There is an exciting change coming in First Community’s Youth Ministry: Crossroads, our Sunday school for grades 6-12, is moving to Sunday evenings. Beginning on January 10, Crossroads will take place from 7 – 8:30 pm at the North Campus. We feel that changing the time, length, and format will be an “upgrade,” so we are referring to the change as “Crossroads 2.0.”
Why this change?
- Intentional time together. Meeting in the evening for over an hour fulfills an essential need in youth ministry: unhurried time together. We find ourselves rushed on Sunday mornings to fit into the worship schedule, which allows us to gather for just 35-45 minutes. Crossroads 2.0 will provide, more than anything, an intentional space for youth to feel connected to peers, leaders, and God.
- Gathering as one community. This is one of the biggest reasons for change: to bring everyone together in one space as one youth program. The way Crossroads is currently set up, we are divided by middle school and high school, North Campus and South Campus. Crossroads 2.0 allows grades 6-12, college leaders, and adults to meet all at the same time. This creates a more complete community of faith where we can serve one another as mentors and ease transitions between 8th and 9th grade, and from 12th grade to college. Although the North Campus is the meeting space, we are hoping that all families can come together, no matter which campus they regularly attend in the morning.
- Space for family. One of the biggest pieces of feedback we receive is that the family is divided on Sunday morning. We hope to provide greater convenience for parents, and flexibility in choosing a morning service time that allows the whole family to worship together.
The format of Crossroads 2.0
Crossroads 2.0 will look and feel like a mini youth-centered worship. The kids will serve as greeters, provide the music, give an offering, and read the weekly Bible verse. Then, we will hear a short “talk” or homily, delivered from a variety of speakers: church staff, college and adult leaders, members of the community, and even kids themselves. Since Crossroads 2.0 does not overlap with any worship services, clergy will be available to participate as well. Following the message, students will split up by grade for check-in time and discussion. This small-group time is what makes Crossroads so impactful, creating an “oasis” in the midst of our busy weeks.
Crossroads 2.0 brings myriad possibilities for expansion, including large-group meals, college ministry, and break-out groups for parents. More ideas have included a talent show, video announcements, even a theme song! We are excited to see how Crossroads will grow in the future. What ideas do you have?
- What happens to Sunday mornings? We will still provide education for grades 6-8 on Sunday mornings by adding a middle school room to our K-5 Ministry. Middle schoolers will have options on Sundays: morning worship with family, Sunday school, or Crossroads. More than anything, we hope our programming continues to meet middle schoolers wherever they are on their journeys. Are you interested in maintaining Sunday morning education? We are actively looking for parents to teach Sunday school to grades 6-8 at both North and South Campus on Sunday mornings. Please contact me if you are interested, or sign up online »
- Why is Crossroads so late in the evening? Some parents have expressed concern that 8:30pm feels too late to be out on a school night; others feel this time is just right, as it preserves space for dinner beforehand. For now, we will try 7 – 8:30 pm. If later we decide to change, it won’t be the first time we’ve altered programming once it has begun!
- How will the message of Crossroads change? Each week, kids in grades 6-12 will make connections between our Biblical narrative and everyday life, explore the theology of First Community Church, learn the importance of service and discipleship, ask deeper questions about faith and God, and understand different perspectives, personalities, and faith traditions with love and acceptance. In other words, the message of Crossroads will stay just the same.
I welcome any thoughts or ideas on Crossroads, and hope you will add to the conversation by contacting me. Most of all, I encourage your participation. Families with middle and high school youth are invited to join us on Sunday, January 10 from 7 – 8:30 pm at North Campus for the kickoff of Crossroads 2.0.