REVOLVE. Student Ministries

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1 Student Ministries Introduction Student Ministries, the youth ministry of Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church, Meridian, MS, exists to reach students with the message of Christ and to transform them into Great Commission Christians. Students, grades 7-12, are invited and encouraged to be a part of this revolutionary ministry. Our Purpose Student Ministries exists to help students build a life that revolves around Jesus Christ. Our desire is for students to be drawn into a life changing relationship with Christ and loving fellowship with other believers that they may participate in true worship and transformational discipleship resulting in a heartfelt desire to see the lost saved and the lonely loved. Biblical Foundations Jeremiah 29:11-13 clearly states that God has a purpose and plan for His people and that His plan is perfect, promising, and perceivable. God s plan is perfect in that He, as the omniscient creator, has a perfect will and way in which He desires to work through His people to bring about His Kingdom Growth and Kingly Glory. God promises that if His people will give themselves over to the fulfillment of His plan and purposes, then He will prosper them and give them hope and a future. God s plan is the only one that comes with this promise. God does not delight in hiding Himself or His plan from His people and promises that, if His people seek Him, He will reveal His will to them. In Matthew 28:18-20 and Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus reveals more clearly exactly what God desires from His children as they seek to further His Kingdom and live within His family. In the Great Commission Jesus clearly illustrates that Christians are to be about the business of evangelism - a process that is not complete until the evangelized become evangelists. As the church is going about making disciples they are to evangelize the lost, disciple the saved, and foster Christian fellowship. In Matthew 22 Jesus states that the entire law and prophets hang on two commands to love God

2 with all of your soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. In other words, Christians are to be about loving God and loving others. God is glorified as Christians live out a lifestyle of worship and develop an attitude of ministry. In these two passages, Jesus identifies five basic elements that should be present in every church and in every Christian s life: worship, ministry, evangelism, discipleship, and fellowship. s objective is to see young people transformed into Great Commission Christians. This is a discipleship process that begins with conversion and is not complete until that person is actively discipling others. In order for this to occur, students must understand that Christians, though in the world, are not of the world (John 17), but exist in this world in order to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) to lost and dieing people. Structure The structure of is based upon the five elements identified by Jesus in Matthew 22 and 28. Every activity that takes place as part of the student ministry of FABC must, in some way, tie into one or more of these elements. Fellowship - building Christ honoring relationships Worship - living a lifestyle that brings honor and glory to God Evangelism being on mission with God to seek and save the lost Ministry - allowing God s love to flow through us as we serve others Discipleship - being transformed into the likeness of Christ No activities are done for activities sake! Every activity or event is done with a purpose and objective in mind. And no one element is focused on more than any other. Weekly activities satisfy the balance requirement in the following way: Sunday School Discipleship, Evangelism, Fellowship, Worship Revolve 360 (Youth Discipleship) Discipleship, Fellowship, Worship The Revolution Worship, Fellowship, Discipleship, Evangelism The Gathering Discipleship, Fellowship, Worship Student Choir Worship, Fellowship Student FAITH Evangelism, Fellowship, Discipleship

3 Special activities such as DiscipleNow, Student Conferences, Youth Camp/Mission Trips, and Back 2 School Retreat must also seek to incorporate the elements in a balanced way. The filter through which every activity must be sifted is how it fits s purpose and its intended outcome. The purpose and goal of Student Ministries can be clearly seen in the symbol, which resembles a revolving door. The most important facet of the ministry is that it is Christ centered, depicted by the central cross. The top arrow indicates movement from the world into the influence of FABC s Student Ministry. While in the ministry, students are discipled by loving adults, engaged in Christ-centered worship, enveloped in Christlike love, and encouraged to become agents of change in their culture and the world outside the walls of the church. The bottom arrow inidicates movement as a transformed student moves from the Student Ministry back into his world to impact his culture for the Kingdom of Christ. The ultimate goal is to see young people transformed into Great Commission Christians. The Process As students come into contact with FABC they are encouraged to go deeper in their relationship with Christ and our church. It s helpful to think of three different types of relationships that a person might have with someone in their home: Foyer Living Room Kitchen When a person visits your home, the first place they re met is in the foyer. This represents the shallowest of relationships. If the person is known, they are usually invited into the living room. If there is a deeper aspect to the relationship that person may even be asked to join you in the kitchen. Each of these relationships represents a certain depth to the friendship and an intimacy level.

