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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A little about us, part 2- D-Group

This is Part 2 of "A little about us" a series designed to tell parents the how's and why's of the youth ministry event schedule during the school year.  Part 1 was about Sunday School.  Let's talk about D-Group!

D-Group got its start in November of 2005, I had just come to Eastview, and on Sunday nights, I'd meet with 3-5 students and we would discuss questions like:
  • When you hear the word "Christian", what comes to mind?
  • Describe a time when God has worked in your life/
  • What is worship?
These questions (and about 12-15 others) were written on a little legal pad on my desk  (still have the original pad!).  We would talk about the question, look up verses, discuss, argue, was very casual and laid back.  Those that came loved it.  Over the years, as more kids wanted to join, it morphed into a Sunday night study, 2 hours long.  We read books together, talked about deeper theological discussions, pushed, and grew.  And then, when we split our group into two (ms & hs) in 2008, it went away. it's back.  Beginning Sunday, September 18, from 4-5:30 (before HS youth group), we will be reading, studying and discussing the book Radical by David Platt.  A few things that parents and students need to know about D-Group:
  • Those attending will get out of it what they put into it.  
  • Students are expected to read a chapter per week and memorize Scripture.
  • Students are expected to have read the material and be ready to discuss it.
  • Students who choose to skip reading or preparation will at some point be asked to stop coming.  Why?  Because we are reading a book together and for those that don't read the book, attendance would be somewhat pointless.  Also, for the kids that are doing the work, they tend to get frustrated with those that do not.
  • The cost of the book and material is $15/student.
  • D-Group is for kids that want to be challenged and stretched in their faith in an environment that is designed and organized around that single goal.  We have fun, but it's not "let's play a game fun."  It's fun because we have time to go deep.
Students need to sign up by September 10 so I can order their books! 

As always, we'd love your feedback!  Please comment below or shoot me an email  I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A little about us, part 1- Sunday School

We have three specific weekly "programs", Sunday School, D-Group, and Youth Group.  For each of these three things, there is a specific purpose and intent.  They are also very different because they must be, we have different kids attend each of these things, and each of them cannot do the same thing.  There are time constraints (SS is only an hour versus 1.5 or 2 hours for youth group), transportation concerns, a whole host of things.  By that rationale, if your students "only" attends 1 of our 3 programming pieces, understand that they might be missing something.  This post begins a several-part series that will give you some insight into what we do in our Eastview Christian Church Student Ministry "department" and, why we do it.  At the end of this series (by the end of next week), I will post an action plan detailing each of these programming events so you can look at them, and determine how you might, or might not, encourage your kids to attend. 

Today's post deals with that old standby, Sunday School.

As an institution, Sunday School dates way back in church history to about 1751.  Yep, it's only about 260 years old. 

At Eastview, the Sunday School hour is from 8:45-9:45am, each Sunday (duh).   Because many of the students that attend Sunday School come with their parents, our goal is to give them a "more than basic" understanding of the Bible.  In our Sunday School hour, we spend our time reading the Bible and discussing the Bible.  That's it.  Not food beforehand, no games, no small groups, just conversation and discussion about the Bible, what it says, how we might interpret it, and what it means.  Currently, we are talking about how we got "here" (today) from "there" (when the events of the Bible took place).  We want our students to see how God's Word was written with the intent of intentionality and purpose, and most importantly, how it coheres (relates) to itself.  When we are done with that, we will talk about early Church history, how the Bible was put together, the Protestant Reformation...all sort of fun things.  We began this back in March, and will probably take a few years to get through.  Our Sunday School class is "open", this means that parents and other adults are welcome to join us and participate.  We'd love to have you join us!

There it overview of Sunday School; when you think Sunday School, think Bible.  It's not that we don't use the Bible in D-group or Youth Group...we do.  But Sunday School is intentionally designed to talk specifically about the Bible.  If your student only attends Youth Group, they will likely NOT have the depth of Bible understanding (unless they are taught at home or elsewhere) that a student who attends Sunday School would.

And that is why we'd love for your student to come to Sunday School with us.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Upcoming Dates

We've tried to be as comprehensive as possible so that you  (and we) can plan our calendars and our budgets.  I've also included event costs where possible.   Here are the dates of a number of things coming up...please read this CAREFULLY! 

While our Mexico mission trip is listed below, there will be a separate post later in the week, addressing not only the two biggest questions that a parent will have about that trip: safety and cost, but also on our expectations for those that desire to join us.  I'll keep you informed!

August 26 (5:30-10pm), August 27 (8:30am-4pm)
  • Student Ministry Team Retreat
    • This is for all members of our student ministry team, as well as parents and other interested adults.   
Wednesday, September 7
  • E-KLUB/Middle School Youth Group starts
    • 6-8pm
 Sunday, September 18
  • High School Youth Group starts
    • 5:45-8pm
Friday, September 16-Sunday, September 18
  • All-Church Retreat at North East Iowa Christian Service Camp
    • For all: students, parents, members, non-members 
Sunday, October 16
  • Eastview Harvest Party
    • Following Sunday services
    • Zieser home, Center Point
    • All are invited
Monday, October 31
  • Trunk or Treat at Eastview Christian Church
    •   6-8pm
Thursday, November 3 - Sunday, November 6
  • "The Event" at Ozark Christian College
    • This is our annual mid-year high school trip to visit a Christian College; it's a mini-conference, college visit and relationship-builder rolled into one event.  
    • Cost will be $90/student; this covers all event registration, food, lodging, and transportation. 
    • $30 deposit and registration form (available soon) due by Sunday, October 16.
Wednesday, November 16
  • Thanksgiving Celebration at Eastview
    • 6-8pm
December, Christmas event- Date and Times to be announced

Saturday, February 11, 2012
  • Spaghetti Dinner/Dessert Auction/Talent Show
    • Because of this HUGE fundraiser, we can help kids get to camp, events like CIY: Believe and everything else that we do.  
    • Speaking of CIY: Believe...
Thursday February 17 - Sunday, February 19
  • CIY: Believe is our annual mid-year middle school trip, and they won't want to miss it.
  • We're going back to St Louis for an amazing time of worship, great speakers that share with middle school students in mind and some solid relationship-building between our students and adults.  
  • Cost will be in the $150 range, which covers event registration, hotel lodging, food, fun...everything!  
Early July, 2012
  • Mexico Mission Trip to San Luis Potosi, Mexico
    • While this trip is open to any of those entering high school and above for the 2012-2013 school year, it is not for everyone.  We will have several informational meetings in November (you just need to attend one) to discuss this trip, the issues and, expectations surrounding it, in detail
    • Assist with several different Vacation Bible Schools in and around the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
    • Trip cost in 2010 was $1000/participant.  While we will make every effort to maintain this level, transportation cost is the largest variable.  
Summer Camp Dates, 2012 (all costs were the 2011 early-bird camp year cost, and subject to change)

June 10-15:     Middle School Camp #1      $155

June 17-23:     High School Camp #2          $185

June 24- 27:    3rd, 4th, 5th Grade Camp      $125

June 29-30:     2nd, 3rd Grade Camp            $35
July 8-13:        Middle School Camp #2       $155

July 15-19:     4th, 5th Grade Camp              $125

July 22-28:      High School Camp #2           $185

Please contact me either by phone (319) 393-9570 or email ( with thoughts, questions or concerns.  We are looking forward to another excellent year!