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Friday, September 2, 2011

A little about us, part 3- Youth Group

Sunday School


And now...Youth Group.  What is it?  Why have it?

For the last 40 years or so, Youth Groups have been a huge part of churches and their programming geared toward kids.  When I was growing up back in the 80's (Dated?), each Sunday night you;d find me hanging out with the youth group of First Presbyterian Church in Peachtree City, Georgia.  We met each week in the homes of other kids; each week was in a different place.  We'd gather for some food, some fun, and a youth group lesson, usually 15-20 minutes in length.  The favorite topic?  Sex, of course.  I remember that the week before "sex night" (that just doesn't sound right!!) we were handed small pieces of paper, a pen, and encouraged to write down our questions, ANY questions that we had and the following week, our poor youth minister got up in from of the group and answered them. 

Guys like Steve Rembert, Thom McArthur, Martin Huggins were awesome; they loved us, put up with our antics, and taught us what it was like to follow Jesus each Sunday night and on trips all over the place.

Our "youth group" has two parts:
  • Our middle school youth group meets on Wednesday nights from 6-8pm.  We have a meal, do a group activity, have a group lesson, and then split into small groups for some deeper discussion.  It takes a special kind of adult to work with middle school kids; they have high energy, lots of questions, and are really coming into their own, developing their identity.  We love middle school kids at Eastview.
  • Our high school youth group meets on Sunday nights from 5:45-8pm.  We have a meal, do a group activity, have a group lesson, and then split into small groups for some deeper discussion.  High school kids are at the point in their lives where they are asking big questions and dealing with big issues; they are wrestling with who they are.  I love the depth of our high school kids at Eastview.
This year, in both middle school and high school youth groups, we'll be talking about the lies that surround them, are told to and about them, are told by them, that they fall for and believe, and then act on.  Lies like:
  • God could never love me.
  • I need a boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • The music I listen to, and the movies I watch don't affect me.
  • It's not really sex.
Each day, kids in our youth group struggle with and fall for these lies.  Satan is the great deceiver, we actually believe that and this year, we will be confronting our students with the truth of the gospel, and most importantly, with the Truth that is Jesus Christ.

Our youth group is designed to be a great place where kids can feel welcome to bring friends and have some good honest conversation about the God that loves them.  This is called "community" and we see in the Bible that Christians are called to it.  We want to talk about with them what Christianity looks like and what it means to be a follower and disciple of Christ.  We are looking forward to starting up next Wednesday (for middle school) and Sunday the 18th for high school!!

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