We have had many new families and students coming to both our church and our student ministry weekly gatherings. Because of this, I thought I’d break down the purpose of each of our meeting times. At the end, I’ll give some observations as to the fruit that this is bearing.
We meet on Wednesday nights from 6:30-8pm. This time is designed to introduce students to who Jesus is. Not only do we want our students to come, we want them to bring their friends. We have a hang out/fellowship time from 6:30-7:00, then a relevant message about Jesus followed by small group time. In their small group, they dig deeper into Scripture, discuss the text, and talk about what they learned. Again, this is ground level, foundational stuff; we’re trying to teach who Jesus is and introduce them to the love of Christ.
The next “step” for involvement or growth would be on Sunday mornings. We meet from 8:45-9:45am. Here, we teach right from Scripture, using the Faithweaver material, which takes a student through the main teachings of the Bible in 3 years. Currently, both our high school and middle school groups meet together but this will be changing after the new year. The material here builds on the foundations laid on Wednesday nights. We go deeper into Scripture, and focus on application of spiritual truths. Here, our goal is to introduce them to what it means to be a disciple of Christ. If Wednesday night is the foundation, Sundays are the walls.
The deepest level of growth takes place on Sunday nights from 6:00-8:00pm. This time is a straight Bible study. Many of our studies on this night are multi-week studies and the students are required to purchase their own material and commit to doing the work. We just finished a 9-week session in which we used Henry Blackaby’s “Experiencing God” material. Next up, beginning January 6 is the “Why?” study, which will be 6-weeks long. Continuing the analogy of the building, this time of study would be the roof and finishing touches- how their discipleship affects their lives on a daily basis.
Here’s what we are seeing as a result of how we’re currently “doing” ministry. Many of the kids who only attend our Wednesday night meeting do not know who Jesus is beyond the intellectual; He is simply not real in their lives. For some students who attend on Sunday mornings, but NOT on Wednesday nights, they struggle with the application because they have no idea who Jesus is; there is no foundation.
As a ministry team, we would appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we wait on the LORD on this topic. We also ask that you would evaluate the spiritual needs of you and your family and involve yourselves in the direction(s) that you feel the LORDs leading.