To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment and equity. To give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. Proverbs 1:3-4
The Good News is Jesus
The Senior High Ministry gives new meaning to the saying, "What would Jesus Do?" High school is a time when adolescents start to question who they are and why they are here. The U.S. News and World Report informed its readers that juvenile violence is the nation's fastest growing crime. The FOCUS Adolescent Services reports that the average age when youth first try alcohol is 11 years for boys and 13 years for girls.
The high school years for a teenager can be and usually are filled with confusion. They start wanting to experiment and experience different things such as more freedom from their parents, more time with their friends, and "just hanging out" somewhere-anywhere but at home. The Senior High Ministry leads teenagers to a better place to find positive the answers to life's inevitable questions through the Word of God.
Who's your Daddy?
Hanging out after a Sunday morning worship and bible study service
In a world filled with confusion such as ours is today, it's more important than ever for teenagers to know not just "who they are" but "whose they are" and, the kind of love that Jesus has for them.
Can you imagine how great it is for a teenager who doesn't quite "fit in" to know that it's okay to be different? How great it is for a teenager to know, "Wow, God loves me so much that He gave His only Son for me!" John 3:16
The Senior High Ministry lets lost teenagers know that they are not alone, that God is their heavenly father and their friend. It's a safe place that supports teenagers in real life situations through the Word of God.
Goal of the Senior High Ministry
Darren Carrington is pastor of the Senior High Ministry. When asked why he became involved with this age group he stated, "I became involved because I remember that high school was a very pivotal time in my life. The goal of the Senior High Ministry is to give young people information about the Bible, the Word of God, and to teach them to make Godly decisions in an ungodly world."
Teenagers need strong goals and clear direction for their lives. But this is no "you sit and I'll talk" ministry.
Unlike a sermon, this is an interactive ministry. The teenagers really get to participate by talking within their peer group. They each contribute ideas and personal experiences to the group lessons. Unlike school, the lessons taught in this ministry relate to everyday living. Common teenage questions and problems are answered and solved by Jesus.
Subjects such as drinking, drugs, and sex as well as how to deal with a difficult person at school, are openly discussed in the Senior High Ministry. The godly setting brings everyone back to the Word of God to answer any questions teens may have on any of these topics by asking, "What does the Bible say about it?" The Senior High Ministry uses the Word as a blueprint to help get teenagers through any situation or crisis.
Being a Christian Teenager Doesn't Mean Being a Boring Teenager
The Senior High Ministry takes trips to different places such as Magic Mountain, and also participates in service projects like volunteering to help with the Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless.
This ministry is fun and exciting by keeping the teenagers active both in the community and within the ministry. The ministry often plans field trips outside the Rock to show other teenagers that being a Teenage Christian does not have to be boring. The idea behind this approach will help bring non-Christians to Christ in quite a different way.
One Teenager Speaks
Everybody just chilling after a night of games and Bible study
Raquel is one of the teenagers in the Senior High Ministry. She says, "It is more fun learning the Gospel in a place where there are others my own age instead of adults.
Raquel believes the Senior High Ministry provides a setting where the teenagers are allowed to talk more and discuss situations that they may otherwise be too embarrassed to discuss with their parents or around other adults.
"Teenagers learn and discuss how to better deal with situations in the world through Bible principles," Raquel said. "For example: One day, I was at a school game when I spotted Pastor Carrington. I was so glad I saw him because there was a group of girls there that made me feel really uncomfortable. With the help and advice of Pastor Carrington I was able to handle the situation, and ended up having a good time at the game."
When asked if she would ever invite her friends from school to the Senior High Ministry she replied, "Yes, because it's different when another teenager invites you to church than when an adult invites you. Then the teenager doesn't feel as if they are being told what to do."
The Future of the Senior High Ministry
There are plans underway to expand the Senior High Ministry by adding a mid-week service. The plans include having such things as a movie night, debates, games and just good clean fun.
The hope is that the Senior High Ministry will act as an after school hangout where teenagers can go and hear the Gospel and fellowship with other teens. There's also a hope the Senior High Ministry's expansion will provide a safe, edifying meeting place, attracting Christian as well as non-Christian teenagers.
Bringing in non-Christian teenagers will give the Christian teenagers and the pastors a chance to share the Gospel of Jesus with them in a no-pressure atmosphere.
We must admit that high school can be a time of raging hormones, embarrassing acne, and a general feeling that parents don't understand and just don't get it- whatever "it" is. But, what a blessing to have a place where teenagers can go and talk it out instead of act out.
Just when a teenager thinks that nobody cares and no one understands, the Senior High Ministry, through the Word of God, shows a teenager that Jesus cares and that Jesus understands.