At Grace Church, we believe Student Ministry should be:
The elders of Grace Church are committed to seeing teenagers reached for Christ, built up in Christ, and sent out for Christ. We believe that Jesus Christ is the hope for every teenager, and that God desires for those teens whom He calls to Himself to experience a life abandoned to Him and His purposes.
We believe that the role of the local church is to make disciples of all nations. A disciple is a person who has come to see Jesus Christ as the King who has died in their place to pay the penalty for their sins so that they might come to God. But a true disciple goes on from there to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) by abiding in Christ’s word, knowing the truth, and being set free from the power of sin and self (John 8:31-32).
We believe that the primary relationship in which discipleship is to occur is the parent-child relationship (Deut. 6:4-7). Parents are to be lovingly, faithfully, and consistently passing on the faith to the next generation. This responsibility does not stop with childhood, but continues through the teen years. Teenagers are called to yield to their parents’ spiritual leadership in the Lord (Eph. 6:1)
We believe that pastors and youth leaders/teachers are uniquely called and gifted to serve the local church by equipping and walking alongside parents as they fulfill their calling to disciple their teenage children (Eph.4:11-12). A pastor’s role should never be seen as taking the place of the parents but to support them and resource them.
We recognize that contemporary American culture has trained us that the teenage years are ones to expect separation between parents and children. Wedges are driven between you and your kids; parents are expected to take a sideline view as kids “find their way.” Biblical wisdom and humility lead us to believe that as teens mature, parental involvement should increase, not decrease.
Having parents involved in the Student Ministry of Grace provides opportunities for parents to engage their teens in significant ways. God willing, the teaching will provide a foundation for parent-teen discussions about real life issues that extend beyond the youth meetings. After every meeting, we encourage you and your teens to discuss together what they’ve heard and how they’ve interacted with the material and with other teens.
We believe that teenagers are called to live for the glory of God during this phase of their lives, even though these years are a time of unique pressures that pull them away from this high calling. Therefore,
- This ministry will seek to refocus your teens on that which is truly worthy – God alone.
- Messages will seek to convince them of the futility of living for their own “glory.”
- Opportunities to join God in His mission to declare His glory among the nations will be
The changes which occur during the teen years often lead students to think of themselves in ungodly ways, which leads them to either self-pity (sullenness) or self-exaltation (arrogance), rather than finding their identity in who Christ is and what He has done on their behalf on the cross. Therefore,
- This ministry will seek to passionately and clearly communicate the Gospel and its implications to believing and unbelieving students.
- Teenagers will be challenged to find their identity in Christ and what He has done for them on the Cross.
The prevailing message that teenagers are being taught is that there are no absolutes in this life, but that we must determine our own authority, especially in regard to faith and morals. Therefore,
- This ministry will stand unashamedly upon the inspired and inerrant Bible as the sole authority for life and faith.
- All messages communicated will be based upon the Scriptures, and we will seek to train your teenager in how and why to trust the Bible.
- All claims of truth will be tested in light of the teaching of Scripture.
It is no secret that young people seek community in which to be included, and often seek it in their peers alone. We believe that a grace-filled local church is the best context for any teenager to grow into God’s design for them. Therefore,
- This ministry will seek to create environments where your teenager can relate to their peers as well as other members of the local church.
- Primarily, we want to encourage connection with their primary discipler (the parents), but also want to give them opportunity to connect with other godly adults.
- We also want to dignify teens by creating opportunities for them to serve those who are older and younger than they.