THE PASTOR OF the church that I attend (and I am a member of) has approach me about leading a youth group. It will be a small group, and is needed because some of the children in the church are not children anymore. I agreed to do it (with another friend in the church), and I thought before I start the group that I need to write out a vision statement of what I think should be the focus of our new youth group. I have done youth groups before, and I intend NOT make the same mistakes I did years ago.
The first thing I decided is to NOT call it a youth group, because youth groups tend keep kids forever immature in the faith with endless parties, games, and pizza. They grow up, and as adults they go to churches that has worship services like giant youth group parties. I believe that a youth group should be gear to assist them to become men and women that have a strong foundation in the faith that hunger for solid food of the word instead of the weak milk that a lot churches serves them.
Below is what I wrote out for a youth group that I believe will be pleasing to God. BTW, I am calling it Young Adults Discipleship Group instead of youth group and I think below will be a good explanation of why ::
Young Adults Group Vision (v 1.1)
- The Young Adults Discipleship Group will be Christ centered, cross focused.
- The primary emphasis will be on the gospel and discipleship as we in the Reformed faith understand it, and as it is expressed in the five Solas (Sola scriptura, Sola fide, Sola gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria).
- Discipleship will include teaching a solid foundation in the faith; moving from the milk to solid food of the word (Hebrews 5:12-14).
- Discipleship will be encouraging maturity as our young people move into adulthood. As we grow, we need to put away childish ways (1 Corinthians 13:11).
- Scripture says that we are “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2 ESV). The Young Adults Discipleship Group will have their minds challenged.
- Apologetic will be stressed and discussed. Our young people will be presented with persuasive argument of our faith, and will be challenged to think about these arguments, and learn to articulate our faith better. As Peter instructed us that we should in our “hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
- Since there will be apologetic discussions, those in the Young Adults Discipleship Group ARE permitted to ask questions, even if a question(s) is challenging to for the leaders to answer. Engaging honest questions are welcome in our group because we “prefer to appeal to” (Philemon 1:9) our young people by giving solid answers to questions instead of dictating to our young people WHAT to believe.
- The Young Adults Discipleship Group is an extension of the pastor’s catechism Sunday school class, which we will be building on this foundation.
- The purpose of the Young Adults Discipleship Group is to NOT segregate them into a sub group of our church. The young adults will be encouraged to worship, fellowship, edify with all ages of our congregation. They will learn what it means to be a part to the church universal, which include the old, young, past, present, future, and all nationalities.