YOUTH MINISTRY REIMAGINED

Dear Students, Parents, and Youth Leaders,

For the past 6 months, we have been talking about reimagining what the future Youth Group will look like.  This has included local input (5 online surveys; student, youth leader, and parent feedback) in addition to national research (youth ministry literature/book review).   Personally, I (Daniel) have found this process to be energizing and exciting.   But talk without action is just words.   Therefore, in this “Youth Ministry Reimagined” Update, I will begin to explain how we believe God is leading us (through prayer, research, and feedback) to design our future Youth Group programming.

THANKS FOR READING THIS REIMAGINED YOUTH MINISTRY UPDATE [storiesof.us/reimagined]

YOUR INPUT PLEASE

We are always grateful for any feedback and insights you continue to have as we “reimagine” the Youth Ministry together.  We encourage you to email: youth@bloomingdalechurch.org with your feedback. (This email is sent to all of the Youth Staff and will be read!)

 

MAKE NO SMALL PLANS

 

FRIDAY NIGHT COFFEEHOUSE

TARGET AUDIENCE & GOALS
Regulars: We want the students regularly connected to our church to feel ownership of Friday night and comfortability in bringing their friends.
Friends: Friday night is an ideal event to invite a friend. (High School students may begin by inviting their friend to the later open-format coffeehouse time, and then invite their friend to the gathering event as their friend becomes more comfortable with the enviroment.)
Community Teens: Students who live nearby the church and are looking for a safe place to hangout on Friday nights.

BC YOUTH MINISTRY CORE FOCUSES & VALUES
Community Outreach//LoveCommunity: We want to be a safe place for students from our community to hang out.
Care/Mentoring-Culture: An open-format environment in which students can connect with many adult youth leaders as well as their peers.
GodValued: We want every student who attends to feel welcomed.
ChristCentered: Our gathering event will usually include a student sharing their testimony as well as a talk relaying Jesus’ love for us.
onMission: Every Friday night is an opportunity to represent Jesus to our friends and our guests.

AGENDA
7th & 8th grade: 7:00 Open Gym/Coffeehouse; 7:30 Group Game; 8:35 Gathering Event; 9:35-10 Pick-up

9th-12th grade: 7:00 Coffeehouse; 7:30 Gathering Event; 8:30 Group Game; 9-11:30 Open Gym/Coffeehouse

SUNDAY MORNING YOUTH GROUP

TARGET AUDIENCE & GOALS
Regulars: Sunday morning is a natural time for families and students connected to our church/youth ministry to attend. Additionally, we will always encourage students to attend the intergenerational weekend worship service with their family.
Friday Night Regulars: As Friday night guests become Friday night regulars, the next natural invitation is Sunday Morning Youth Group and the Weekend Worship Service.

BC YOUTH MINISTRY CORE FOCUSES & VALUES
Discipleship: We want to grow in our understanding of God’s Word, and how it must be transforming our lives.
ChristConnected//Word+SpiritLed: We worship, pray, and study God’s Word together.
Orange-Culture: The teaching theme will have companion “at-home content” for parents and families to engage in.

AGENDA
9:30: Hang out in the Quad together Students are welcome to come early and hang out together.
9:45: In the Quad together (It can change week to week): Youth Group Announcements, 2-3 worship songs, group game, prayer, giving opportunity (ex: Jehovanssi, our YG “Compassion kid”)
10:05: Quad divided: The Jr High and High School teacher(s) will teach for 30-40 minutes, allowing for additional hangout time at the end of the lesson.

YOUTH ALPHA

TARGET AUDIENCE & GOALS
Christ-following students’ friends: Youth Alpha’s design is for students to bring their unbelieving friend(s).
Friday Night Guests: While we will always strive to present the gospel story on Friday nights, Youth Alpha is specifically designed to give an understanding of who Jesus is.
Niche Groups: As the Holy Spirit guides us to reach out to specific groups (ex: basketball players, Glenbard North students, “so-and-so’s” friends), we will create a YA course targeted at reaching them.

BC YOUTH MINISTRY CORE FOCUSES & VALUES
Community Outreach//LoveCommunity//onMission: Providing a non-confrontational environment to discover faith.
GodValued: YouthAlpha focuses on helping students belong first, then hopefully believe. ChristCentered//Word+SpiritLed: YouthAlpha includes a weekly talk about the basics of the Christian faith (Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus have to die? Why Pray? What is the Bible?)

AGENDA
We can foresee two possible ways to do Youth Alpha: Thursday or Saturday evening at Bloomingdale Church (Coffeehouse/gym) In a student’s home, targeting their school/local community. Youth Alpha is 8-10 weeks. It will be offered on as needed basis.

SMALL GROUPS

TARGET AUDIENCE & GOALS
Interested Students: Small Groups are designed for students who would like to grow in their faith and be accountable to each other.

BC YOUTH MINISTRY CORE FOCUSES & VALUES
Discipleship: Small Groups provide an additional opportunity for spiritual growth for students who desire it.
ChristConnected//Word+SpiritLed: Small Groups study practical applications of the Bible together and pray for each other.
onMission: Small Groups dynamically encourage students to live onMission as each small group member is accountable to each other to do so.

