Impact Youth Web Page: impactsmafumc.com
Youth Ministry is extremely exciting, dynamic, complex, and challenging. The reward of seeing young people transformed by the Gospel is what makes every late night, every tough conversation, and every one of our best efforts worth giving. It has been said “Adolescence is just a phase, don’t miss it” and that is what we are going to do: we are going to lean in, love big, and work to navigate one of the most challenging seasons of life with our students. The relationships that begin at youth groups can last a lifetime and the impact of one leader who faithfully loves and gracefully challenges a young person to greater things by living out the Gospel can change the trajectory of a life and someone’s eternity. Youth ministry matters and you have a part to play in the story that God is weaving in the lives of our students.
Core Values – Our D.N.A.
Jesus is Why
Developing a relationship with Jesus is the heartbeat of IMPACT Student Ministries. Through His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus has freed us from the power of sin. We live in the wake of His grace and celebrate the power of His resurrection; we are free. Jesus brought you out of death and into life — our calling is to share the gospel with every student within reach. We gather each week in order that young people can hear and experience the Gospel and the hope we have in Christ.
Acceptance ≠ Attendance
Students matter. This simple fact doesn’t change whether a student can make it to IMPACT each week. We recognize that there are seasons when sports, school, and many other factors will keep them from coming but it does not change the fact they are part of the IMPACT family. Life is messy for all people, especially young people. Jesus met with people at all stages of messiness on their own turf and we will go out of our way to meet students wherever they are in their journey with Christ. IMPACT is a place and a group of people that live this out.
Every Student Known
‘Every Student Known’ runs deeper than knowing the name of every student in our ministry. Our goal is to make Jesus known, not ourselves. We can’t transform someone’s heart, only God can. We want every student to have the opportunity to be known by a leader, known by their peers in their community, and experience the opportunity to know God. We will ask questions and listen compassionately. Each student’s story is unique and we will strive to know them.
The Eight: IMPACT Student Ministries Distinctives
- Engaging With Students
We aren’t just running a weekly youth service, we are on the front lines of the collision of students and the Gospel. As a leader we take the first steps in engaging students — we are awkward so they don’t have to be. Youth group can be intimidating, but walking in to meet a leader that is genuinely excited to see them each week helps break the intimidation factor down.
- Continually Connecting
Being consistently present in a young person’s life is one way to build trust and confidence and it’s our way of ensuring a safe place for our students to be heard and cared for. When students don’t attend youth groups for three weeks in a row, the likelihood they will ever come back is low. As a leader we have to consistently be connecting with our students to ensure they know that they are welcome, but also know that they are missed when they are not there. Our voice in their life makes a huge difference.
- Identify & Empower
Where do leaders come from? Leaders are fostered and cultivated by the community around them. At IMPACT we are committed to finding and training the next generation of leaders. Not every student will lead, and that’s ok. But that won’t stop us from creating safe places for students to take risks in leadership.
- For The City
Our ministry is not confined to an evening service or a small group meeting. We exist for our city, to serve our schools and our community, and to be a voice of encouragement and hope. Involvement with our city, our schools, and other out-of-church programs is closely related to the heart of IMPACT. We want students to know that IMPACT is a place that is for them long before they step through our door.
- A Little Goes a Long Way
We believe the smallest actions can have the greatest impact and that no opportunity is too small to serve. When we join together, the details communicate the heart behind what we do. When we greet a student at the door or wait with them until their ride comes to pick them up we are communicating that we value them and that they’re worth our time. A simple text or call after the big game will go a long way in the eyes of our students. It all matters.
- Radically Inclusive
Every student at IMPACT is welcomed at the door, connected with students their age, and introduced to a small group leader. The gospel story conveys the message of love and hope to everyone. Jesus spent a lot of His time with the outcast and the unknown. We have the opportunity to be inclusive, an opportunity to be like Jesus. We will strive to continually bring those on the fringes back to the middle and will go out of our way to do it.
- Walk The Walk
Self-leadership is vital when leading others. Students will learn more about Jesus from the way you live than from what you say. They are watching your social media and watching the way you interact with those around you. A healthy Christian life is caught, not taught. As role models, leading others means we lead ourselves; taking time to grow personally with God validates and energizes us for ministry.
- In it Together
At IMPACT, just ‘like birds of a feather, we fly together’, together we can soar to new heights in life and ministry — but alone we fall. God has designed us for community; in isolation we become susceptible to temptation, resentment, apathy, and discontent. We are committed to doing life and ministry together, to rejuvenating, restoring, and spurring one another on.
It would be incredible for students to…..
- …understand that Jesus commanded that we LOVE God and LOVE others
- …think outside of themselves
- …desire to serve…and then actually serve
- …care about and share Jesus with their non-Christian friends
- …lead among their peers and lead up inside & outside of the church
- …see the needs of people around them and respond
Instead of students attending a program called IMPACT, we want students to become IMPACT.
We want to create something that all students can be involved in. We believe that any student can be IMPACT no matter their spiritual maturity.
We want IMPACT to include a balance of education, experiences, ownership and opportunities for students to take next steps in their faith.
We want students to learn to lead not through a title, but through the way they are IMPACTing others through evangelism, serving, and compassion. We want them to understand that the most effective leaders are “servant leaders.”
We want students to feel like we believe in them. We want them to understand that we believe they are capable of changing the world and ultimately furthering the Kingdom of God.
We want to . . . .
. . . . create a culture not a program.
. . . . create a movement not an elite club
. . . .encourage students to think outside of themselves.
. . . .empower students to have COMPASSION, SERVE, and SHARE JESUS
. . . .create IMPACT opportunities for students at every level of faith
. . . .identify and encourage individual students to lead within IMPACT
. . . .empower individual students and our group as a whole to have an IMPACT on our church, community and globe.
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