East Park Life
The youth ministry of East Park Baptist Church exists to cultivate Christlike character in the teenagers of the church so that they become strong Christian examples in their speech, behavior, love, worship, faith, and moral purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
Ministry to teenagers is both challenging and rewarding. During one of the most dynamic periods of their lives, young people in their teen years need a strong foundation on which to anchor themselves. At East Park, we believe the only appropriate foundation is God’s Word. Therefore, the youth ministry of East Park constantly emphasizes the Bible, driving teens back to God for answers to their most difficult questions and satisfaction for their deepest longings. Knowing, trusting, and loving God as revealed in Scripture is the key to real life. Building on a true salvation experience, Christ-like maturity is the goal for each teenager at East Park.
While a youth ministry can have a serious influence on the direction of a young person, research clearly demonstrates that the influence of a home will usually exceed that of a church. Therefore, the youth ministry of East Park Baptist Church seeks to influence the parents of young people through training and discussion.
Teens meet for Sunday school each week, covering Bible character studies, Bible book studies, doctrinal studies, character issues, current event analysis, Christian issues, sermon discussion and application, and Christian growth.
Teens meet on Wednesday nights to engage in an exciting game, a time of Biblical instruction, review a memory verse, pray.
Once a month, usually on a Saturday, teens gather for an activity. These times may include any of the following elements: serving the church (or individuals in the church), canvassing for the church, playing games, fellowshipping, eating, and studying God’s Word. Each winter an overnight retreat provides an opportunity for teens to engage in extended times of interpersonal contact. These activities have taken the form of a ski trip and a trip to a local camp.
The TRAC program (Teens Reaching for Abundant Christlikeness) is the keystone of the youth ministry at East Park Baptist Church. TRAC serves as a structure for each teen to deepen his relationship with God and for youth leaders to more accurately assess the spiritual needs of individual teens. The program emphasizes and provides weekly and monthly accountability for the core disciplines of the Christian life: daily Bible reading, Scripture memory, Christian service, book reading, and Sunday School attendance. Daily Bible reading is strongly emphasized as the foundational Christian practice. This regimen of regular activities is intended to cement some life-long personal habits for each teen who participates. Incentives for the program include a week of camp and gift certificates to CBD.
Each summer teens are encouraged to attend one of several local youth camps for a week-long emphasis on Christian growth.
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believer, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).