At CCCO our youth ministry desires to see our students transformed by Christ and develop a passionate faith that is rooted in Scripture; so they would dynamically shape the people and culture around them.
The role of parents in the youth ministry:
Parents are the biggest examples and influences in the lives of the youth. The youth ministry should never be seen or understood as a replacement of a believing parent’s role in the life of a youth. The youth ministry seeks to come alongside parents, assisting them and helping them to serve their child(ren).
Time can be one of, if not the most impacting things you can offer to the youth. Youth are very observant, they are able to discern what is most valued in the lives of the parents. Youth often follow the examples of adults who may give the impression that they don’t have time for God. It is easy to lose sight of God as we rush to work or church. “Adults don’t feel guilty because of sin, but because we have no time for our spouses, our children, or our God. Our schedule can kill us.” –Messy Spirituality, Yaconelli. Let us model that we can sacrifice our time for our God and for our family.
Why help in the youth ministry?
We believe that youth need spiritually mature adults (in addition to the parents, youth pastor etc.) to encourage, challenge and love them so they would make healthy decisions in adolescence and grow to be more like Christ. Christ himself had a group of 12 of whom He called disciples and had 3 that he held even closer. Without enough helpers, we will not be able to properly engage each youth in the group through the process of spiritual formation and discipleship.
“The adults who make Christianity come alive are the adults who take an interest in me – the adults who show an interest in my life as well as a passion and interest in their own lives. Not only do they say, “Hey, how are things going with you?” They are willing to sit down and say “Let me tell you what’s going on with me.” Those are the people I really enjoy. Those are the people who have kept me in church.” – Contemplative Youth Ministry, Practicing the Presence of Jesus (62)
Who can help in the youth ministry?
It is important that each adult leader (Pastor and workers) has a character that is consistent with Scripture so they are able to model Christ’s love to the youth. Leaders must have CAPPP training and show a commitment to youth ministry.
We press on towards the goal of teaching and encouraging youth to know and be more like Christ, to form an intentional community of faith, to be present in their lives and encourage them to use their gifts and abilities to serve the Church and bring light to the world.
How does this happen, what are the tangible steps of discipleship?
Introducing them so that they know they are loved by Christ (Life) “A sad reality of modern life is the increasing number of people whose past abuse has convinced them of their unworthiness.” Michael Yaconelli, Messy spirituality (69)
Then to love Christ (The Greatest Commandment)
Then to love Christ’s family (Understand and value fellowship and the church body)
Then to grow in Christ (Discipleship, character formation)
Then to serve Christ (Outpouring – trips, community service, VBS etc)
Finally to share Christ (Sharing the gospel, inviting friends to be part of the community)
**Different youth arrive at these stages at different times than others: for example, a youth in grade twelve may still be on the first step while a grade nine student may be approaching the third.
How can I help?
Serve in the Junior High ministry (As a leader, helper, Sunday School teacher)
Help recruit helpers for the Pure Energy (ie. Calling potential helpers)
Lead Friday night events or serve as an accompanying leader
Help teach Sunday school
Serve in the Senior High ministry (as a helper, driver, counselor, Sunday school, attend mission trips, potential small groups)
Attend youth events (retreats, overnight events, mission trips etc.)
Teach Sunday school once a month
If you are a counselor, exhibit love for 3 same gender youth (write encouraging letters, meetings, attending practices or recitals etc.)
Help arrange transportation
Find houses to host certain youth events
Make efforts to share about Youth ministry and it’s importance to bring youth ministry to the forefront and get people involved
We consistently evaluate the current needs of ministries with AWANA into the Jr. High and Sr. High. For many years, our junior high followed the Trek curriculum and has recently shifted to John Piper’s Your Word is Truth curriculum. The C&Y ministry continues to adapt as the unique challenges of our young generation change. However, our conviction is that the Word of God stands forever. Our method in communicating the gospel may adapt to be relevant to needs but the message of the gospel remains true forever.
Many years ago, Biblical teaching seemed to be something our youth (on the majority) lacked. Many had never read any book of the Bible to completion (just splices of verses here and there as taught in many lessons). For several years, the major focuses have been on Biblical teaching, discipleship and relational ministry. In the future, a hope and desire of mine is that the shift will begin to focus more intensely on discipleship as the youth will already be equipped with more Bible knowledge through the AWANA program.