- Young people are the responsibility of their parents (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
- The task of the church is to make disciples (Matthew 28:19)
Put simply, the goal of youth ministry at Redeemer is to support parents in their God given responsibility to disciple their children. We encourage parents to attend any youth study, camp or event. Our desire is to see our Covenant Children grow to love Jesus Christ more than anything else in the world.
For a further explanation please continue reading an explanation given about Youth Ministry during this past summer.
The arguments against Youth Ministry.
- 100 years ago Sunday School and Youth Ministry did not exist.
- Both Youth Group and Sunday School are a result of the church’s response to culture and therefore Sunday School & Youth Group are evil.
- It is only about fun and makes teens more like the world.
- It takes the place of a parents role in discipling their children.
Youth Ministry in the Bible?
Nothing. You won’t find the word, you won’t find the concept.
Other things not in the Bible. No Nursery, No Women’s Ministry, No Men’s Ministry, No Sunday School, No VBS, No Summer Camp, No Children’s Church, No Bells, No Catechism Class.
Why do we have a Youth Ministry at Redeemer?
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 ESV).
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6–9 ESV)
Father your children are your responsibility. Do you pray with them? Do you read the Scriptures with them? Do you ask about friends, school, relationships, sports, hobbies, etc?
One easy way to start is to go to your children on Saturday night with a Bible and have them open theirs up as well to the text that will be preached in the morning. Read it and ask what you think it means, what do you hope to learn more about in the text? You don’t need to know much about the Bible to incorporate it into your families life.
Both of these text are a statements to parents regarding raising their children to know the Word of God, to know God through Christ.
Boarding School vs Support Ministry
Youth Ministry can be viewed by parents like boarding school where children are sent to be raised, educated and trained by someone else.
We do not run a boarding school, we will not usurp a parent’s right and responsibility to disciple their children.
Youth Ministry at Redeemer is not a replacement ministry for parents who are believers, but a supportive ministry for families in the covenant community.
To this end if children are so spiritually mature that they have nothing to learn from youth group please send them to build into less mature peers? Parents don’t avoid Sunday School because there may be immature believers present.
The Covenant Community
From The Book of Church Order (after an explanation of covenant baptism is given)
The minister shall then propose the following questions: (to parents)
1. Do you acknowledge your child’s need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
2. Do you claim God’s covenant promises in (his/her) behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for (his/her) salvation, as you do for your own?
3. Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon divine grace, that you will endeavor to set before (him/her) a godly example, that you will pray with and for (him/her), that you will teach (him/her) the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the means of God’s appointment, to bring (him) up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
To the congregation (optional):
Do you as a congregation undertake the responsibility of assisting the parents in the Christian nurture of this child?
We answer that question, “I do.”
The reason Youth Ministry exist at Redeemer is we take serious these words spoken at each covenant child’s baptism. We take serious that we will assist parents in the Christian nurture of their children.
I don’t desire to help in the discipleship of students because I am the Youth Pastor. I desire to help in the discipleship of students because I am a part of the covenant community. I say “I do” at every covenant baptism as a sign of my willingness to undertake the responsibility of assisting in the Christian nurture of children in this covenant community.
We come along side parents in support.
Two Views of Youth Ministry
The one above is a typical youth ministry, It runs next to and completely separate from the life of the church. Parents are invited to everything inside the circle labeled, “Church Program” Only youth are invited to things on the right labeled, “Youth Program.”
The diagram above is how we structure things. Parents are invited to everything in the circle labeled “Church Program.” However, parents are also invited and encouraged to come to everything inside the circle labeled, “Youth program.” The interlocking section are things like Sunday morning Worship service. We do not encourage students to sit together, but with their families.
One quarter a year High School Sunday School does not exist so students to go adults classes.
Redeemer’s Philosophy of Youth Ministry (found on our website)
Family Based Youth Ministry
Jesus ends his “Sermon on the Mount” with a marvelous parable about two houses. From what Jesus tells us, we can assume that the houses were structurally very similar. Nothing about the buildings themselves determined their destiny. But one of them crashed under the weight of the wind and the other withstood the storm. Only one thing made the difference: the foundation.
Family-based youth ministry is not a “new wing” to be added to a church’s youth ministry “house”. It is not and optional enrichment program. Family-based youth ministry is a foundational model.
