Equipping the Saints
For the past few years, our youth group theme has been, "equip the saints." This is taken from Ephesians 4:12, which says, "And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." Everything we do in youth ministry has the aim of equipping our students to know what the bible says and how to live according to it. We do this through events, teaching, and intentional discipleship.
Each of our events (whether it's a regular Sunday night or a special event) gives a space for students to get to know each other, have fun, and learn about God. Holding specific events gives students the opportunity to make God and his church a part of their busy schedules and we want to make each moment count. So, whether we are playing a game or having discussion groups, it is all building towards students building their relationship with God and being equipped for ministry.
Most of our youth nights have a time of teaching and discussion, but we also make this a major part of our retreats throughout the year. To equip anyone for ministry, there must be dedicated times where they are under the ministry of the word of God. We make this a priority because we believe that we need to be students of the bible to effectively share our faith and grow in holiness.
Events and teaching are incredible ways to grow and be equipped, but we also need people in our lives to encourage us and guide us. This is why our youth leadership team is focussed on being intentional in the discipleship of our students. It begins at our youth events but it continues as leaders talk and go out with students throughout the week. We want our leaders to not just be a part of student's lives on Sunday night, but all throughout the week. It has been encouraging to see our leaders make this a priority as they text students, read the bible with them, and take an interest in their hobbies, like sports or theatre.
We want to see every student that comes to our program, come to a point where they know God, want to serve him, and are equipped to do so.