The Youth Ministry Program at Grace is huge.
Yes, we have Wednesday Night Youth Group and, yes, we have special events like “The Fifth Quarter” in the fall and others throughout the year. But that’s not what makes this ministry huge. It is huge because it is about so much more than fun games and trips! Through the relationships formed, we become more loving and better understanding people. Through community, we learn how to be more like Jesus in our thoughts and actions. In everything we do we want to Love God & Love People.
Our leaders do their best to take a special interest in every student, beyond a simple “how was your week?” on Wednesdays. They regularly go to sporting events, plays, concerts, and more – just because one of their students invited them! Our Associate/Youth Pastor has lunch with students every Tuesday (7th-8th grade) and Thursday (9th-12th grade) during the school year as well! We truly love our students and hope that they know for the rest of their lives that Jesus loves them too.
Wednesday Night Youth Group
If Youth Ministry is a battle then Wednesday Night Youth Group is the frontline. Except for the rare occasion (maybe 2-3 times a year), our Youth Group meets every single week from 7pm-8:30pm with doors opening at 5:30pm for video games and hang out time. During the school year we serve a free, small dinner to students starting at 6:30pm – we know student’s schedules are increasingly busy so we don’t want the question of where they are going to eat dinner be the reason they can’t attend Youth Group!
What does a typical Wednesday night look like? The first thing that happens is students check themselves in for the night when they arrive – this helps us know who was here each week. If it is your first time, checking in takes a few minutes to get you into the computer system but the following weeks are much faster! Beginning at 7pm, we kick things off with a selection of games – students can choose if they want to sit at a table and join in on a board game, get their heart-rate up with 9-Square, or sit and relax in the youth lounge with friends. We all then head into the sanctuary to sing along to some worship videos that have lyrics on the screen. After worship, we have a short “Big Picture” lesson and then have the students split up into small groups so they have the chance to dig in and discuss the topic of the night with a leader – this is where the “meat” of the lesson is really chewed! At the end of the evening, there is sometimes dessert that has been donated by a kind family from Grace. After we dismiss, students are welcome to hang out and talk to their friends, play more games, or talk with one of their adult leaders. Everything gets locked up by 9pm.
We have a variety of activities that take place through out the year. Some are for all students and others are for just middle schoolers or just high schoolers. These include events like our post-football game “Fifth Quarter” which provides food, games, and a safe place to hang out with friends on select Friday nights in the fall. We also have movie nights, paintball days, volunteer projects, and more. The best place to hear about these activities is the dedicated Youth Ministry Facebook Page.
Youth Ministry at Grace simply wouldn’t be possible without our adult leaders. These individuals are committed to the spiritual and emotional health of your students. Through small groups on Wednesday nights, the teens get to know their specific leader personally and it is not out of the ordinary for them to be checked in on throughout the week with a quick text or facebook message. Together with Pastor Jared, these adults are on the front line every week working to make sure each and every student that comes through our doors knows that they are loved and needed.