The purpose of Trinity Evangelical Church’s ministry to teens may be expressed in three objectives. First is the goal of partnership with parents. Youth group is not a substitute for parents’ discipleship efforts with their teenagers. Youth group is a supplement. Thus, we encourage parents to communicate with us any special goals, challenges, or concerns they have with respect to their children.
Second, Trinity Evangelical Church’s ministry to teens is serious about biblical training and equipping. We study the Bible along with apologetics and theology. We are intentional about giving teens the tools to answer objections like “Doesn’t the Bible contradict itself?” or “Hasn’t science disproved God?” or “Isn’t it narrow-minded for Jesus to claim to be the only way to heaven?” Too many teenagers grow up in the church, are entertained in youth group, and then go off to college and throw away their faith. Some studies indicate that as many as 8 out of 10 incoming freshmen who identify themselves as Christians abandon their faith by the time they graduate. This is because many churches simply are not training their young people. We recognize the problem and are working hard to train our teens. Learning God’s truth trumps fun and games in our youth group.
We also place great priority on the overall body of our group. This is our third objective: to build a community of young believers seeking to honor God and serve together. The projects we pursue have not only the goal of service in mind—such as defending the unborn or reaching out to the neglected—but also allow for teens to fortify their relationships with each other as a unit. Priority is always given to the group. We have a wide range of ages—some of our members are thirteen years old while others are preparing for college—yet we strive to bring all together. We learn together and we serve together. Because of this priority to the group, we do not officially recognize dating or courtship relationships at youth group meetings or events. The question of whether or not teens may date is an issue for parents—not for the youth minister or sponsors. However, dating/courtship interaction, such as physical affection or exclusivity, is not permitted at youth group events. We seek to make this a community in which all teens are welcome, and thus we prohibit behavior which would harm or be distracting to the overall goals of the group.
If there be peer pressure here, we want it to be the positive pressure which influences teens to submit to the Holy Spirit and live in a manner consistent with the Bible. Therefore, teens should be prepared not only to be encouraged but also challenged by what they learn and experience as a part of our youth group. We live in a society which expects very little of our youth. We seek to dispose of that mentality and call our teens to rise to the challenge in a culture growing in hostility to the gospel.
When and where do you meet?
We meet at 7:00 P.M. every Wednesday evening at Trinity Evangelical Church (2715 American Way, Ft Wayne IN). Our meetings usually last until 8:30 p.m.
What activities do you do as a youth group?
Our activities are varied. We usually have one large trip per year, such as our trek to Colorado for Summit Ministries’ worldview training/leadership camp or a mission trip. We take part in a variety of service-oriented and pro-life projects throughout the year. Other activities for fun and fellowship often include game nights, trips to Cedar Point, concerts, themed evenings (e.g., “Nerdy T-Shirt Night”), etc.
Who is eligible to participate?
All teenagers are welcome (13 on up). Teens who have attended youth group prior to their high school graduation are invited to continue their involvement until they turn twenty years old.