A few months ago we talked about our first steps in helping our students develop a more Sticky Faith. We interviewed Kara Powell about how to help students have a faith that lasts beyond graduation and how churches are working to build communities that are integrated to a degree but still have effective age-specific ministries as well. If you missed the interview please check it out right here.
The second half of that week we talked about what our church was introducing that very week: Worship Together Weekends. The plan was to cancel youth services once a month in order to encourage families to attend the adult worship services together. The hope was that exposing our teenagers to the larger church experience at Saddleback would help them feel like part of the overall church family, not just part of the youth group.
Weâ€™ve been getting a ton of questions about it and many have asked for an update, so here we go!
So far, so good!
The first several weeks of Worship Together have been really greatâ€”by cancelling youth services the first weekend we actually also happened to coincide with several holidays (July 4th, Labor Day, etc.) so having the joint services was helpful on the lower-attended weekends anyhow. The real test is probably still coming soon, but it has been great so far.
We have a student section.
Yes, we have a section that is specifically designed for studentsâ€”but we encourage students to sit with their families and friends first before heading there. Some choose to be there and our student ministry team is very present at all services that weekend, meeting parents, greeting, or on stage for announcements or welcome.
No momentum has been lost.
You would think that cancelling youth group once a month would kill momentum, but we havenâ€™t had adverse affects yet. We communicate with texting and Facebook almost exclusively with our students so they know exactly whatâ€™s happening each weekend if weâ€™re on or off. Hasnâ€™t been confusing at all, which is a slight miracle.
So where will we go from here? We committed to a one-year experiment, and so far it seems like everybody is pleased with the results, and weâ€™re excited to hear about other churches that are experimenting with new ideas to help students STICK!
Are you trying new things to develop Sticky Faith in your students?
This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter.Â Subscribe to SYM Today right here.