Posted by: mylifeisepic | April 10, 2008

Notes from Creating Community in Students

Breakout 1
Creating Community with Students
Shane Farmer – Community Life Director

Few seniors actually graduate from youth group committed and connected

Willow Creek High School Ministry
Sunday, 11:15am – “Central Gathering” (worship, teaching, etc)
Sunday 1pm-3pm – de-central neighborhood based gatherings (house groups.  1st 30 minutes- meal, next 30 minutes –  medium group time, last hour – small groups)
Uprising – student lead, on campus ministry (tues, wed, or thurs mornings)

The mission is to not build as many small groups as they can OR get as many kids involved in small groups.  (those can play a part in it, but they aren’t the ultimate goal)

Set the students on a trajectory so they can thrive as disciples AFTER they leave our high school ministries

“are they set to thrive in their faith when they leave?”

Don’t just kick them out of the nest and hope they can fly

If we track maturity in the scriptures, what we see is a progression in maturity from hierarchy to communality.  (temple model, then “where 2 or 3 are gathered” model

spoon-fed VERSUS self-lead (self feeding) (babies can’t eat steak!)

consumer TO owner

dependent TO inter-dependent

go from “what can the church do for me?” to “what can we (the church) do for the world?”

Teach the students spiritual disciplines

High School Progression:
Freshmen – engaging them on daily spiritual disciplines (reading scripture, memorizing, learning to pray, well balanced prayer life, etc).  Instill a COMMITMENT in them for daily practices.  this would be key emphasis for first year in the high school ministry

Sophomores – build on top of committed lifestyle (personal relationship) and stuff them with knowledge.  Teach them biblical literacy.

Juniors – turn the corner to teach them responsibility.  Teach about spiritual gifts, passions – take things on their backs to do stuff.  they begin to fill roles and responsibilities in the ministry, small groups, home groups, etc

Seniors – freedom!  the faces and voices of ministry. Not required, now invited b/c we are treating them as adults.  teach them to take initiative, ask the questions themselves, leading house groups, leading small group times, ministry team leaders,


Communities form best around the cause.

There is a reason that sports groups, cause groups form great community – b/c they are focused on a cause.

When small groups huddle up just to be a community it will eventually implode – it grows inward and has no life, has no energy, has no purpose.

Community forms best around the MISSION – to accomplish something.

our house groups aren’t just groups that meet in a house – they are missional communities

They have a mission and a calling to accomplish something-
(to become christ-like, reach our friend for Christ, change the world around us)


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