With a new school year coming around, I look forward to all the opportunities to grow in relationship with Jesus and with all of our students! As we approach our Youth Ministry Kick-Off on September 13, I wanted to take a little time to talk about why we are in the business of ministering to youth and to lay out a general plan for this next year.
The goal of youth ministry at St. Luke Lutheran Church is to create disciples who worship together and read God’s Word daily (reach up), form trusting relationships and serve joyfully in the church (reach in), and give time and talent generously and serve those in need (reach out).
We want our students to be active in the congregation both now and into adulthood. We want our youth to be biblically literate. We want our youth to grasp the importance of a faith community. We want to find ways to support families in creating faith experiences in the home.
We strive to reach these goals by having a wide range of offerings for our youth such as Sunday morning Bible studies and Sunday evening topical studies and fellowship, monthly large group activities, and in-home family groups.
As we look out into this next year, I’m so excited by all of the opportunities we will have to grow with each other in our faith. Here’s a general layout of how the year will be structured:
Sunday Morning – Breakfast Club
On September 13 we will kick off our Breakfast Club which meets from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. every Sunday and is open to 6th – 12th graders. Last year we journeyed through scripture together using The Story curriculum. This year, we will be doing a study that is a continuation of that curriculum, called Believe.
Believe, NIV is a unique spiritual growth experience that takes you on a journey to think, act, and be more like Jesus. Believe walks you through the ten key beliefs of the Christian faith, the ten key practices of a Jesus-follower, and the ten key virtues that characterize someone who is becoming more like Jesus.
Each chapter uses short topical passages from the New International Version to help you live the story of the Bible. As we journey through this Bible, one simple truth will become undeniably clear: what you believe drives everything.
Sunday Evening – Devotion and Fellowship
We will continue to meet as a large group on Sunday evenings from 7 – 9 p.m. for fellowship, games, and activities, and a devotion. These devotions will be a combination of topical youth studies and discipleship topics that are geared toward helping us follow Jesus more and more.
Monthly Large Group Activity
We will also continue doing one large group activity each month. These activities are designed for group building, relationship building, and faith building. They are a combination of retreats, events, and fun activities (typically off-site). Our current schedule of events (which is subject to change) is:
11 – Confirmation Retreat (Confirmation students only) / St. Luke – Ann Arbor
13 – Youth Ministry Kick-off / St. Luke – Ann Arbor
19 – Cedar Pointfest / Sandusky, Ohio
10 – Harvest Party / St. Luke – Ann Arbor
8 – Pure Conference / Our Savior Lutheran, Lansing, MI
4 – Winter Lock-In (Generosity) / St. Luke – Ann Arbor
20 – Christmas Party / St. Luke – Ann Arbor
1-3 – SpringHill / Evart, MI
7 – Superbowl Party / St. Luke – Ann Arbor
18-20 – Creation Museum / Petersburg, Kentucky
3-9 – Mission Trip / TBD
15-21 – German Exchange Students/Event /St. Luke – Ann Arbor
19-23 – In His Service / St. Luke – Ann Arbor
15-21 – National Youth Gathering / New Orleans, LA
More information about each of these events will be released as we approach them. For now, please mark your calendars and get excited!
In Home Groups
Students will either take part in an in-home group as part of their family, or if certain students want to lead their own in-home group, we will supply them with the resources to do so, including an adult mentor that meets with the group.
Content will be based off of a discipleship curriculum put together by our pastors. These groups are designed to help relationships between families and students grow as well as to bring our neighbors and people in our communities into relationship with us and with Jesus.
Through these different activities and ministries we want to remember to always keep our focus on Christ and His love and sacrifice for us! We want to constantly be pointing to Jesus and sharing His love and Gospel message with each other and with our community! I’m so excited to be on this journey with you all and can’t wait to see how God works through each of us this coming year!