Sometimes, people ask “what is there for youth to do at CRCC?” Or maybe some assume we have “nothing” for children. Dear friends, nothing could be further from the truth. MUCH of what we do at CRCC is FOR the discipleship and instruction of children. In fact, we changed our entire church because we love children so much! So, I wanted to post this so when this question comes up, you are better equipped to answer.
Family Integration is about bringing families together naturally and biblically. It is true CRCC doesn’t have youth programs or many events for youth. The truth is we believe youth and teens spend FAR TOO MUCH TIME with their peers already! But for those who haven’t yet seen how our vision connects with discipling young people, it might look like nothing is going on. In fact, many things are happening that directly attack the 70-88% failure rate of most youth discipleship and ministry efforts. Why in the world would we keep doing the same thing over and over and getting this result? We simply do youth ministry from the Deuteronomy 6 perspective. If you look at our vision (http://www.crcchesapeake.org/church/more-on-our-vision), you see that “discipline and instruction” of children and youth is embedded. Our goal is to ensure that CRCC youth are some of the most ministered to youth around...primarily by the people who love them most...their parents! So here are...
10 Things for Youth to do “at” CRCC:
1. Attend church with their parents. Here, mom/dad/guardian hears the Word and receives connection points to teach and discuss during the week, which leads to other questions and conversations and brings families together.
2. Attend Care Group with their parents. Here, there are more opportunities for youth to meet and interact with other youth of different ages, as well as adults, which helps fight the “generation gap” mess we’ve got ourselves in. But in this supervised environment, there is less of chance of “immaturity promoting immaturity.” Even so, youth are also free to invite their friends!
3. Serve in ministry with their parents at church. Singing, dancing, ushering, playing instruments, cleaning up, lawn care, upcoming neighborhood outreach, etc.
4. Serve in ministry with their parents outside the church. This is a big one. Although it’s not within the church four walls…well…that’s the point! Serving the homeless together, doing personal evangelism together, taking care of an elderly neighbor together, serving at the Red Cross together…the possibilities are endless. Yes, this is not “in” CRCC, but it is “at” CRCC and will teach young people (and us older folks) more about the heart of Christ than any program, especially for a family who is doing the complete CRCC vision process.
5. Attend Sisters in the Spirit (once per month) or the Brotherhood meetings (once per month) with their parents. For youth 12 and up, these ministries are available and encouraged! Valuable training on the Bible, prayer, worship, faith, parenting, marriage, holiness, money, etc. is offered. When more mature material is being presented, parents will be notified.
6. Have fun times of family worship and catechism! Again, this isn’t held at the building but it’s still “at CRCC” as almost nobody in our church did family worship until they got here! LOL. And what’s stopping families from doing “catechism trivia nights” or family challenges for the last chicken wing? Nothing!
7. Begin a family or Care Group project/outreach! What’s stopping youth and adults alike from impacting their communities with the gospel through their families or Care Groups? Nothing! Car washes just to show the love of Jesus, free lawn care, etc? Maybe even encourage youth to get some “family industry” going with a small business? Hmmmmm…..
8. Serve during times of family hospitality. Biblical hospitality is something we do at CRCC. I love how my daughter is learning to serve our guests at our home and then goes to play with their children. Learning and play! And since CRCC families are encouraged to be hospitable at least monthly, my daughter has lots to do at CRCC!
9. Supporting our Missions efforts by writing letters, raising money by working, doing a missions car wash through Care Group or another ministry, or some other idea I haven’t thought of. Hey…why not?
10. Attend the quarterly “Pizza with the Pastor” Movie Night, which will begin soon. This meeting is designed to support what parents are teaching their children, answer hard bible questions, and will be followed by a movie! (Yes….CRCC Movie Night is coming back!) Parents are encouraged to come too of course! We are Family Integrated after all…. :)
In addition to these ten “to dos”, what’s stopping CRCC youth from getting together to play basketball, football, etc.? Nothing. Or forming a family prayer group or catechism club? Nothing. Or creating a “Catechized and Loving it” Facebook page or website? Nothing! Or sending assistance to orphans in another country along with their parents support? Nothing. Or inviting their friends to anything in this post? Nothing but maybe their parents! :)
Many of these things are already going on; it’s just that CRCC doesn’t get “youth ministry” credit for them! LOL. And by the way, a family coming into our church could jump right in to these things with a little help from their Care Group and the Brotherhood/Sisters. Remember, there are VERY important reasons we restructured for the sake of children and youth: http://www.crcchesapeake.org/church/reaching/family-integration.
So spread the word to all CRCCites…CRCC loves youth! That is all, over and out….