Fall is fast-approaching. The school year has started, and youth begin a new season, many making significant transitions. For some, it is a new school, others a new sport and some will experience finding a new group of friends. These transitions will occur while students wrestle to find their identity, belonging, and purpose. Many Christian youths will seek an identity that may not be in Christ, others will look outside communion with God and other believers to place their sense of belonging, and like many of us, Christian youth are driven to find their purpose and meaning in this world that is self-glorifying and seeks ultimately meaningless enjoyment.
At GRC, our youth ministry is not “just” fun and games. We work to partner with parents, youth leaders, and youth to see young people come to faith and encourage our youth along what we at GRC call the “Discipleship Pathway.” The four pathway steps highlight a student’s journey to mature faith in Christ.
Youth face several social trials before entering adulthood—loneliness and anxiety reign supreme in the lives of teens. Imagine with me, a space where youth, who have never experienced the joy and freedom that comes with a relationship with Christ, could find gospel community. The youth ministry is, for many, the front door to life-long faith. We provide social opportunities, connections, and agency for youth to belong.
As youth spend time in youth ministry (not just in the facility), they will hear of the redeeming work of Christ and His atonement for their sins. They will face the realities of this world and, every week during New Life Fridays, be engaged in conversations wrestling through issues that challenge them or conform them to a worldview other than Christ and His Word. Ultimately, and hopefully, continually reminding them of their need for the Savior.
“If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. – 1 Tim 4:6”
Youth who have come to faith in Christ still wrestle with their identity in Him. They struggle with their spiritual practices and, like all of us, desire to know Him more intellectually and intimately. Youth ministry provides a space where each youth can grow in their knowledge of Him and discover how that relationship affects and applies to different areas of their lives. Some of these moments are fleshed out in our Sunday teaching, our times of worship, and other critical moments throughout the year.
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. – 1 Tim 4:8”
Maturing youth, especially the more spiritually mature, find themselves stuck at a faith “ceiling” waiting to move from being the “future church” to the Church. Many are hungry to serve and are waiting for the opportunity. This year, we will launch opportunities for youth to experience intentional discipleship and discover a place within the body as a servant of Christ.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. – 1 Tim 4:12”
Youth ministry is impossible without recognizing that we are discipleship partners with parents. Together, we work to support the maturing faith of their youth. The youth ministry also provides the following for parents and families:
- Monthly Parent Prayer: Last Friday of the month at 7:00 PM
- Parent Advisory (Brain Trust): TBD
- Monthly Family Dinners at the Heftyes or Parent Resources: Email to be added to the list.
All youth are invited to join weekly on:
- Sundays: 10:00 AM, during our Sunday School Hour.
- Fridays: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, with the first Friday being a special “Social Event”
For more information, questions, or to be added to our weekly email list, please email.
Drew Heftye is the Director of Family Discipleship at GRC.