Student ministries, in cooperation with adult and children’s ministries, exists to glorify God by assisting parents in the calling of students to faith and repentance, and equipping them in the service of Jesus Christ.
I. Student Ministries
We affirm that Junior and Senior High school students are maturing young adults, responsible to God for their sin, called to obey God and their parents, and able through faith to walk in holiness (Psalm 119:9-11; Proverbs 3:1-4; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Ephesians 6:1). Biblical examples of those who have walked with God in holiness as young adults include: Joseph (Genesis 37:2; 39:1-2); Ruth (Ruth 2:5-6); Samuel (1 Samuel 2:11; 3:19); David (1 Samuel 17:42); Josiah (2 Kings 22:3); Esther (Esther 2:8); Daniel (Daniel 1:3-7); Mary (Luke 1:27); Timothy (2 Timothy 3:15); and even Jesus Christ Himself, who as a young adult, “continued in subjection” to his parents, “increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke. 2:51-52). With this biblical foundation, we affirm that young adults can serve their Creator in the days of their youth (Ecclesiastes 12:1), and reject any ideology which permits or excuses young adults to have experiences with sin under the misguided teaching of a “developmental stage” or “transitional period” in their lives commonly referred to as “adolescence.” It is our hope and conviction that as we train students by precept and example to think biblically, and hold them accountable for their thoughts and actions, they will mature both in their faith and in their responsibility to society. We believe this is best accomplished through the teaching of God’s Word in worship services, Sunday School, mid-week Bible study, and small group discipleship programs.
II. In Cooperation With Adult and Children’s Ministries
We believe that students should be incorporated into the life of our church, which as the Body of Christ is made up of many members of all age groups (1 Corinthians 12:12). Thus, student ministries will endeavor to integrate our young adults into other ministries of the church both to serve and to be discipled by mature adults. Student ministries should not be an isolated effort divorced from other ministries of the church and so become a “church within a church.” We will cooperate with both the children’s and adult ministries to train parents in child rearing and family worship (Colossians 3:20-21). We acknowledge the importance of having a mindset exist within the church which sees ministry to students as a responsibility of the entire body of Christ. Therefore, it is our responsibility as a church body to proclaim Christ, “admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28).
III. Exist to Glorify God
The purpose of student ministries is to both glorify God and to lead others in the worship of God. To glorify God is to acknowledge that He alone in His glorious nature is worthy of our reverence, obedience, and praise (Revelation 7:10-12). The church exists to glorify God who has saved us “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Ephesians 1:4-6). We acknowledge that God has redeemed a people for His name who will “proclaim the excellencies of Him” who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). We affirm that God receives glory when we worship and obey Him with hearts of gratitude and devotion. God receives glory when others see the fruit of our transformed lives, and when we praise Him with our lips from a pure heart. Our desire to glorify God will determine everything we do in student ministries (1 Corinthians 10:31), and thus the contrast between our ministry and the world will be radically different.
We affirm that young adults should glorify God in all the ways in which the church worships Him: music, prayer, giving, teaching, preaching, the Lord’s Supper, baptism, evangelism, missions, holy living, gratitude, and loving service to others, etc.
IV. By Assisting Parents
We affirm that God has placed upon parents the responsibility of presenting the good news of Christ to their children that they might receive Him and be trained to obey His commandments (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Matthew 28:18-20). We also affirm that God has made fathers the primary spiritual leaders of their own children, and that fathers are responsible to raise their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Thus, we believe that fruitful ministry to young adults is really an extension of the ongoing ministry of parents to their children. We will not usurp the responsibility or authority of parents in the biblical discipleship of their children, but rather will assist them in the process. Therefore, we seek to minister to both parents and students, and encourage parental involvement in the ministry.
V. In The Calling Of Students To Faith and Repentance
We affirm that the church exists to evangelize the lost (Matthew 28:18-20), which also involves helping parents to confront their young adults with the gospel of Jesus Christ, calling them to repentance, turning from sin and embracing Christ through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:28). We believe student ministries and parents together are to extend the gospel of Jesus Christ beyond the walls of our church, calling all to receive Christ as Lord and Savior (John 1:12).
VI. Equipping Them In the Service of Jesus Christ
We affirm that the church exists to equip believers to do the work of ministry (Eph. 4:12). This is accomplished through training students in personal Bible study, prayer, evangelism, service, and social interaction. We believe that students are a vital part of the church, and that when they are trained to exercise their spiritual giftedness (1 Corinthians 12:7) in the fellowship, the entire body will be strengthened and built up in the faith. We design enjoyable activities for the purpose of stimulating fellowship, evangelism, and service rather than for mere entertainment. In summary, we teach students the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), so that they may be equipped both to perform good deeds (Galatians 6:10; Titus 2:14; 3:8, 14), and to provide leadership in the church in the years to come (2 Timothy 2:2).