4 uses a similar dynamic in how it moves students through the discipleship process based on their relationship with FABC. Foyer Foyer students are those students who are acquainted with FABC s student ministry, but are not actively involved. These students may have visited a Bring A Buddy night or Revolution or may have come with a friend to some type of special event. Our objective in dealing with these students is to build a relationship with them through which they begin to experience the love of Christ. As this relationship is developed, we encourage them to enter into a deeper relationship with Christ and our student ministry. It is during this stage that a lost student will be introduced to Christ and, hopefully, will begin a life changing journey of faith with Him. Sunday School is our chief Foyer event each week. At Sunday School, there are students in the crowd who do not come to many of the other events that take place each week and who most likely have not begun a relationship with Christ. The purpose of Sunday School is to facilitate the relationship building process with these students, to introduce them to the claims of Christ, to begin the discipleship process, and to provide an opportunity for dialogue and reflection concerning the faith claims of the Bible. In Sunday School, students are divided into grade level classes. Each teacher is responsible for ongoing contact with the students on his/her role. In the class students have the opportunity to discuss topics affecting their lives and faith with other students of similar background and station in life. FABC uses Lifeway s FUEL Sunday School curriculum. All students meet together to enjoy fellowship and view a DVD lesson at the beginning of Sunday School time. When the video is over, students enter into individual classes to discuss the material they have just viewed and to explore the concepts further through Scripture. It is at this stage that real Christian growth should begin to take place. If a student hasn t accepted Christ, there are ample opportunities for this to occur. For those who have begun a relationship with the Lord, our focus is deepening their faith. Our goal is to help Foyer students feel welcome and loved and to encourage them to take the next step. Living Room Living room students have hopefully, though not always, already begun a relationship with Jesus. If these students have accepted Christ, they are immature believers. Therefore, the purpose of this stage is to continue to foster a relationship with them while deepening their spirituality and laying the groundwork for the formation of a Biblical worldview. Revolution, Wednesday night youth worship, is the main Living Room event each week. At Revolution, students participate in and experience contemporary praise and worship and are involved in in-depth Scripture study. The first part of the night is fun and interactive with music and games while the second half is spent in expository Bible Study led by the Minister to Students. The focus of these Bible studies is on helping students to understand that the way of the Word is

5 drastically different from the way of the World. Our desire is for students to come to understand, at this stage, what it means to be in the world, but not of the world. It is at this point, also, that we expect to see youth beginning to own their faith. As students move into a deeper relationship with Christ, it can be expected that they will become more sensitive to the lostness of those around them. To assist them in reaching out to their friends, once a month we offer Bring A Buddy night as part of Revolution. On this night, students are encouraged to bring a lost or unchurched friend. The mood is festive and the message is intentionally evangelistic. Of course the goal of the Living Room process is to encourage students to explore their faith more deeply and to move into a deeper relationship with Jesus. Kitchen The kitchen relationship is the most intimate relationship possible. Students who have this type of relationship are interested in real discipleship and desire a radical relationship with Christ. These students are actively involved in the student ministry both as students and as leaders or potential leaders. The discipleship at this level is intense and rich. Students at this level are Christ followers who are committed to lifelong transformation. The purpose of this level is to inform and guide students in the formation of a Biblical Worldview and give them the opportunity to begin using their gifts within the Body of Christ. There are three weekly kitchen events that take place Revolve 360, The Gathering (Monday night high school Bible study), and Student FAITH. At these, students are challenged to put what they have learned into practice. The following diagram illustrates the process that a typical student would follow as part of his/her kitchen experience. The Circle Prerequisite class for all students participating in Revolve 360 and/or FAITH Student FAITH The Gathering Revolve 360 Course Examples Worldview 101 (Dr. Kent Hovind DVD study) N2 The Bible (Hermeneutics study) Blind Faith Living a Lie (Comparative Religion) Living Loud Defending Your Faith (Apologetics)

6 Foyer: - Student is new to FABC - Student may have attended a youth activity with a friend or may have been the recipient of a visit made by a youth visitation team. - Student s depth of knowledge concerning Christ is unknown spiritual condition is unknown. - Discipleship must be tailored to different levels of understanding and spiritual depth. - Primary weekly foyer event: Sunday School o Students hear the truth of God s Word o Students are introduced to Christian concepts o Students are encouraged to explore faith claims more deeply o Students are given opportunities to dialogue with adults and other students concerning Christ and the Bible o Students are given opportunities and encouraged to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ o Students are expected to go deeper in their relationship with Christ and the church Living Room: - Student attends Sunday School and is familiar with the church. - It is assumed that student has some knowledge of Christ student s spiritual condition is known and majority of students are followers of Christ. - Discipleship is tailored to an intermediate level of understanding concerning faith issues. - Primary weekly living room event: The Revolution o Students experience and participate in God-honoring worship o Students explore faith issues on a deeper level o Students are led in exegesis of key scriptures pertinent to Christian growth o Students are faced with Biblical requirements of followers of Christ o Students are given opportunities and encouraged to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ o Students are expected to demonstrate understanding of and adherence to Biblical mandates on Christian living o Students are expected to go deeper in their relationship with Christ and the church Kitchen: - Student is committed to Christ and to growing in a relationship with Him. - Student demonstrates active church involvement - Student has accepted Christ as Savior - Discipleship is tailored to a high level of understanding with an emphasis on development of a Biblical Worldview. - Primary weekly kitchen event: Revolve 360 and The Gathering o Students explore challenges to Christianity and answers to those challenges o Faith issues are explored on a much deeper level o Training in apologetics, evangelism, and hermeneutics is provided o Students are expected to lead in Bible study and topical examination o Students are expected to participate in one-on-one as well as group evangelism activities o Students are encouraged to look for opportunities to be an agent of change in their everyday lives and in their culture

