Over the years in church history there has been a battle of finding the balance of youth ministries being connected and being separated from the bigger body of Christ within the church. Recently we’ve discovered that here within our own church our students have become segregated from the bigger part and we want to work on reconnecting them with the body of our church. They have become so separated that not only are they not familiar and comfortable with “big church”, Sunday worship services, but the church is unaware of the great group of students we have here in our ministry. In fact we just sent a student off to college and she was nervous and scared about now having to go to “big church” because she has only ever been in Sunday school. This is one reason many high school students stop going to church after they graduate because they have only ever been in Sunday school and youth group.
We have decided that we believe having the youth a part of the church is important to us and so we invite all middle and high school students to join me (or their families if they prefer) in the 9:30 service on the east campus. After service they are invited to come up to the youth room for a time of light food, fellowship, and a discussion about what they heard and learned in church. I understand that there are times the sermon may not relate directly relate to the students but that’s where our discussion time is useful so that we can go deeper with the message and learn what each person heard. This is also a time that if any parents of youth want to grab coffee and get to know each other in a small community they can do that.
I also recognize there is a time and place for students to be in community with students their own age and separate from the bigger body of the church and this is why Sunday evenings we have youth for middle school 4pm-6pm and high school 6pm-8pm. In addition we’ll be having a midweek small group, bible study time 6:30-7:45 to go deeper with our sermon series. During this time there is an opportunity for parents of children and youth to gather in their own small group. If you have any questions or concerns about this new change for our Sunday mornings I would love to talk with you and get your input. You can email me at Jhaire@fumcbocaraton.org or contact me 561-395-1244 ext. 141