Much that has been done in traditional youth ministry over the past 50 years has been highly effective. In other words, the houses have been well designed. But because the foundation has often been limited, so has the long-term impact.
What Family-based youth ministry has to offer is less a blueprint than a vision for youth ministry that lasts for the long haul.
Colossians 1:28-29 expresses the goal of family-based youth ministry:
“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.”
The first principle of family-based youth ministry is this primary goal: to equip young people to grow toward mature Christian adulthood (that is, to present them “perfect” or “complete” in Christ).
The prescription of family-based youth ministry creates a foundation for whatever model a church chooses to use to reach its teenagers, recognizing that no one programming strategy will work effectively over the long haul. By focusing on equipping parents and the extended Christian family, churches can maintain an open and flexible stance toward the changes that will be demanded of youth ministry in the 21st Century. (This explanation is taken from Family-Based Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries)
Mission Statement for Redeemer Youth Ministry
In partnership with families, the youth ministry of Redeemer Presbyterian Church exists to engage 100% of the students under its care, to train them to live independently in Christ, and to send them out as exceptional, godly men and women of integrity who will transform their homes, their schools, their churches, their workplaces, and their worlds for Christ.
Philosophy of Youth Ministry
We at Redeemer Presbyterian Church believe that the family and extended family of the church are the structures that most naturally move a person toward faith maturity. These structures work in so far as they involve active mentoring of children by mature Christian adults. Therefore, all activities within Redeemer’s youth program will incorporate adults and children together.
What Do We Do?
- Breakaway/Iota: Goal is prayer, teaching, fellowship, worship (also builds relationships)
- Sunday School: Goal is education in the Word of God
- Sunday Night Discipleship: Goal is teaching to pray for others and personal Bible Study along with some worldview thrown in
- Flock Group: Involves families in greater covenant community, invite youth to participate beyond providing babysitting.
- Worship Service: Goal is worship
- Muck Fest – Simply fun time of fellowship together getting messy.
- Dessert & Bible – Parents come and take part in this with your children
- Summer Gathering – Small groups for book study every summer
- Progressive Dinner – Move from home to home, need host and drivers.
- In Town Retreat – Drivers and homes to host. teaching, prayer, etc.
- World’s of Fun – drivers needed
- RiverRanch (Camp) – Parents as cabin leaders.
- Clearwater (Camp) – Parents as cabin leaders
- Christmas Party – time of fellowship
- Border Mission Trip (Mix of youth and families)
- Various other events
How You Can Serve and Pray For The Youth Ministry of Redeemer
- Volunteers: we always need them. Drivers for events, parents at events, providing desserts, etc. (World’s of Fun, Breakaway Desserts). We need more parents at Iota (help with games, dismissal or teaching given curriculum).
- Summer Camp Involvement. Big commitment, huge payoff in the life of our covenant children.
- Pray for parents. They need to be engaging their children more regarding theology, ethics, relationships, school and various other things.
Core Values of Student Ministry
The following is a list of core values I desire to see become the values of our students.
We Value the Supremacy of God in all things: Teach and live to show that God is sovereign, all powerful, holy and just.
We Value the Bible as The Word of God: It does not contain the Word of God, but is The Word of God. We will teach them to trust that the Bible is inerrant and the only revelation of our true creator God. (1st Thessalonians 2:13)
Ultimate Joy is found in Christ: Teach that nothing else in the world can satisfy completely except Christ. This includes family, friends and church. (Psalm 37:4)
Genuine Faith in Christ: Christ is the only way to salvation. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Grace Centered: We wish for students to know their sinfulness and then be made deeply aware of the Grace of God applied to them in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
The Lordship of Christ: We will teach them that if Christ is Savior He is also Lord and encourage them to seek the Lordship of Christ in all areas of life.
Spiritual Disciplines: Support parents in encouraging children to make a habit of reading their Bibles, praying, memorizing scripture and meditating on The Word of God.
Pure Lifestyle: Teach them the value of abstinence from sexual sin, drugs and anything that harms their bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Biblically wise decisions: Come along side parents by encouraging students to make Biblical and thus wise choices regarding relationships, education, and other important decisions.
Selflessness: We want them to find the joy in considering others as more important than themselves. (Philippians 2:3-11)
Leaders Who Follow: We want to make them good leaders of others as a result of being great followers of Jesus Christ.
Evangelism: We seek to make witnessing to others and speaking about Christ a natural activity and not a feared activity.