June 15, 2010 - About 50 people gathered Monday evening for a discussion on youth ministry in the Christian Reformed Church.
“Our students graduate from high school and graduate from church in many cases,” said Ty Hogue, youth pastor at Harderwyk Ministries, Holland, Mich. “We need to help them retain a living and active faith once they graduate from high school.”
Hogue presented a concept paper of the recently-formed Youth Ministries Task Force which aims to create a “coherent youth ministry plan” for the denomination.
The task force identified three key needs: helping adolescents live in today’s culture, equipping adolescents for discipleship, and encouraging congregations to engage adolescents.
Elder Ken Douma, Classis Lake Superior, said that often there is a disconnect between adolescents and the older generations in the church. “We should be focusing more on adults, teaching them how to live their faith in ways that kids will engage with,” Douma said.
Elder David Stewart, Classis Columbia, said that young people need to have real roles in the church. “We have youth on every church committee,” said Stewart, who pastors the youth at Sunnyside [Wash.] CRC. “We’ve started to see a shift in the mentality. It’s becoming their church, as equals to the adults.”
The group also discussed ways to make choosing curriculum simpler and to build relationships with youth. “What if every kid had five adults that knew their name and cared about them?” said Hogue.
For complete coverage of Synod 2010 including live webcasts, visit www.crcna.org/Synod