AGENDA
Small Groups will be 6-8 weeks long. (Short enough that the commitment is doable, long enough for group depth to form.)
Small Groups will begin in October, February, and June.
Small Groups will be hosted in adult leader homes. (We may branch out to family’s homes, but want to begin with adult leaders to keep it simple.)
Small Groups will be led by trained Adult Youth Leaders or Student Leaders

SMALL GROUP TYPES
Gender and/or age-specific (ex: 7-10th grade girls)
Topic-specific (ex: “Crazy Love” book study)

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

TARGET AUDIENCE & GOALS
Students: Assimilating students into Christian community through serving together.
Families: Creating a space for families to serve together. (Some serving opportunities may limit younger children from attending.)
Mentors and Mentees: Creating a space for mentor and mentees to spend time together while serving.

BC YOUTH MINISTRY CORE FOCUSES & VALUES
Community Outreach: Being for our community by serving them.
LoveCommunity//onMission: Modeling Christ’s misison to love people in practical ways
Orange-Culture: Parent’s are encouraged to participate in serving events too, as the entire family learns the value of serving together.

AGENDA
Scheduled once a month. Typically 2-4 hours

RETREATS & ONMISSION TRIPS

BC YOUTH MINISTRY CORE FOCUSES & VALUES
Care: Retreats and trips create space for adult leaders to care for students, getting to know them more deeply.
Discipleship: Every retreat’s goal is to give students the needed change of pace in order to connect with Christ. onMIssion trips assist students in discerning what it looks like to follow Christ. GodValued//ChristConnected//Word+SpiritLed: We focus in on each student, helping them know they are valued and giving them tools to know Christ more.
Love Community//onMission: onMission trips give students hands-on experiences to discover how to serve a community and live onMission-aly.

DISCIPLE NOW
An in-house retreat cheering on students to continue to be connected to Christ and onMISSION for Him. Friday evening-Sunday morning weekend includes: weekend speaker, worship, experiential activities, serving, small groups, team-building Students are divided into age/gender-specific small groups. Students stay at a host home (approved church family) with their small group leader.

WINTER CAMP
A high energy weekend with Chicagoland Alliance Youth (CLAY) churches, including worship band, speaker, small groups, and winter activities (broomball, team building initiatives, sledding). Expeditions Unlimited Camp (Baraboo, Wisconsin)

STUDENT LEADERSHIP RETREAT
Leadership training, team building, and spiritual retreat for newly formed SLT. Expeditions Unlimited Camp (Baraboo, Wisconsin).

EMERGING STUDENT LEADERS CONFERENCE
An overnight conference at Trinity International University for 10-12th grade students, led by college students.

LIFE
The Christian Missionary Alliance’s high-impact conference, including speakers, music, seminars, activities, and serving. Students will hopefully engage in discerning Christ’s mission for their life.

ONMISSION TRIP
A summer serving trip in which students will learn how to meet felt needs, discover God’s heart for the people in a community, and grow in evangelism skills. We will pursue serving locations in which we have a connection with the local leadership to build an ongoing relationship with the ministry and leadership.

MENTORING-CULTURE

BC YOUTH MINISTRY CORE FOCUSES & VALUES
Care: 1) Any student who wants a mentor can obtain one. 2) Students have weekly interactions with caring adult leaders. 3) Students are empowered to care for each other.
GodValued: A mentoring-culture affirms a student’s value and helps us place value on others. ChristConnected//Word+SpiritLed//LoveCommunity//onMission: Mentors model these values in what they do, as well as the things they say.

[THE MENTORING PROJECT]
Any student who wants a mentor: We desire to build a sustainable mentoring program to support the large need for mentors.

[ADULT YOUTH LEADERS]
Adult Youth Leaders build purposeful relationships with students with the intention of helping students become more like Jesus. Some ways they do this are by hanging out with the students, contacting students, writing encouraging notes, listening to them, visiting them outside of program nights, and faithfully praying for them. Adult youth leaders focus on students of the same gender.

[BRIDGE GROUPS]
7th Grade Bridge Group: Leaders begin contacting students in winter, ramping up contacting in spring and summer. Plan group events in May (after Awana finishes). Help plan 6th Grade Banquet. Plan 2-4 social events during summer.
Freshman Bridge Group: Leaders begin contacting students in winter, ramping up contacting in spring and summer. Plan 4-5 social events during late spring-summer.
1820s Bridge Group: Group begins in fall, meeting about once a month. Discuss topics that interest seniors. Help transition seniors to 18.20something in the summer. Help plan Senior Banquet.

[STUDENT LEADERSHIP TEAMS]
Christ-following students who are actively living onMission: We want to empower students to grow deeper in their faith as they lead other.

ORANGE-CULTURE

BC YOUTH MINISTRY CORE FOCUSES & VALUES
Community Outreach//Discipleship//Care// GodValued//ChristConnected//Word+SpiritLed//LoveCommunity//onMission: Parents/guardians model values in how they live: What they do, as well as the things they say. Our Youth Ministry partners with parents to encourage and promote these values. Additionally, we want to create connections with parents who are disconnected from faith.

[PARENT’S OF TEENS PRAYER & SUPPORT GROUP]
A gathering of parents/guardians of teenagers to pray for their student, for the youth ministry, and for each other. In addition, the group includes an open-format discussion about topics in parenting teenagers. The group will typically meet on Sundays at 9:45AM (weekly for a quarter) or Fridays at 7PM (once or twice a month). Each group is led by a parent of a teenager.

[PARENT’S OF TEEN EVENTS]
We will regularly plan events based on topics parents/guardians of teenagers are interested in attending. These events will typically happen on a Fridays (during Coffeehouse), but may also take place on Wednesdays (during Awana), and may include a meal.