This summer, the NextGen Ministry at Southeast Christian Church’s Blankenbaker Campus is rolling out new ways for parents and students to connect to the Middle School and High School Ministries.
Student ministry was never meant to be a substitute for the face-to-face time parents have with their children. A teenager may interact with their pastor for an hour or two per week, but parents have that amount of influence per day.
Student ministry has the power to equip parents to be the primary disciple-makers in the lives of their children (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Southeast Christian Church’s High School Ministry has begun taking steps to make this happen.
“A vision that HSM Pastor Brad McMahan laid out last fall was that we want to move from a parent-friendly ministry to a parent-partnering ministry,” said HSM Creative Arts Pastor Mike Vance. “We can only make so much of an impact on students without the support from the whole family. Parents are the adults that have the highest opportunity to do that in a student’s life. So reaching the parents in a way that in turn reaches the students to leave a lasting impression on their faith as opposed to our student ministry solely sustaining their faith.”
The High School Ministry recently began a RE:ACTION Podcast as one way to walk alongside moms and dads in the daily grind of parenting.
“We’ve had some good feedback from parents,” Vance said. “Leading up to the podcast, we’ve been hearing from parents that they want resources. We hear from parents a lot, ‘I want to see this change in my home, but I don’t feel equipped to do that. So help me figure out how to do that.’ That’s the reason we’re doing this podcast.”
Vance hosts the podcast with McMahan. The conversation centers on the previous message from Sunday’s high school services.
RE:ACTION has two primary purposes: to let parents know what the students hear on Sunday and to provide next steps, including prayer, Scripture, continued reading or questions to ask students about a specific topic.
Episodes run around 20 minutes—perfect for listening to on a commute, at lunch or while waiting on kids to wrap up school or activities.
Vance said this is the main reason they took this route to help empower parents.
“Whenever we make a decision to communicate something, we’re looking at all of our different channels and strategies, what platforms do we have and who’s on them,” Vance said. “A podcast seems like the best way to communicate specifically with parents because we can get in the car with them.”
RE:ACTION is available on the High School Ministry’s Facebook page, www.face
book.com/SECCHSM920 and iTunes by searching “SE 920 HSM.”
“What we’ve seen so far is that it’s sharable,” Vance added. “This is neat because it’s one of our first resources that is content which supports what we’re preaching through, but it can also be shared. Parents are liking it, commenting on it and sharing it so that it’s spreading organically.”
Middle and high school students alike are invited to check out Summer Nights at the Block Sundays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. These services, set for June 16 through July 28, hope to continue the excitement and momentum students experience at camps like MIX and Bible & Beach.
“It’s super high energy from start to finish and we’ll focus on connecting students who aren’t yet connected,” said HSM Worship Pastor Nick Cooper. “Usually Bible & Beach is a culmination to the year. Sometimes summer is down when you come back from Bible & Beach, where there’s high energy and great connections. So we want to use Bible & Beach as a launchpad.”
The night will include a connection time with outdoor games, then a transition to indoor programming. Middle and high school students will split up as they listen to a brief message and get into small groups.
In addition to Summer Nights, students are encouraged to attend services on Saturday evening or Sunday morning.