Here are more thoughts, more paragraphs that are somewhat-maybe-not-really related to each other.
I suppose the idea of a broad young adult ministry has similarities to being a church within a church. So far, I think the main purpose of a local church is to provide fellowship and community. Among that community is a sharing of ideas, experiences, and knowledge for the betterment of the individual as well as the whole.
I think individual growth is vital to community growth, that they go hand-in-hand but is better spirited by the individual growth. One should not expect the community to grow the individual, yet one should not expect that one can grow without the community.
I believe that the Bible and the Holy Spirit are both vital to spiritual growth. I lean toward the idea that they need to be present in equal measures because they are to work together. They should never be in contradiction to each other nor should one be used in isolation from the other. [Not exactly sure how to describe the following or the exact words to use…] So if one feels strongly that the HS is urging one to do something, it should be able to stand up with scripture. If one reads scripture and is inspired, it should agree with the HS.
Anyways, I’m seeing an eventual or gradual implementation of a system of programmatic elements:
-a quarterly big group YA gathering, perhaps a night service or discussion group type thing
- weekly small group Bible studies
-monthly volunteer service project
-monthly or bi-monthly gathering [perhaps “casual” in the sense that its primary goal is for the building of relationships, rather than say, teaching the Bible]
-weekly Sunday large group class
The frequency of occurrence can be adjusted on some elements, but I would have the small groups meet weekly. I would even entertain the idea that the large group class be on a different day of the week. This would free up Sundays for regular volunteer service, say with the primary, youth, Sunday worship team, or other departments/ groups. That volunteer service on Sunday would be a way of infusing the church body with young leaders, perhaps the YA could use this for finding their Heart [as used in SHAPE], connecting with other parts of the church and seeing how it works, but the main idea is to foster unity with the rest of the church. Then if Sundays are used for serving, perhaps the large group class is the quarterly large group gathering, becoming a monthly YA service or something. And then also the monthly volunteering could become less frequent, depending on the direction of it.
I’m thinking there needs to be one leader team overseeing the coordination of the different elements, whatever they are, however they are organized.
I know I’m thinking of all this, such a big ambitious thing, so I’m not adamant on having every single element, but I wanna see how far it can go. The YA population is maybe around 20 right now; I’d like to see it grow to 50 in 5 years [keeping in account the incoming high school graduates]. Yet it’s not about the numbers, keep in mind. I think the numbers will be an indication of how well things come together. Also keep in mind that I’m more concerned about the movement of the Spirit as a whole, but I’ll probably come back to that later.
If I were to build this on my own, where would I start? … that’s a good question. Small groups are kinda sorta in place already. So far the groups are working rather autonomously. The thing is, I see some value in having the big group class on Sundays instead of having the small groups meeting separately on Sundays, as it is now. For one, where do the next incoming h.s. graduates go? Also, one group already has a BS AND a small group, so….
As I’m basically operating on my own currently, I think my next move is something to unify the groups, even if for a short time for now, one day or something. I have to keep moving towards something and bringing people along as much as I can.
On a humorous note, I just had the thought that I’d like to call the small groups SG-units, so SG-1, SG-2, etc.