Our commitments within the student ministry of Ashland differ from what has traditionally been seen in youth ministry. We believe that these commitments make us not only unique, but also biblical when it comes to ministering to high school and middle school students in our present context. We are committed to producing a high view of the local church among students, a high view of the family among students and their parents, and a high view of students in our church body.
We are committed to producing a high view of the local church among teenagers. Churches often encourage students to distant themselves from the rest of the body with ‘youth only’ ministries. Through ‘youth only’ worship services and activities, the youth ministry often takes on an identity of its own. ‘Big church’ seems to be less relevant to the student than youth group. Over time the gap between the youth ministry and the church body widens. The life of the church body as a whole becomes foreign to the students. Our student ministry seeks to involve students in every area of worship and service in the life of the church.Back.
We are committed to producing a high view of the family among students and their parents. Churches often encourage a low view of the family through programming that always separate the students from their parents in the life of the body. Unintentionally, a message can be sent to parents that more trendy ministries designed specifically for the needs of students are the most effective means at nurturing their children. Such a message has the potential to cause parents to shirk from their God-given task of parenting. Such isolation can also cause the student to view the Christianity of their parents as irrelevant. After all, the youth group activities are so much cooler! Thus a ministry that should help parents actually begins to erode their authority in the minds of their students. Seeking to be a partner and a resource for parents in the task of parenting, our student ministry involves families in every area of our ministry. Back.
We are committed to producing a high view of teenagers in our church body. Youthfulness seems to be championed everywhere in our culture except in the church. Our expectations for teenagers are often minimal. The average church member looks at students as people who are at that stage between childhood and adulthood and really have little to offer. They need a little more time to develop before they can actually contribute to the church’s ministry. After all, this is a time in their life when they are supposed to be carefree and irresponsible. Our student ministry seeks to utilize the gifts and great potential God has placed within students for the good of the church and the advance of the Gospel around the world. Back.