The Youth Ministry is separated into two classes, Middle School (6th through 8th grade) and High School (9th through 12th grade). They meet at separate times in the same room which triples as the Middle and High School rooms and the Youth Pastor’s office. As such there’s probably some sort of candy, food, or energy drink to be found. The classroom’s color is Blackberry Jam – it’s not nearly as delicious as it sounds…
The Youth Pastor is Christiaan Funkhouser, whom by his name alone is totally a reason to at least come and check us out. A lover of stories, philosophy, theology, and hands-on learning, you legitimately never know what to expect. From teaching lightsaber fighting techniques and styles in order to demonstrate how Armor of God works to random movie nights providing a basis for a good discussion, it’s pretty awesome.*
The room is decorated with various movie posters, and original artwork depicting stories or fandoms, his favorite bouncing between the Middle Earth travel posters or the Japanese depiction of the Vader / Obi-Wan show down in Episode 4. There’s a 65” Quantum Dot 4k and an Atmos sound set up so movie days are beyond amazing. And on Game nights, you’re bound to play a new game he bought off Kickstarter a year ago and is excited to just have received.
Everyone who works with the youth at Shoal Creek Baptist Church has gone through the qualification procedure as listed in our Policy On Protecting Students (POPS).
The Middle School Youth (6th through 8th grade)
When Does it Meet? Sunday mornings at 10:00 am and we mix Middle and High School on Wednesdays from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
What to Expect: Anything. Games. Movies. Sitting at the table reading bibles. Our study on Spiritual Warfare and the Armor of God involved medieval battle tactics and (safe) sword, shield, and light-saber tactics. Whatever it is we’re doing it’s to help lay the spiritual, theological, philosophical, biblical, and practical foundations of understanding and embracing our faith. We understand that sometimes the best ministry can happen over a game of chess listening to Star Wars music.
Our CHAs: Using a generational leadership model, Pastor Christiaan prioritizes youth CHAs to help foster mentorships between those in Middle and High School. We run background checks on all adult CHAs, and have CPR and First Aid certification.
Our Verse: “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Isaiah 1:17
High School Youth (9th – 12th grade)
When Does It Meet? Sundays after church (we normally eat food to!) We also mix the Middle and High School on Wednesdays from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
What to Expect: Conversations. We talk… a lot. The teaching happens in a Socratic style. We build on the established foundations or in some cases, we’ll lay the foundations. Then the students have the opportunity to question everything and we use the tools they’ve been equipped with to challenge those foundations, their beliefs and more, in a safe environment that allows for exploration and tough questions to be asked without encouraging them to abandon the truth of biblical theology and their relationship with Jesus.
We also watch movies, play games, we are (as of the writing of this) undefeated with escape rooms, and look for truth in pop-culture. We believe that it’s the job of the Youth Ministry to partner with parents to help prepare and equip their high schoolers for the conversations, questions, and attacks on their beliefs that will happen in High School or in College.
Our CHAs: Have passed background checks, are CPR and First Aid certified, we try and prioritize older youth, or adults who are comfortable asking or answering tough questions and wrestling those difficult conversations with the youth without just telling them to believe.
Our Verse: “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
*Christiaan wrote this, but isn’t biased… I promise.