I. Who We Are
The youth ministry of Heritage Baptist Church finds its starting point in Paul’s instruction to the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 6:1-4. There we find the apostle Paul doing “youth ministry.” He has words of instruction for parents, children and the church.
What is the role of the parents in youth ministry?
First, the youth ministry at HBC is parent-driven. According to Paul, parents are to be the primary spiritual teachers in the lives of their children (Eph. 6:1-2). Paul tells the children to “obey their parents in the Lord” as he tells the parents, especially fathers, to “bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Therefore, we at Heritage seek to strengthen the relationships between parents and their children since the home is where basic spiritual formation takes place (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Psalm 78:1-8). A biblical youth ministry sees parental involvement and primary leadership as essential, not optional.
What is the role of children in youth ministry?
Secondly, the youth ministry at HBC is gospel-centered. According to Paul, children are called to obey their parents and to receive the word of God as it is taught to them, both in the church and in the home. Therefore, we at Heritage seek to bring the word of God to bear on the lives of our children through direct instruction in Sunday morning classes and in the corporate gatherings of the church. Everything we teach has the gospel as its center and conversion as its aim. Our greatest desire and hope is that through this loving instruction, each one of our children will come to embrace Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior and Treasure.
What is the role of the church in youth ministry?
Lastly, the youth ministry at HBC is church-focused. According to Paul, the church is called upon both to teach the children of church members the word of God directly (as Paul does in Ephesians 6:1-2, instructing children to obey their parents as a leader of the church) as well as equip parents for the work of parenting (as Paul does in Ephesians 6:3-4, instructing parents to train their children through discipline and instruction). The pastors of the church are called to “equip the saints for the work of ministry,” which certainly includes parenting (Eph. 4:11-12). Therefore, we at Heritage seek to equip parents for the work of parenting by coming alongside them in the discipleship of their children.
Our vision can be captured with the following diagram from Eph. 6:1-4:
II. What We Do
We offer Sunday morning and Sunday evening classes for our children. Our Sunday morning classes run from 9:00-10:00 during our Adult Education hour (Disciple U). We have Sunday classes for the following age groups:
- 2 and 3-year olds
- 4 and 5-year olds
- 1st-2nd Grade
- 3rd-4th Grade
- 5th-6th Grade
- 7th-8th Grade
- 9th-12th Grade
A small group Bible study for high school youth takes place on the first and third Wednesday of each month.
There are monthly recreational events for youth coordinated by the parents of HBC. These events are available for students in middle school and high school. They normally take place on one weekend a month.
HBC youth and their parents have the opportunity to participate in retreats and camps throughout the year.