Family Ministry: Teens in the Church
A couple weeks ago, a family with three teens had their car break down on their way to church. They ended having to take multiple forms of transportation - another car, a train, a bus - to get to the Roulette in downtown Brooklyn and when they finally arrived, we all said, “We totally would have understood if you’d just gone home instead!” But one of the teens said, “Oh no, we have to get to church! This is my home. I love it here. This is family.”
That’s the same feeling I get when I talk about our Family Ministry at Forefront. We are not just a bunch of families that go to church together, we are one big family that gets to come together to worship on Sundays. But that’s not where it ends. I see families having playdates, single people and families going to brunch together after church, and couples without children babysitting for parents to get a date night. It’s an amazing feeling of community.
I am lucky enough to get to work with the teenagers at Forefront, and I am constantly amazed at how much they want to be a part of this community. We have high school students at both campuses involved in the different ministries at church. We didn’t even have to ask them—they asked us. They come down to the Kidstuf area to see if they can work with the kids each week. A few of the musicians have played on stage on Sundays alongside the adults on the worship team. We even have some teens running the lights, soundboard, and slides on the AV team. They hear the pastors say that “Service is a way of life here at Forefront” and they embrace the calling.
We just finished up our annual season of Celebrate Generosity, where we learned about and supported different organizations in New York. Both campuses decided they wanted to serve with these groups. Both the Bowery Mission and Brooklyn Jubilee serve food to the homeless, and the teens wanted to serve them too. Last Sunday the East Side students made their way to The Bowery Mission at 8am, served meals and cleaned up afterwards. Then they made it to church for the 11:30am service! They all expressed to their parents that they really enjoyed getting a chance to serve outside of church. The Brooklyn students will be following suit this Saturday morning, joining Brooklyn Jubilee to cook and serve lunch in an area of Brooklyn that has population that lives well below the poverty line.
I am so proud of our teens, and I’m so excited to see what happens this year as we grow together, learning about the love of Jesus and showing that love to others.