At Wellspring we love middle and high school students, and we want to be a place where students can find support and encouragement, and most importantly, grow in their knowledge and love of Jesus.
To tease this out a bit…
There are lots of ways to help students grow in their knowledge of God. While many churches adopt a more “fun-focused” approach, that isn’t out bent (though we like to have fun). Studies have repeatedly illustrated that this approach does not develop the kind of resilience that students need to faithfully follow Jesus after high school. We also don't think that developing faith-resilience requires numerous scheduled church youth events each week. We don't want to make life crazier. We don't think this is what youth most need.
This is what we think…
1) We think youth need Jesus-centered community. This is peer community and a larger mentoring community—a chorus of faithful voices loving, speaking, and modeling the way of Jesus.
2) We think youth need to be saturated in the scriptures and guided to the Spirit to God. They need to encounter the person of Jesus, know the testaments that reveal him and listen to the Spirit as he leads them through the maze of everyday life.
3) We think youth need to serve Jesus’ body (the church) and within the world. Following Jesus isn’t simply about information. It is about serving within God’s kingdom.
How we get there…
Our Sunday morning youth gathering is multi-faceted. Each Sunday, the youth do something a bit different. Some Sundays they learn the way of Jesus in the scriptures. Some Sundays they serve on the sound team or in the kid’s ministry or welcoming new families into the church (depending on their preference and the body’s needs). Other Sundays they worship with the larger body (so that attending church isn’t crazy cross-cultural when they graduate from youth group)…But for now, just show up, grab a seat and we will help you navigate the system. It’s quite simple really.
Our hope is that organic relationships flow out of the connections made on Sunday morning. Our hope is that these peer and mentoring relationships become the soil in which students cultivate the resilience needed to practice the way of Jesus in our culture and the world.
A few Times a Year:
A few times a year, our youth go on retreats and design and lead service/mission projects. And every so often, we also host a few wildly fun gatherings to keep everyone on their toes.