At All Souls, our middle and high school students (6th through 12th grades) gather twice a month throughout the year after our Sunday worship. At those gatherings, our desire is to create an authentic and intimate space where students can be themselves. While there is no exact blueprint of how our gatherings look, we want our gatherings to be a place for students to experience what it means to participate in life that God has designed for us.
For us there is no better inspiration than how Jesus lived in community with others. As we look to Jesus we see that He was intimately involved in the lives of His disciples. When we gather, the nature of our group tends to be more intimate. We consistently share with one another the good and the bad of our previous days and we share a meal together. While this does not seem like a lot, these moments allow our students to develop deep friendships where they pray for each other, encourage each other, and most importantly love each other. We also gather outside of Sunday nights to cultivate our group culture.
Jesus brought to life the beauty and wonder of God’s word and showed others how they can participate NOW in the life that God has in store for them. When we gather, we open the scriptures and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as we explore what God is saying to us. These times are not dominated by lecture or by generic small talk. Rather, it is a time where we see how God’s word challenges us to share the Gospel and listen to the Spirit’s leading as we live that out in our neighborhoods and schools. Our time is conversational where everybody learns from God and one another.
We challenge our students to participate in the work of Jesus right where they stand. We invite them to serve in our gatherings, and in our community so that they may be agents of peace in our world.