The Children and Youth Ministry of St. Stephen's, offered in conjunction with the 9:30 AM Adult Formation and the 10:30 AM celebration of the Eucharist each Sunday, is designed to inform and transform our young people for the work of kingdom ministry today. It is taken as a fundamental principle that the talents, capabilities, and giftedness of our children and our youth are needed now in the ministry of Jesus, even so despite their age and/or size. It is therefore a priority that they come to know and exercise the spiritual authority that is theirs in Christ. To this end, therefore, our Children and Youth Ministry is so directed.
Not withstanding the role and importance of the Children and Youth Ministry on its own merit, it is a basic assumption at St. Stephen's that the first and final responsibility regarding the Christian formation of children and/or youth rests with his/her parents (DEUT 11:18-20).
Certain directions for this ministry have already emerged while others are still in process:
- We believe that children and youth can have a personal and life-changing, life-lasting relationship with the Lord Jesus (MT 18:5-6).
- We believe that worship is the highest calling we have and is ordained even from the mouths of the youngest children (PS 8:2).
- We believe that God's Word is powerful and therefore can bring life and hope to children and youth (2TIM 3:14-16).
- We believe that children and youth must be trained early to speak the words and do the works of Jesus (DEUT 4:9; PS 78:3-8).
We believe that the Holy Spirit lives in every believer and that the gifts of the Spirit can and do operate through our children and youth as they minister to each other and to adults (ROM 8:9).
- We believe the children and youth of this generation are under attack from the Enemy as never before because they are being called by the Lord in a great harvest of empowered disciples.
- We believe that children and youth need Christian fellowship with others in the Church who can offer hope, love, and healing.