A Little Bit About Our Youth Ministry
At First Baptist Waynesboro, our youth ministry prioritizes relationships and discipleship over events and programing. We recognize that our students’ time is precious. Part time jobs, sports, clubs, band, and extra curriculars take a lot of time. And let’s be honest, working a part time job or being the captain of the football team looks a lot better on a college application than “went to Church every Sunday.”
We get it. But given that we are still a Church, we still believe that faith formation, worship, and community are vital parts of spiritual development. So, the big question is: how do you build a youth ministry that takes students’ schedules into account and provides those important milestones that produce well rounded, spiritually formed young adults?
We believe that to accomplish this task a youth ministry must create opportunities for community, respond to tangible needs, and teach spiritual insights along the way. We’ve found that when these three things occur students develop a more robust spiritual life and are better equipped to handle the challenges that come with life after high school.
Get Plugged In
We’ve tried to design a weekly and yearly rhythm that meets the spiritual needs of students when they are at Church while at the same time remaining flexible to meet students’ needs outside of the Church. In other words, we are invested in making First Baptist a place where faith formation occurs. Yet, at same time, we are committed to creating organic community outside of our building. To do this, Pastor Nate tries to engage regularly with students over coffee or lunch and organize informal events like a hike or a trip to the movies. Instead of setting dates for these events, letting them develop organically allows for greater participation from students.
If you’re interested in checking out our youth group for the first time, then take a look at our “Rhythm” below. Sunday school is a good place to start. But if you’d like more information about how to make the most of your fist visit, then contact Pastor Nate to arrange a time to chat.
Our Regular Rhythm
On Sunday mornings, we explore the larger picture of faith and what it means to be a Christian. We meet in the loft, which is on the third floor of the education building, at 9:45 am. During the school year, there is food and coffee. For the first 30 minutes students eat, fellowship, and hear a short story from Nate. High school and Middle school then break up into separate groups and work through the day’s lesson.
Wednesday Night Bible Study (September – November; January – May)
On Wednesday nights, our students gather together in the loft for bible study. During this time, we dig into the peculiarities of a book of the bible, learn about its context, and pose questions about how its narrative may influence our own. We start at 6pm, but students who are interested can join the rest of the church in the fellowship hall for Wednesday evening dinner at 5pm. We believe that it’s important for students to take part in the life of the Church, so we do not meet for bible study during business meetings. Click the button below to see this year’s Wednesday night schedule. There are several Wednesdays that we don’t meet.
Sunday Night Live
Once a month, we gather together in the loft for a time of worship. This is a space where students can come to worship God without fearing judgement and exclusivity. We try to get creative during this time. One month students might hear from a speaker while another month they might engage in a prayer experience. Click the button below to see this year’s schedule.
Major Events & Trips 2019-2020
Every year, we take a weekend to escape from Waynesboro and spend time together, deepening our faith. Generally this trip occurs the last weekend of October or the first weekend of November. We are still working our the details for this year’s retreat. Stay tuned for more information.
It’s a time honored tradition at First Baptist that our youth gather together in December for a progressive dinner. Instead of gathering together in a single home and eating a meal, we travel to different houses for an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert. It might sound weird, but it’s super fun. We top off the night with a gift exchange.
Winter Youth Summit (January 2020)
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” During MLK weekend 2020, CBFVA will host The Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia. This Spiritual Formation Conference for students will center on King’s famous quote by asking the question “what does it mean to be “Connected?” This retreat is meant primarily for high school students. Interested Middle School students may attend, however, if they have received permission from Pastor Nate. Click the button below for more details and to register.
Immersion Experience (June 2020)
This summer our High School students are invited to join us on an immersion experience. We haven’t announced the particulars for this summer’s experience, but stay tuned for what is sure to be an exciting trip. Our objective with these trips is through service and learning to gain perspective on the struggles that an urban areas faces. Students are exposed to systemic injustices like racism and poverty and are asked to consider what role faith might play in creating a more inclusive and welcoming Church. This trip also includes a college application workshop that is designed to give our students a leg up in the admissions process.
Passport Camp (June or July 2020)
We love the mission and philosophy of Passport, and going to camp has been a long standing tradition here at First Baptist. Camp is an excellent opportunity to spend a week together with friends and gain a better picture of what it means to be a Christian. At passport students can expect to worship, play games, participate in Bible study, and work at local mission sites. Like our other summer trips, we are still working out the particulars for camp this year.