Crowd to 3 (CT3) Philosophy
When you study the life of Jesus one of the things you will notice is that there were almost always people around Him. The crowd followed Him for a variety of reasons - the spectacle, the excitement of seeing a man work miracles, the teaching, the curiosity. Some followed because they loved Him; some because they hated Him. Within that crowd were smaller sub-sets of people. Luke 10 speaks of the 70 (or 72 depending on your translation) that went out spreading the name of Jesus. There were also the 12 disciples who followed Jesus very closely and had a more intimate relationship with Him. And there were the 3 who were as close to Jesus as a human being could be - Peter, James, and John.
We desire for our students, wherever they are in the spectrum of people who follow Jesus today, to move closer to Jesus - closer to being in the "3", and like Peter, James, and John being as close to Jesus as they can be.
The 3 main opportunities that we have to help you make this happen are Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, and Camps & Events.
Sunday morning in the Student Building could be considered the backbone of the Student Ministry and are typically structured as follows:
10:30-10:45 Free Time
During this time students can sit with their friends in the cafe, play ping pong, pool, Foosball, or air hockey; or they can head outside and play basketball or Frisbee. It's a great opportunity to interact with their friends and meet new people.
On a typical Sunday we'll have anywhere from a single worship leader with a guitar all the way up to a 6 piece band with multiple singers - all student-led, leading us in song. The concert-style lighting and worshipful music create an intimate time of worship.
10:50-11:00 Lesson Introduction
After worship and announcements, a "master teacher" presents an introduction to the lesson for the week. We've been working our way through the overarching narrative of the Bible this year.
11:00-12:00 Small Group Time
After the lesson is presented the students break up into small groups - usually divided by gender and age. Once in their small group classroom the students spend time with qualified adult facilitators building relationships with them and their peers and discuss the lesson with questions provided.
Wednesday evenings (6:30-8 pm) are structured dramatically differently than Sunday mornings. They are much more loosely structured and there is a large variety in how they are conducted.
Most Wednesdays include worship and teaching. It is fast paced and discussion oriented; and the discussion is often driven by the questions that the students have. I love it! Wednesday evenings give me the opportunity to utilize lots of different teaching styles to suit all kinds of learners. Sometimes Wednesdays are like the classroom, sometimes they break into groups to solve problems or make observations, sometimes there is a raucous object lesson, and there are often games.
Every 3rd Wednesday of the month is Game Night. It is designed to give the students the chance to invite their unchurched friends to a fun night goofing around with their buddies. There is always a short gospel-oriented teaching time with Game Night.
Camps & Events
Every year we have several special events that take us off campus. These give us an amazing opportunity to deepen relationships with one another and with the Lord. The special events include:
Our spring Discipleship Weekend for 7th-12th graders. This is a weekend retreat packed full of Bible teaching, outstanding worship, great food, work projects, and fun and games. The students are on the retreat from Friday evening through Sunday morning, and it is held largely on the church campus, with some off-campus events. The students stay at a host home each night.
The Family Mission Trip is also open to the entire church. This year we took a group to northeastern Oklahoma and built the shell for a new church for a community of Cherokee. What an amazing time of fellowship among our church and among those who we came to serve - in truth, they served us as much as we served them. We had the pleasure of being fed by them and the food was AMAZING! It was a fantastic trip!
Next summer (2017) we will be going back to southern Kentucky to minister to a county with great need through construction, serving meals, laundry ministry, and many other opportunities.
Summer Camp for 7th-12th graders is always a highlight of the summer for many of the students. This year we went to Camp Anderson in Old Town, FL. It was an amazing week! The students were blown away by what God did during that week...life-changing!
The Fall Camping Trip 2017 rounds out the year with another great weekend of comradery and fun - campfires, s'mores, chili, games - what more needs to be said?? November 4-6th. Sign up in the student building through the month of October. $10/student.
In addition to these annual events, there are a few other things sprinkled throughout the year that many students participate in: movie nights, bowling nights, helping lead VBS, helping lead Judgment House, serving in the Missions Banquet, and so on.
Keep an eye on the Camps & Events page for up-to-date deadlines and prices!