The total number of youth at our church is seven. This of course fluctuates from Sunday to Sunday based on the three things: school work, sports and sleep. Over the past few years, theStory has engaged with youth in a variety of ways including discussion time with a leader on Sunday morning and typical and not so typical youth group events.
At the moment, youth at theStory sit with the “grown-ups” Sunday morning. They listen to the message but only rarely do they speak up during the discussion portion of the morning. This has renewed conversation about how we connect and disciple our youth.
I got a tip that something cool was happening with youth at Pineridge House Community Church in Calgary, AB so I contacted Pastor Dan Jansen to get the scoop. I should confess here that I then accidentally deleted the recorded scoop from my phone so I am going by memory here which is a scary thing. It is also why you will not see any direct quotes from the interview J.
Pineridge House set up a Facebook page so their youth could coordinate and communicate youth events – bowling, movies, game nights, etc. They didn’t feel competition for our youth in the entertainment department was the job of the church – discipleship was. So they put their time and energy into discipleship.
The youth meet with Dan or another facilitator every second Sunday evening. The youth came up with a list of subjects and current concerns they would like to discuss. The list includes everything from money, jobs, dating and so on. They explore these topics together and the facilitator shares a pertinent/relevant Biblical passage which the whole group dives into and discusses.
Pineridge House has created a safe space with trusted, knowledgeable leaders where youth can explore whatever is on their minds. Discipleship is happening without a fancy curriculum or homework. And clearly, the youth are digging it.
So as the youth conversation continues at our church, I am encouraged by remembering that small and simple can be big and meaningful.
Doing something cool with the youth or kids at your church? I would love to hear from you!