bulk of our gatherings will be in this time after church.
I will be looking for some adult mentors to be a part of our youth group program for this coming church year. The idea here is that it has been shown that youth who have positive and meaningful relationships with adults beyond their parents are more likely to carry their faith into adulthood. So, to create this group of super-important individuals, I want to start with youth group parents since your are well known to most of our kids. I will also be reaching out personally to other folks in the congregation, but I wanted you all to have the first opportunity to participate. All you would have to do is to be with us on Sunday mornings during discovery time from 11:15 - 12:00. You would also be invited and encouraged to participate in all of the youth group activities outside of this time. So, if you are interested, please let me know.
One of the elements of our new approach to Sunday mornings is to make worship more meaningful for our youth group aged kids and to encourage more attendance from them at church. There are two ways for us to do this. One is obvious but difficult: Its for me to encourage you to bring them to church. So, I'll just go ahead and say it then... :) We at WGRC can't minister to them if they aren't with us and we can't answer their questions about Christ, the church, and what it means to have faith if they aren't here to formulate those questions. I don't have a teenage child yet, so I can't say for sure, but I imagine that it is hard to fight it when they say they don't want to come to church. So, I'm including a link here that might help you gain the courage to fight that fight and win that battle. Click here for a great article.
We understand that getting them here isn't always easy and we wouldn't want you to fight to get them here and then for us to have nothing for them. So, the second method might help in encouraging them to be with us. We have decided that perhaps a more participatory role in worship, might help to encourage them to come and also to give their being here more meaning for them. If they have something to do in worship, they won't end up just sitting in the pews and listening to boring old Jordan. So, I'd like to involve our kids in worship on a regular basis. I'd ask that as parents, if you would ask your kids which parts of the service they might feel comfortable with and then next week, we can talk more about formulating an approach to this.
Part of my goal in my position here at WGRC, is to work alongside you as the parent to help your child develop a faith that will last into adulthood. We need to partner together to make this work. Studies have shown that children, even with all the outside influences of our modern culture, still are impacted most by their parents. In other words, your children will learn their faith from you more than they will from me. I can help in this process and I very much feel called to do so, but it all starts with you as mom and dad. I am hopeful, and would even go so far as to say convinced, that the Spirit has good things in store for our youth and families this year at WGRC and I am looking forward to working alongside you to share the good news of Christ Jesus with your children.
I'll be in touch next week to further discuss details for our kickoff Sunday.