What’s Happening Now...in Youth Ministry?
The mission of Gateway’s youth ministry has always been “to connect students to Jesus Christ and to one another,” and that is not changing. There are a lot of great, effective ways to accomplish this mission, and we aren’t saying our way is the only way, but our plan is rooted in convictions we hold about youth ministry and in our desire to help students grow into solid lifelong Christ-followers. If you have a student in middle school or high school at either Gateway campus, here is what you can expect for them this coming year...
No matter what campus you attend, this fall there will be a middle school program offered during each weekend service. Students will participate in worship with the congregation for the first 15 minutes, then be dismissed to their respective “Attics.” During the rest of the service, students will break into smaller groups and participate in an interactive Bible-based class.
While we will not be offering a specific program for high school students during weekend services, we encourage our 9-12th graders to attend the main service and serve within the church. The heart behind this change is help students make the transition from youth specific worship services/styles to becoming active members of the church body.
CR9 campus note: To continue to allow time and space for students to fellowship and connect with one another, we are in the midst of updating the Attic space to more available as a hangout area for our youth. The “Attic Student Lounge” will be open to ALL students (6th-12th grades) starting 30 minutes prior to first service, and between services. The Lounge will close 5 minutes before services start to allow students time to get downstairs for worship.
Students will continue to connect in age & gender specific Life Groups on Sunday evenings from 6:00-8:00pm. Due to the unique situation of our two campuses being located in close proximity to one another, at this time we will not be splitting our N Main and CR9 students into separate Life Groups. Instead, every 1st and 3rd Sunday, youth Life Groups will meet at our N Main campus (620 N Main St.), and every 2nd and 4th Sunday, groups will meet at CR9. The format for Life Groups will remain similar to what it has been in the past.
Our desire for all students is that they would be active participants in the life of their local church by regularly serving at their campus. There are many opportunities for students to serve on our First Impressions teams, in Kidway, at special events, or even on the worship and tech teams.
Throughout the year the youth ministry will host several local serving opportunities to allow students the chance to “go” into the community and serve alongside their friends. All students are encouraged to participate in church-sponsored family mission trips, and high school students also have an opportunity to participate in bi-annual international youth mission trips. We also want students to be invested in their local school communities and encourage them to get involved in the parachurch organizations (Youth for Christ, Young Life, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, etc.) at their specific school. (For a list of parachurch opportunities in our area, contact your campus Youth Director or check out our Next Gen Parent Resource board across from the CR9 cafe.)