Greetings! My name is Stetson Harper and I am the Youth Director for the Great Lakes Region. I am so excited about what God is going to do throughout our Region, and I believe that as we partner together that we will see youth of all ages come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Below you can find my personal philosophy of youth ministry and some of the things I hope to accomplish during my time as the youth director. I believe that youth are looking for something real, and that can be found in Jesus, and it is my prayer that this philosophy will help guide real encounters between our youth and our Savior.
Philosophy, Mission, Core Values, and Objectives
The purpose of this youth ministry is to serve those in need. Just as Jesus washed the feet of His disciples we are to serve those that are around us. We have been committed with the care of God’s children, which includes those who are saved and those who have yet to come to know the Lord. Through loving relationships and service, it is the desire of this ministry to see adolescents of all ages to come to know the Lord and to have a long lasting relationship with Him.
“So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” John 13:4-9
It is the mission of the youth group to develop anointed young men and women through acts of service. By serving, and teaching how to serve, those in this ministry will not only grow closer together but they will grow closer to God. We wish to empower our youth to use the gifts that God has given them – to accept the anointing of God on their lives. Teenagers are not the future of the church, they are the church today.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” Luke 4:18
|James 1:27||“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”|
|Phil 2:3-4||“Don’t do anything from selfish ambition, or from a cheap desire to boast; but be humble towards each other, never thinking you are better than others. And look out for each other's interests, not just for your own.|
2. Unconditional Love
|John 13:34-35||“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”|
|1 John 4:19-21||“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”|
|Philippians 2:3||“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”|
|Ephesians 4:2||“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.|
|Psalm 100:1-2||“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”|
|Hebrews 12:28-29||“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’.”|
1. We purpose to make a difference by serving youth and teaching them how to serve others.
Christ has clearly called us to go out and to serve others. So it stands to reason that a youth ministry would serve those within its walls. However, God has also called us to be the hands and feet of Christ. It is not enough to serve youth, we must teach them how to serve others. Christianity is not a static faith, it cannot be lived out from the comfort of a living room. It requires action – service.
2. We purpose to make a difference by loving those whom no one else loves.
Teenagers have a deep desire to feel loved and wanted. The sad thing is that many are doing life without this foundation of humanity. Christ has called the church to show love to everyone, not just those whom it is easy to show love to. This will be accomplished by a team of youth ministers that can connect with teens through one-on- one level. Small groups are a great way to do this because it fosters a loving relationship not only with the youth leader but also between the teens in the group.
3. We purpose to make a difference by teaching the importance of humility.
In the day and age we live in teens are being taught that it is all about them and that they deserve whatever they want. However, this is not biblical and it is creating a prideful society that gives little regard for those around you. Humility does not mean that we cannot be proud of who we are or what we have accomplished, but it does mean that we should not boast and we should not antagonize those who have done less than us. Humility is a required trait if someone is truly going to engage in service and love.
4. We purpose to make a difference by creating a place of safe and holy worship.
We serve a God who created the Heavens and the Earth – He is Almighty and He is worthy of our praise and adoration. However, many teenagers today do not know what it is to worship the Lord. It is our desire to create an atmosphere where teens can witness true and humble worship while also feeling comfortable enough to express worship to the Lord. It is our belief that there can be many forms of worship expressed to the Lord as long as it comes from a pure heart.