Do you know what youth need today? Well, we asked them and they said, "Pizza and ice cream!" No, seriously. That's what they said. And we usually find some excuse to make that happen. Let's be honest, who doesn't like those things.
Of course, youth ministry is about more than pizza, ice cream, and some events. If they don't grow in their faith, what's the point? Therefore, what we do in youth ministry is aimed to bring them closer to their church family, rather than drive them away. So, when we do youth events, we want everyone together rather than segregating people by age. Sure, there are some events just for teens. But we want our youth to feel connected to other generations so that they can go to those people when we're having fun and when life is rough. From hiking to paintball, from camp fires to Camp South, from the ski trip to the small gatherings, we want them to be connected to their Savior through his Word and to their church family.
If you are interested in learning how our youth get connected throughout the year, here is a list including but certainly not limited to a lot of the fun.
Regional Ski Trip
Every winter teens from our region (GA, NC, SC, TN) meet up here in Asheville for weekend of skiing and a lot of fun. This is a great opportunity for teens to grow in their faith, enjoy Christian fellowhip, study God's Word, and engage in team challenges and games. More information is sent out to our youth and teens each fall. Our church leads this annual winter youth and teen event with well over 160 others in our region. You can see that here.
Soccer Camp is our biggest event of the summer. Youth from our church and throughout our community get together for a whole week of soccer and fun. If a child is really into soccer and want to be challenged, we have the ability and experience to make that happen. If a child likes soccer, but really is here to have fun with friends, we will definitely make that happen to. Keeping the camp versatile depending on the group of kids is our specialty. And it's a great way for our older teens to get involved by helping with the younger ones. They like to get in on the water games too. To learn more, check out our soccer page at lsavior.org/soccer.
The Youth Sports Camp through our Hendersonville location is an outshot of our Soccer Camp in AVL. Kids learn multiple sports throughout the week. Although the layout and sports are different from soccer camp, children from our surrounding communities get the same great fun and learning! This is another safe and friendly environment where kids get to connect with friends, challenging activities, and the good news of our Savior Jesus. This is also a great way for our older teens to get involved by helping with the younger ones. They like to get in on the water games too. To learn more, check out our soccer page at lsavior.org/soccer.
Youth & Family Hiking
About every other month when it's warmer, a bunch of youth and families hike and spend time together.
This is also a great way to get multiple generations (kids, parents, and the more experienced in life) out on the trails together.
As with most things related to youth, it's a family thing. We bring as many people together as possible, both the young and the young at heart.
Youth Paintball Outing
At least once a year youth and parents get together to play some paintball. Sure, there are some welts, but it's totally worth it. Plus, the youth really enjoy ganging up on the parents and pastor.
Camp South is a week long, summer camp for youth entering grades 4 - 8. Pastor and another chaperon take our youth to an awesome camp ground in Covington, GA where they, along with almost 500 other youth from the Southeast, enjoy a week of faith-building fun. There are team challenges, games, excursions, Bible studies, mini golf and bowling outings, devotions, smore-making competions, and so much more. This is certainly one of the highlights of the year. Click here to see the latest promotional video from 2015.
International Youth Rally
Every other summer, highschoolers from our church meet up with thousands of other Christian teens for four days of growing closer to God through his Word, participating in break-out sessions that deal with relevant topics, like bullying, social media, pornography, pursuing positive relationships, avoiding and/or dealing with abuse, etc. In 2016, the destination has been set for Fort Collin, CO. Check out our Facebook page for more on that. In 2018, the tentative destination is Knoxville, TN. Click here to see the closing video from 2014.
Amazing Race - Teen Challenge
In the off-years of the International Youth Rally, hundreds of teens from our region head to Universal Studios in FL for a four day challenge. It is similar to the TV show, "The Amazing Race" in that teens team up and compete against each other day-to-day, completing challenges, and racing towards the finish. Along the way there is great fun and awesome opportunity to grow in faith and study God's Word. Click here to see the promotional video from 2015.
Christmas for Kids
On a Saturday before Christmas we throw an event for the kids. Think of it as a one-day VBS where kids take part in an interactive Bible lesson, games, and other acitivites that center on the true meaning of Christmas. It's perfect for parents too, because they can drop off their child to get some shopping or cleaning done. Sometimes parents like to tag along and enjoy the morning with their child. That's great too! Click here to get to our Christmas for Kids page.