Philosophy of Youth Ministry

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1 Philosophy of Youth Ministry Matt Olson, Assistant/Youth Pastor Grace Baptist Church 900 W Northern Ave Taylorville, IL youthofgrace.org

2 Page 2 of 6 I. Table of Contents I. Table of Contents... 2 II. Philosophy of Youth Ministry... 3 III. Mission of the Youth Ministry... 5 IV. Goals of the Youth Ministry... 6

3 Page 3 of 6 II. Philosophy of Youth Ministry There are two basic principles to lay the foundation of youth ministry: 1) Parents are responsible for their children. 2) The task of the church is to make disciples. Based on these two premises, we are committed to the following philosophy of ministry for young people. The origins of youth ministry The church has only embraced the concept of "youth ministry" as separate from the mainstream of the rest of the congregation since the 1940s. Why did this happen? During WWII men went off to war and women went into the workforce. After the war, though many working women returned to their primary ministry as homemakers, many others remained in the workforce. Since that time, the number of working mothers and broken families continued to increase. Families suffered as a result. As the family has broken down, institutions, including the church, have sought to take up the slack. They have sought to do what God ordained the family to do. Thus, youth ministry became something that churches offered to help train and develop the youth. The importance of youth ministry We believe that the primary responsibility for training and teaching the youth is placed on the parents. God has ordained the family to be the place where youth are taught about God and His Word (Deut. 6:1-9; Prov. 22:6; Luke 2:51-52). We believe that the church can be a help in the training and teaching of the youth. God has ordained the church to be the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). The church desires to be of a help to parents in this area. The church s philosophy It is not the intention of the youth ministry to have a different purpose than that of the rest of the church. Thus, we still hold to the original purpose of Grace Baptist Church which states: The purpose of this organization as an Independent, Fundamental, Soul-Winning, Autonomous, Sovereign, Local Baptist Church shall be the preaching and teaching of the Word of God; the administration of the ordinances of the New Testament; the spiritual improvement of its members; and, the evangelization of the lost in its local and larger areas, and the spreading of the Gospel throughout the world.

4 Page 4 of 6 What do we do for the youth at Grace Baptist Church? 1. We count them able to hear and understand the preaching of the Word of God along with the adults for Sunday Morning and Evening services. 2. We hold special meetings for them during Sunday School and Wednesday night services where they can hear God s Word presented in an applicable way for their age group. 3. We believe that Christianity calls for service. The youth ministry plans for various outreach opportunities throughout the year to allow the youth to help serve others. This allows them to be doers of the Word and not hearers only as James 1:22 states. 4. We believe that parents are the main authority in the life of the youth, and that they are ultimately accountable for their child s rearing. For this reason, the youth ministry seeks to encourage parents and point the youth to their parents for needed counsel. However, the church is available to counsel with parents and youth at the parents discretion. 5. We believe that fun is not the main focus of youth group; spiritual growth and worshipping God are what we are to focus on. We understand that the social interests of teenagers may be different from that of the rest of the church body, and we will seek to have fellowships, Bible studies, and special activities that will allow the youth to have Christian social times with their peers. We do not insist that this is the only way to do youth ministry. We are following the guidance of the Holy Spirit as He is leading in this way.

5 Page 5 of 6 III. Mission of the Youth Ministry The mission of the Grace Baptist Church youth group is to assist parents in seeing young people come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Once they have made this most important decision for Christ, it is our mission to make a strong disciple of the student as laid out in the words of Christ s Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. ). Simply put, the purpose of our youth ministry is to impact teenagers so that they will mature by being saved, studying, soul-burdened, separated, and surrendered. Everything we try to do as a youth group has this focus in mind so that as Paul said in Colossians 1:18 he (Christ) might have the preeminence in each teenager's life. This mission can be summarized in the following chart: Saved Surrendered Mature Teenager Studying Separated Soul- burdened

6 Page 6 of 6 IV. Goals of the Youth Ministry To help Grace Baptist Church achieve its mission we are adapting a concise description of goals to help everyone understand exactly what the goals are for the youth. This description is given in three words: Mold. Move. Motivate. Everything we do as a youth ministry must meet one of these goals. This will keep us focused on what we are trying to accomplish with the youth, and keep us unified. Mold. The Lord wants to change us from our present state and transform us to be more in the image of His dear Son, Jesus Christ (Rom. 12: 1-2; 8:29; Eph. 4). Move. Evangelism is the heartbeat of Scripture. What is Scripture anyways but a description of our loving God showing us how He has and will deal with our sin based upon what we do with His Son, Jesus? Evangelism is the spread of the gospel to the world (Acts 1:8; 2 Tim. 4:5; Matt. 28:19-20). Motivate. Teenagers need good influences in their life to help them make the right decisions based upon God s Word. Whether it is motivating them to obey their parents or find God s will for their life in regard to college, jobs, spouses, or any number of areas, we will seek to help them in motivating them in their Christian life (Prov. 3:5-6; Ps. 56:3; 2 Tim. 2:3; Titus 2). Here is another way of looking at these goals: Molding is the internal work that we do to strengthen the student s faith and build them to be what God wants them to be. Mold. Moving is the external work that we do to put their faith into practice by spreading the gospel and showing the love of Christ outside the walls of the church building. Motivating is the bridge work that we do to keep their faith consistent throughout the rest of their lives after they leave the youth group. Motivate.

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