Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ch-ch-changes



Back in the mid-1990’s I became convinced that the model of youth ministry that churches in America had been pursuing for years was inadequate. The model most prevalent at the time was based upon a model developed in the 1950’s to address a specific need, reaching out to the un-churched. This model was “fun” and brought many teens to attend the youth program and to Christ. However, it was a model that kept teens separated from the larger body of the church. This wasn’t just a church issue though, it was societal, as teens had increasingly become isolated and insulated into narrow peer groupings.

These factors lead me to believe strongly that something had to change. We needed to end the isolation of teens from adults. We needed to integrate and synchronize church and family. But how do you do that? What does it look like. Where do you start?

Recently a group of people, beginning at Andy Stanley’s church with Reggie Joiner and continuing with the Re-Think Group, came up with a new strategy, a model so to speak to address these issues. They call it Orange. It is an integration of church and family.

Orange is not just another program, model or formula. It’s a paradigm shift. It is a brand-new approach to capturing the hearts and imaginations of this generation’s parents and kids. It has been working for over fourteen years.

It is a strategy that maximizes the influence of both the church and parents. It is scripturally based and effective. Orange is a secondary color, created when you combine two primary colors—red and yellow. Orange is what red and yellow can do when they combine efforts. Two colors create a third option. When church and family combine we create something new, something powerful. My goal is to start implementing the Orange strategy as of February 2010. I invite you to join me in this journey as we see the impact of church and family colliding.

What is Orange?

We are all going to give our hearts to something—good or bad—to experience wonder, discovery and passion. Orange is about helping students discover these three principles in the context of their personal relationship with God in a way that demonstrates their own authentic, growing relationship with Him.

Families and church are each working hard to build faith in kids, but imagine the potential results when the two environments synchronize, maximizing their individual efforts. What can the church do to empower the family? How can the family emphasize the work of the church? What would happen if NKBC and families decided they could no longer do business as usual, but instead combined their efforts and began to work off the same page for the sake of the kids.

What Will Change?

We will begin pursuing the following strategy for the NKBC Youth Ministry:
• Engage parents in an integrated strategy
• Synchronize the home and church around a clear message
• Provoke parents and kids to fight for their relationships with each other
• Recruit mentors to become partners with the family
Mobilize the next generation to be the church

The results of pursuing this strategy will necessitate some changes in the way that the youth ministry programs are currently structured. It will also involve the creation of new programs to accomplish the goal of this strategy, an integrated, synchronized effort between parents and church to engage the students in Wonder, Discovery and Passion in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The changes involved will take time to implement completely. I ask for your patience during this time of transition.

If you have any questions or you would like to help please contact me.

Immediate Changes

Youth Group Restructured:

Combined Meeting: F.I.R.E. (Sr. High Youth Group) and Wildside (Middle School Youth Group) will join together into a single meeting, involving corporate worship, communal teaching and small group discussion and interaction. The combined meeting will be on Thursday nights beginning February 11th from 6:30—8:30 PM.

New Format: The format will change. The structure will be formatted around students experiencing three things:

Wonder—I am created to pursue an authentic relationship with my Creator.
Discovery—I belong to Jesus Christ and define who I am by what He says.
Passion—I exist every day to demonstrate God’s love to a broken world.

The XP—Students will be challenged to live out what they are learning in each teaching series an experiential way. The goal is to move from an information-based faith to a relationship with Jesus Christ that is alive and vibrant.

The Home XP-This piece helps a parent and student connect through dialog or shared experiences. The content can either be emailed to parents or will be available on the NKBC Youth blog site. (www.nkbcyouth.blogspot.com)

Small Groups Revised:

Small Groups will move to Wednesday evenings.
We will emphasize the purpose and need for small groups with students.
Curriculum will compliment the large group teaching series.

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