7 Student Ministry Team The Student Ministry Team (Youth Ministry Team) is made up of individuals who feel a distinct calling from God to work with youth. There is evidence of this calling in the way they minister to and deal with youth and in their ability to teach and lead youth. The team is made up of a wide range of adults who work within the student ministry through Sunday School, The Revolution, The Gathering, Revolve 360, etc. Student Ministry Team members are expected to be at monthly meetings and to participate in all youth events. All Sunday School teachers are ex-oficio members of the SMT and are officially represented on the team by one Sunday School teacher. Sunday School teachers do not just fill a needed position in Sunday School they are ministers that have a calling from the Lord to be involved in the spiritual development of young people. In addition to adults, students are assigned to the SMT on a rotating basis. While these students are not involved in every aspect of meetings (they may be asked to step out for matters of confidentiality or discretion), their input is extremely valuable as the SMT seeks to minister to the needs of youth at FABC. The SMT consists of five to seven adult members, including the Minister to Students, and the adults of the SMT are considered to be ministers alongside the Youth Minister. The major role of the Minister to Youth is to provide vision and direction for the Student Ministry of FABC. The role of the SMT is to give arms and legs to this vision and to provide feedback and assistance in its formation. Adults are expected to seek opportunities to share the gospel with youth, to actively seek out ways they can meet needs of youth, to search for teachable moments, to be persistent in building relationships with students, and to model a lifestyle of worship. Serves, Teaches, Evangelizes, Loves, Demonstrates Worship Minister to Youth Equips Trains Ministers To Encourages Serves Teaches Evangelizes Loves Demonstrates Worship Student Ministry Team

8 Fundraising Throughout the year, we will offer various fundraising opportunities for students to participate in. These are provided to help defer the cost to parents of camps and major events during the summer. Fundraisers will be held on an as needed basis as determined by the Youth Minister and the Student Ministry Team. Some general fundraiser policies will be: - In general, fundraisers are elective. Minimum fundraising requirements for scholarship recipients will be determined by the Student Minister, Pastor and/or Student Ministry Team. - Unless specifically stated otherwise before the fundraising event, fundraiser proceeds will only benefit those students that actually work the fundraiser. - Individual fundraiser proceeds will be assessed by determining shares based on the number of individuals working the fundraiser. Shares will then be divided and deposited into accounts for each student working. - Parents may work in the place of their student at a fundraiser if the student is unable to attend. - For all major events, an account will be kept in the church office detailing credits (fundraisers and payments) and debits (event fees) for each student participating. It is our desire that finances never be a reason for a student to not attend an activity. To this end, scholarships are available for all major events that we offer. Eligibility for scholarships will be determined based on availability and need by the Student Minister and Pastor. Parents should contact one of these two people if a scholarship is needed. SUMMARY It is impossible for any one person to effectively minister to a large group. Differences in personalities, backgrounds, and family types make this job even harder. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that an effective minister surround himself with a diverse group of people who share a common call and vision. FABC is blessed beyond measure in that it has a very gifted group of adults who feel a distinct calling to do youth ministry. These adults represent years of wisdom and valuable resources for carrying out ministry to youth and their families. These adults attend sports events, talk candidly with parents of students, and take an active role in the discipling process of young people. As the Minister to Students determines the direction and vision of the student ministry of FABC, the Student Ministry Team is the most valuable resource at his disposal. As the Minister to Students and the Student Ministry Team seek to lead the students of FABC to fulfill God s plan holistically, the concept is a invaluable tool. This tool identifies what we as a student ministry are about and helps to determine how we will go about doing effective ministry within the larger context of FABC. It gives purpose and direction to our ministry and allows students to take ownership in the student ministry and in the larger body of the church.

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