Youth Family Vision: "Christ. Life. Legacy."
Vision Statement: "A group of disciples who love Jesus CHRIST, make Him our LIFE, and leave a LEGACY as disciple-makers". This boils down to our three-word vision statement, "Christ. Life. Legacy."
At RiverOaks, our Student Ministry is not a separate ministry disconnected from the beauty of the local church, but seeks to be an integral part of its glorious body (1 Cor. 12:12-20), while also addressing the unique needs and challenges of teenagers in a post-modern and post-Christian world.
Through a weekly-focused, 'means-of-grace' Youth Ministry, students are expected to begin owning their faith in their early years, modeling the faith in their later years, and preparing for vocational service once they leave to wherever and whatever God leads them to.
We also will equally pursue connecting each student with their family, so students will learn that the Christian Faith is best passed down generationally, from parent to child. As we seek to connect students both to God, their family, and other students, our vision's aim is nothing less than a daily, intimate walk with God (Phil. 3:10-14; Eph. 4:1)!
Leadership Testimonies (2016) / Mission Trip (2016)
'The Youth Group' Series (2017): Episode #1 (The Office Parody)
Youth Family Core Values
Value #1 Worship & Prayer: God Desires Worshippers Above All Things (Jn. 4:21-26)
Value #2 Taking Off The Mask: Honesty Leads to True Healing & Worship (Psalm 32:1-5) Value #3 Words of Life: Words Give Either Life or Death (Eph. 4:29; Prov. 18:21)
Value #4 Pursue: We Pursue Others Because God Pursues Us (Eph. 1:3-6)
Youth Family Objectives
To help accomplish the Mission of RiverOaks, and carry out the Vision and Core Values of our Student Ministry, we'll pursue weekly, annual and semi-annual Objectives to fulfill the Lord's calling on our lives - a calling which pulls us back to God and carries true love to a real world.
theAwakening // Sundays, 6:30-8:00p (Weekly) “Pray. Worship. Experience God.”
The purpose of theAwakening is to awaken Christians to God’s purpose and direction for their lives (Eph. 5:14). We aim to do that through the ancient Christian practices ('means of grace') of worship, prayer and service for spiritual formation. Through this, we will intentionally focus on creating a Youth Family, as opposed to a Youth Group.
A Youth Family is made up of brothers and sisters who pursue relationship with one another because of a shared DNA and a common bloodline. This family has God as their Father, Jesus as their Elder Brother, and the Spirit as the loving, intimate bond of their Fellowship. Jesus is the Savior of God’s Family.
A Youth Group is made up of attendees who pursue common interests, and express this through shared events and activities. However, each person remains autonomous from one another after the shared activity has ended. There is no need for a Father, Son and Spirit, as the Youth Group only needs shared events, causes and values. The Youth Group may even become a movement, but it is not a family. Events are the Savior of Youth Groups.
Therefore, in our Youth Family, each student is encouraged to join worship, as opposed to watching it. Students are encouraged to assist the Youth Leadership by helping with announcements, serving on one of the many “Student Mobilization Teams”, and living out a faith which is their own.
Students 6th-12th grades will meet Sunday nights from 6:30-8:00p at the RiverOaks campus. We'll play games, worship with our student band, hear God's Word taught, and have JH (6-8) & SH (9-12) Breakout Groups after to make application.
Pursue // Wednesdays, 6:00-8:00p (Weekly, May-August) “Because Life Is Better With Friends.”
Pursue (Matt. 4:18-22) is our Student Ministry's Summer Semester outreach and fellowship time where students will play games together, eat snacks and spend time with leaders to develop a heart of pursuit for both friends and one another.
At Pursue, students are greatly encouraged to bring friends to our Youth Family, where they can have fun, make new friends while deepening existing ones, and hear about God's plan for them in a safe and encouraging environment.
Students 6th-12th grades will meet at the RiverOaks campus (or other locations) from 6:00-8:00p.
