Partnering with parents to make disciples
Cross Current is our dynamic middle school/high school ministry. We want to partner with families in helping middle school and high school students discover what it means to have a real and growing relationship with Jesus. When parents and the church partner together everyone wins.
Cross Current is a great way for parents to receive support and for students to learn to make healthy friendships, learn to serve others, grow spiritually and have a ton of fun during this important season of life.
Figuring out how student ministry is going to work this year has probably been the most challenging aspect of our planning for this covid world, given how we need to navigate state guidelines as well as constraints with schedules, spaces, leaders, and parents. Our vision for Cross Current is to connect students to each other, to their parents, and to Jesus, through community centered around God’s Word. Our goal for this year was to come up with a plan that was both flexible enough to work no matter what happens with the pandemic in the fall and winter, but also doesn’t compromise that vision and in fact moves us forward. With God’s grace, and with the input of parents and leaders over the summer (a special shout out to Nate and Emily Moore, whose ideas and feedback were invaluable), I think we have a plan that does that.
CROSS CURRENT BIG will be scaled down this fall (Cross Current Medium?). We will have monthly outdoor get-togethers with food, bonfire, games, and a time of worship. The main purpose of these times will be to facilitate fellowship and provide a context for spending time with friends-- something our quarantined students are longing for. These may be held at church, or at other locations like Beachmont (we will have a Cross Current corn maze event in October), or at people’s houses (see below for more info). Our first Cross Current Big will be THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 from 7-8:30 on the church grounds. If possible, we would really like all students and parents to be there, so that we can communicate finalized plans and schedules and get students registered in their small groups.
CROSS CURRENT SMALL will have a greater emphasis this year. We want to see more discipleship, relationship, and mentoring-- both of students and of leaders-- happening inside and outside of Small. Small this year will be Bible study-based, with students digging into God’s Word together. We will have four main groups: middle school boys, middle school girls, high school boys, and high school girls, with further breakdowns based on numbers of students and leaders. THIS YEAR, CROSS CURRENT SMALL IS MOVING TO SUNDAY AFTERNOONS following the church service, on the 2nd and 4th Sundays instead of 2nd and 4th Thursdays. The reason for this is to be able to better utilize outdoor spaces and daylight hours, as well as hopefully fit better into schedules for leaders and families. Lunch will be provided at each Small, which will run from 12:00-1:30.
YOUTH CONFERENCE: Right now, we are moving forward with planning for our Youth Conference, and have put down a deposit to reserve the NorthBay facilities. However, given all the uncertainties this year, we have negotiated a flexible contract with NorthBay, and will make a final decision by the end of November to move forward or reschedule.
PARENT INVOLVEMENT: Cross Current has always been about connecting students to their parents, but this year we are taking some more intentional steps to make that happen. At the end of this email, there is a survey we would like all parents to participate in, which includes some questions about your family and planned level of involvement, as well as the option to indicate if you would be willing to serve in Cross Current. This year, we are asking for more parent involvement than ever, in three primary areas:
- Small Leaders: several of our dedicated Cross Current Leaders had to step back this year due to changing family and work situations, and we need at least 4 new leaders. With this year’s new emphasis on mentoring and Bible study, we think this is the perfect time to bring parents back into Small. If you would like to be a Small leader, please indicate that in the survey below.
- Hosts: we are hoping to do more hangouts and open houses, either for small or larger groups, at people’s houses this year. If you’d be willing to host events for students, let us know in the survey.
- Mentors: we would like to have a better process of encouraging and discipling our college-aged and younger adult cross current leaders. If you would like to be a "leader of leaders" and commit to pray for, encourage, and build relationships with a couple cross current leaders, let us know that as well.
Please click this link to take our parent survey, and please make plans to attend our first Cross Current Big on Thursday, September 17th.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Brendan@GraceCommunity.org