All too often, one of the lightning rods in most churches is “the teen ministry!” Perhaps part of the reason is that the “youth group” can wrongfully become an isolated “church” within the church! A lot of changes take place in the lives of teens as they travel from childhood to young adulthood! Those changes can tend to become a “rallying point” that can be positive or negative depending upon how they are handled.
How are parents, and others who work with youth, supposed to help them develop through these tumultuous years? There is one Source for guidance. It is not what society says is the “norm.” It is not even what other youth groups tout as the cutting edge approach to “reaching” teens. It is what God’s Word says. In theory, we all would quickly agree with that statement. The problems come when there is a “disconnect” between what we say we believe and what we actually do.
The Mission Statement by which we will do our very best to serve Beacon families states the following:
|“Recognizing that the church is in partnership with parents, the teen ministry endeavors to train disciples who develop a heart for worship, a love for God’s Word, a growing maturity, and a zeal for ministry, by teaching and modeling Biblical truth in both formal and informal settings.”|
As our Mission Statement declares, God’s Word is the bedrock of every area in our teen ministry. We desire that our young people learn the Word of God in their heads, that they love the Word of God in their hearts, and that they live the Word of God in their habits. Our part is to plant and water the seed by rightly dividing and carefully teaching the Word of Truth, by seeking to model that Truth before our young people, and by upholding them in prayer. God’s part is the quickening to life hearts that are dead in sin, the softening of hearts have been hardened by sin and the strengthening of hearts to flee from sin.
The goals that flow from our mission statement include these—
- To see each teen embrace Christ as their all-sufficient treasure.
- To show that all of Scripture points to the person of Jesus Christ.
- To stimulate interest in the Scriptures as a whole.
- To support parents in the training of their youth.
- To supervise clean, enjoyable activities.
For the 2016-2017 school year, our senior high teens will be studying a series entitled “A Journey in James.” It will feature a study of this practical book written by our Lord’s half brother who started out as a skeptic and ended up as a pillar of the early church. Our Wednesday midweek teen meeting features a series that we have entitled “God’s ‘A’ Honor Roll” and deals with issues like Adoption (into God’s family),
Attitude, Ambition, Appearance….. One Wednesday each month, we meet in the auditorium for what we call “Focus Groups.” The PowerPoint topics that are shared deal with issues that impact teens as well as older adults. Finally, one Wednesday a month we seek to have one of the men in the church speak on a topic that is applicable to teens. This is part of a program that we call METAL— Mentors Educating Teens About Life. We would love to have any teens whose church does not meet on Wednesdays to visit us!
Throughout the year, we schedule activities that foster wholesome fellowship among our teens. Some of these activities are in the form of YAC’s (Youth After Church) that feature table games and sometimes an excursion to Purple Penguin for some frozen yogurt!
Other activities that are off-site have included Capture the Flag, Putt Putt and bowling. In addition to these fun times throughout the school year, we plan a one-day summer excursion to places like Carowinds or the Creeper Trail.
An important part of our teen ministry includes opportunities to serve others. This photograph captures some of our teens who served as “Booth Hosts” for our Fall Festival that features a variety of games for the younger children who attend. Other service opportunities include our monthly ministry to Home Place and our annual Widows’ Christmas Bags.