LifeGroups // Wednesdays, 6:00-8:30p (Weekly, Spring & Fall) "... More Than A Bible Study"
LifeGroups! (2 Tim. 2:2, 15) are our Student Ministry's Spring & Fall Semester focus on equipping and training students in the Biblical art of hermeneutics (the process of interpreting the Bible) for the purpose of understanding, knowing, applying and passing on God's truth to a lost world. Students will have a time of fun fellowship with snacks in a safe parent-hosted environment, then dig into God's Word together with LifeGroup leaders prepared to teach God's Word.
Students 6th-12th grades meet in various host homes. JH meets 6:00-7:00p, SH 7:15-8:30p. Bible Books to be Covered in our Student Ministry: Romans, Galatians, Colossians, Ephesians, James, Philippians & 1 John. On occasion, various applicational books will also be used to supplement our Bible studies.
"Ross & The Bosses" Youth Leadership // Weds, 6-7:30p (Monthly) “Mobilizing Students Into God's Purpose”
The goal of the R&B Youth Leadership Team is two-fold: 1) To mobilize students into various teams which correspond to their giftings and passions to serve; and 2) To allow students to own their Youth Family together, and its ministry to one another.
Student Teams Include: Creative Team (Designs T-Shirts, Produces Youth Videos, Runs A/V, Drama); Service Team (Mission Work, Clean-Up Projects); Worship Team (Leads Youth in Musical Worship); Leadership & Prayer Team (Leads & Intercedes for Youth Families & Students)
Life-2-Life (L2L) // Mentorship & Discipleship Ministry (Weekly)
Mentorship & Discipleship are the "Life-2-Life" transference of truth, values and practices of the Christian Faith (2 Tim. 2:2; Rom. 6:17). It can happen in many contexts, but our Student Ministry believes that L2L meetings are the best way to accomplish this.
Mentorship should eventually evolve into full-on, Biblically-based discipleship ('disciple-makers'), and is our ultimate aim. We have a number of adult volunteers in place for both our young guys and girls to meet with, and also aim to develop our SH students to assist in accomplishing our goals by modeling The Faith to our JH students.
Please contact Ross directly (918.770.3360) to get paired up with an excited Christian mentor!
Deeper Christian // Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00p (Last of Month)
Deeper Christian (DC) is a monthly ministry where students come together in Pastor Ross's office to ask and discuss questions about the Bible, theology, ethics, and how life makes sense within a Christian worldview.
How do students talk to a friend who doesn't believe in God? Does prayer really work? What do the words anthropological, sacrament, and infralapsarian have to do with being a Christian? Why is 1 & 2 Chronicles even in the Bible? Why does the world have so much bad in it? These are the types of questions we'll discuss together with a singular goal to LOVE more like Jesus!
DC will meet on the last Tuesday of each month from 4:00-5:00p. We'll have drinks, snacks, OREOS (yes, it has its own category separate from snacks) and lots of good questions and discussion about how to live as Christians in a fallen world.
Large Events: RYM Camps // Mission Trip // Lock-Ins // Youth Parties
In most youth ministries, large events are the focus and used as an all-inclusive means for a student's spiritual development: friendships, spiritual formation, bible study, conversion, etc. The main issue here is that the Bible paints a very different picture about how to experience and grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
God shows us that spiritual growth happens primarily through a consistent, steady presence and feasting on God’s ordained means to grow us: His Word (The Bible), His Sacrament (The Lord’s Supper), Prayer & Service.
Large events can be helpful, but should be used as a supplement to the weekly (and very ordinary) ministry God has called us to, which can effectively help to deepen it. In this way, students are directed consistently to Christ, not to an event, experience, or “spiritual high”.
We hope you and your family will partner with us and let us encourage you in both your "Rest & Pursuit" of Christ! So please don't hesitate to "jump in" with us Sunday & Wednesday Nights! We can't wait to meet you!
Ross Turner (Youth Guy)