What makes our student ministry unique?
The goal of the Student Ministry of Grace Fellowship of South Forsyth is to fan the flames of the affections of the students, their respective families, and all team members towards the greatness, beauty, and all-satisfying nature of Jesus Christ. As their affections grow, so too will their conformity to the character and priorities of Jesus Christ.
The student ministry of Grace Fellowship, known as WIRED Student Ministry, seeks to connect the students of Grace to God’s Word and the local church by partnering with the family as we reach, build, and equip both the students and the families of Grace Fellowship. The end goal is that each person is leading in a discipling role somewhere in their lives as they are conformed to the character and priorities of Jesus Christ Himself.
First, we believe the "good news" of the Bible is that Jesus made it possible for us to have a relationship with God by paying the penalty for our sin through being judged in our place on the cross. This is our hope and the center of our joy! Therefore, we recognize that when teenagers value what Jesus Christ has done for them they make honoring Him a priority.
Knowing What We Believe
Second, we are not scared of hard questions. At Grace Fellowship we believe that the Bible is our source of spiritual authority. This gives us a tremendous confidence that there are answers to every question that life will throw at a teenager. Also, we do not “dumb down” teaching simply because some may think that students can’t “get” the “deeper” teachings of Scripture. We think that students, when taught at an appropriate level and style, can—and should—work through challenging themes in the Bible.
Students Are Young Adults
Third, we also see students as young adults, and we treat them as such. Some of the greatest examples we have in the history of Christianity (most if not all of the Apostles, King David, Charles Spurgeon, etc.) are of teenagers who had a burning passion to follow and spread God’s fame and we believe that the standard should not be lowered to meet the culture. As a student matures in their faith, we seek to develop their leadership qualities. It is our desire to see teenagers who are God-centered, confident, and passionate about living a life of disciple-making.
Fourth, we believe the parents are the primary “movers and shakers” in the lives of their teenager and we consider it a privilege to join with them in shaping their teen to spread the fame of God. Therefore, we encourage parents to be involved in our student ministry in a variety of ways. Whether it is serving on the Student Ministry Team, helping to plan retreats, attending events, or just providing transportation, we believe that parental involvement is critical. We simply do not follow the belief that teens need to get away from their parents in order to develop.
What About Fun?
We believe that having fun is wrong… just kidding! We have a blast at all of our events! Whether it’s Capture the Flag, Game Night, retreats, or mission trips, we always have a good time! Is it all about fun? It can’t be… that’s not the fundamental identity of the church. Often a youth group is measured by whether or not a student had “fun.” That is a tragic measuring stick to use in how teens (or adults) relate to attending church. Why? Because we have been called to spread God’s fame by making disciples of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:18-20). Since Jesus is our hope AND our joy having a blast together is the response of our emotions as we obey what Jesus told us to do! So, we define “fun” as pursuing lives that radiate doing what Jesus wants us to do for His glory and our good. Everything else is centered on how something pleases us. Bottom line? When we measure things (even church) in how they please or fulfill us, we make having “fun” our god and that is wrong.
The student ministry of Grace Fellowship has taken the name WIRED. This name was chosen because it is the goal of the ministry to connect each student to God’s life-giving Word as well as to the body of Christ, the local church. We believe that God’s Word contains everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3) and present it to the students as one grand story of the revelation of God’s glory and beauty to His creation through the themes of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration.
In addition, we hold out the church as Christ’s beautiful body in which each Christian, even teenagers, should be an active part. It is the church that gathers to worship Christ and it is the church that loves one another, encourages one another, bears one another’s burden, and even rebukes and corrects one another. We believe that our students should be active and contributing participants in carrying out that reality and teach and train them to do so.
Our foundational weekly activity is our Sunday evening gathering which is also called WIRED. It is a high-energy event where the students gather for a time of fun, activities, and worshiping the one true God. As partners with parents, who are the primary shepherds in the spiritual lives of their children, the small group leaders have a significant impact in the lives of the students as they seek to connect the truths taught to the lives of the students. Additionally, fellow students can partner with one another on their spiritual journeys as together they seek to grow in grace and holiness by savoring Christ.