A safe and welcoming place for 7th-12th grade students to develop friendships, be mentored, and discover Jesus.
FRIDAY NIGHT COFFEEHOUSE
A safe and welcoming place for students to hang out on Friday nights. Coffeehouse includes an open-format (gym, food, foosbol, air hockey, table-top games, hang out, and gathering event (group game, talk, conversations).
7th & 8th grade: 6:30-9:30 pm (must be picked up by 10pm)
9th-12th grade: 6:30-11:30 pm
SUNDAY MORNING YOUTH GROUP
A weekly space to come together to grow in our understanding of God’s Word and how it must be transforming our lives. Sunday mornings include music, prayer, discussion, and studying God’s Word together.
Small Groups study practical applications of the Bible together and encourage each other to live onMission for Jesus. Small Groups meet at student and leader’s homes.
Youth Alpha is a non-confrontational party to discover faith. Youth Alpha includes a meal, hang out time, and safe discussion about the Christian faith.
Helping incoming 7th and graduating 12th grade students make a natural transition through a fun social group.
THE MENTORING PROJECT
A mentoring initiative within the Bloomingdale Church community connecting 11-18 year old guys with Christian men and 11-18 year old girls with Christian women who will walk alongside them as they become mature confident adults.
A semi-monthly serving project for our community alongside our peers, family or mentor.
Supervised practical training for the onMission lifestyle
RETREATS & ONMISSION TRIPS
Giving students the needed change of pace in order to connect with Christ. onMission trips assist students in discerning what following Christ looks like.
In 2013-14, we completed a thorough study of our Youth Ministry locally and nationally (“Youth Ministry Reimagined“). Ever since, we have been on a crusade to do whatever possible to “make Youth Group accessible” to all students.
I am pleased to share some recent wins:
- We redid our permission form process for offsite events and retreats. Parent/Guardians can sign up their student via the online form at www.storiesof.us/offsite or a matching printed form.
- We reintroduced the K. Waterman Scholarship to help students attend their first retreat. (Four students were able to attend their first retreat this past August as a result.)
- We are now creating seasonal postcards with all of our upcoming events and mailing them to make it memorable for students and families to know what is coming up.
“What has God been teaching you, Nate?”
As a Youth Pastor, one of the greatest things I get to see is when a student makes the connection of their spiritual need for God.
But what happens when time snuffs out that fiery and full-hearted desire to live the God-centered life? In my own life, I hit a point where my own wants become the driving force behind my decisions, rather than the needs of others. Ironically, if I were to be asked during a time like that, “Are you reading your Bible and does it mean anything to you?” I could say, “yes” sincerely every week.
So, where’s the disconnect?
The better question that God is showing me, “Do you love me, Nate?” As I have walked through this in the last few months, it has been very difficult answer such a simple question. Is there a passion in my heart to act out what I’m studying in the Bible, because of a immense love for God? As one reads the Bible in its entirety, this message of love for God becomes the great meta-message of the whole book. (Matthew 22:34-38)
Excessive focus on myself, financial gain, complaint about the strain from helping others, and people’s opinions can drive me to emotional pain and stress. But when I am in love with God, these things become tiny pixels on the screen of my life, because all I want is to serve the God I love. I become passionate in my Christian life, like I was when I felt forgiveness for the first time.
So to every day I stop and ask, “Am I still ‘in love’ with God today?”
Our Sunday Morning Youth Group Kick-off week was a great success and was filled with a multifaceted hour of a spiritual focus.
We started off with two songs to sing together. As our youth sang a new song entitled Break Every Chain, the simple and repetitive chorus states, “There is power in the name of Jesus.” This struck me as the focal point to everything that was taking place in our group that morning.
The two songs were followed up with a spiritual exercise where my wife, Anna, led our students in a time of silent reflection and personal confession. It was a powerful moment as we all were able to do a self-checkup and evaluate where we were at in our life. Not only was this exercise therapeutic, but also was pivotal in setting the tone for the morning of being honest with ourselves and the status of relationship with Jesus.
We transitioned the High School and Junior High to separate and study our Bible chapter of the week, Romans 1. The most exciting part of all, was that we had two students who had prepared and led the discussion! It became clear that these students were passionate about this passage of the Bible, coming with great questions and planned activities that we all were able to take part in. We will have two more students leading every week, and are excited that our student’s Biblical understanding, whether new or long-time attender, are being grown.
We hope you will join us for the unique experience that is Sunday Morning Youth Group.
Over the summer, our Big Idea for Coffeehouse was called “Perspective Shift,” based off the Beatitudes. For the fall, we’ve transitioned to a new series called “God is.” It’s easy to think of God as awesome, big, magnificent, and probably many other things.
In my days at Malone University, a close pastor friend encouraged me to read a book called Portraits of God by Allen Coppedge. In the book, Coppedge takes the entire Bible and succinctly addresses 8 particular roles that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit fulfill. Some of these include God as our “transcendent creator, sovereign king, and personal revealer.” So, we decided to give this book a try and teach our crew at Friday Night Coffeehouse about the roles of God.
As students are working out their understanding of God on Friday night, our aim is to expand their understanding about how God’s roles relate to their lives. Throughout everything, even though understanding God might seem like a puzzle where sometimes all the pieces fit together, and other times not, we want students to know that God desires relationship with them.
Through providing a safe and welcoming space, our hope is that we communicate the roles of God in our words and our actions.