Sunday morning in the Middle Terrace at 9:30 A.M.
At FPCH we see youth ministry as a vital part of the body of Christ. The discipleship and participation of young people within the life of the church is crucial, not only for their own growth, but for the vitality of the larger body of believers. We believe the voices and perspectives of young people are just as important as anyone else in a community of faith.
We exist to love, encourage, and walk alongside young people as they grow into followers of Jesus who might become passionate about the Gospel, filled with love for others, and seekers of Christian truth. The youth ministry program has four aspects that we believe are crucial for the development of Christian faith in youth.
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Growth in the Biblical Imagination (Sunday Mornings, Christian Education)
The youth ministry (grades 7-12) meets each week in the middle terrace from 9:30-10:30am.
One of our primary aims in youth ministry is to help young people develop a biblical imagination through various forms of instruction. These include: lectio divina (i.e., the ancient practice of listening for God’s voice in scripture), forms of biblical analysis and discussion, dramatization of stories, and other creative forms of inhabiting biblical narratives, histories, poems, wisdom literature, prophetic texts, Gospels, letters, and apocalypses. Our hope is that, through diverse forms of engagement with scripture, young people will begin to develop a “thick” biblical imagination that will enable them to hear God’s voice, to discern God’s presence and work, to understand their humanity (and that of others) with love, and to develop a passion for the ways of God in creation and culture. Our hope is that students may become rooted in scripture in ways that would inspire them to orient their lives around the way of Jesus in the power of the Spirit.
Relationship Building (Community, Events, Volunteers)
Young people learn to care about people and ideas through relationships. An important aspect of youth ministry, then, means creating spaces and opportunities for young people to form lasting, meaningful relationships with peers and safe adults who are committed to the way of Jesus.
Because relationship building takes time, the youth ministry offers a year-round calendar with social events, special outings, and celebrations. We believe that students who have fun together can also have deep, meaningful conversations about faith together. Aside from youth group on Sunday mornings, we typically have two events per month (on Fridays or Saturdays) that we hope will cultivate friendship and community. Events in the past have included game and movie nights, beach bonfires, and our annual Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner, and group outings into the city.
The youth calendar can be found in information kiosks and info racks across campus. You can also email the youth ministry department for an updated version of the youth event calendar at email@example.com.
We also think it is valuable for young people to have significant, meaningful relationships with adults who love and follow Jesus. Part of our youth program involves the recruiting, training, and discipleship of volunteer leaders who have a passion for mentoring youth. Our volunteers are screened, background checked, and trained by our youth ministry leadership team. Volunteer inquiries should be sent to the youth director, Nick Barrett, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reflection (Camps, Retreats, Confirmation, Service Trips)
Busy schedules, school activities, and extra circulars often consume the emotional and psychological energy of young people. We believe that a healthy and profound Christian life requires spaces for reflection.
Beyond Sunday morning youth group, camps and retreats provide a distinct atmosphere of uninterrupted, reflection with friends and leaders. Over the years, we have seen some of the most important relationship and faith building experiences come from sustained times away at camp, retreats, or on special cross-cultural, service trips (i.e. “Missions”).
The youth ministry at FPCH offers two camp opportunities each year: winter camp, summer camp, and a confirmation class and retreat every other year. We also encourage youth to attend—along with their families—the all church retreat in the fall season. The youth ministry program has hosted special service trips to Albania and Mexico and will continue to seek opportunities to partner and serve ministries in a variety of contexts—locally and abroad. Please see the current youth calendar for more information regarding camps, retreats, confirmation, and service trips.
Practices of Faith
Because human beings are not merely brains, we believe it is essential to introduce young people to a myriad of faith practices that include the whole person. “Practices of faith” may include opportunities to experience traditional forms of Spiritual Disciplines, but are not limited to those forms. Practices of Faith may also include multi-sensory types of biblical instruction, moments for guided reflection, imaginative (or Ignatian) prayer, musical worship, and engagement with cultural texts (i.e. film, music, visual art, literature). Our essential philosophy here is that spiritual formation occurs through an engagement with the whole person through habit-forming experiences. Christian “spiritual disciplines” (as mentioned here) offer young people heart and mind forming ways to sense God’s presence and grow in Christian truth .