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Trinity’s Youth Group Philosophy and Practice

March 28, 2023

A few weeks ago one of the pastoral candidates asked some good questions about our youth group. These were directed to Bruce and Annie Livingston, who have taken over responsibility for the group, and Annie answered the questions for them. The answers were so good that we thought we’d like to share them with the congregation.

Here are the questions and answers

1. How is it led at this time (an individual, a group of volunteers)?

My husband, Bruce, leads the youth group with a small group of volunteers, including Dan, me, and Michelle. Until December, it was led by our Associate Pastor. We typically meet every other Sunday evening or 2-3 Sundays a month.

2. What is the format— is it lecture, interactive classroom, small groups off-site/on-site, etc.?

We meet at church. The format is like an interactive classroom. We either sit in a circle or sit facing the screen if there’s a PowerPoint or video. There’s a short fellowship time at the beginning and game time in the end. We will split up for discussion time if it’s a sensitive topic. Male leaders take the boys, and female leaders take the girls. At the start of Youth Group 2023, we added worksheets that helped us get to know them better and determine what topics they’d like to discuss this year. So, there’s some homework.

3. Do you sense that the group as a whole is regularly engaging with the Scriptures in ways that are student initiated?

I wasn’t sure if you meant if they are engaged in the Scriptures in youth group or in their Bibles at home. Either way, this is our aim for the group – as a whole, they aren’t there yet. Our prayers and desire are for this group of kids to fall in love with Jesus – take on their faith as their own, learn to cherish and soak up the Scriptures, and know the value of hiding God’s Word in their hearts. We have a diverse group of kids at varying levels of spiritual maturity. Some are outspoken about their relationship with God and read their Bibles, while others are shy and struggle to express their faith or lack of. Then, there are a couple of kids who are either lost or barely saved, and we suspect they aren’t encouraged in their faith at home.

4. Is the ministry’s content immediately applicable to their life-stage and learning styles?

That is our goal as we pray and prepare for the ministry: God’s Word in the real world. Whether the student comes from a Christian home or is the only one saved in their family, they all go through similar struggles and temptations, facing the “giants” of this culture and digital age like social media, issues of self-worth, identity crisis, gender confusion, and the list can go on. We hope to cultivate a space where they feel they belong like a family and become a core life group where they can be transparent, build up, and encourage one another in Christ. We want to help equip them to confront and deal with issues they encounter at home, in school, and with friends and not be afraid to speak up for Christ in love and truth. That is easier said than done, even for adults, but we hope their boldness and passion for God will grow out of having like-minded friends with the same mission. We don’t have a structured curriculum besides going through a video series on the book of John and having topical studies like the one on Sunday on “What is Love? Youth Group Valentine’s Day Special.”

I hope this helps answer your questions.


P.S. Bruce is a man of few words, and this is his answer when I asked him about our ministry goal – “Simple: for them to be saved; to help them become mature believers; then send them out.”