On Sunday Daniel Hocutt spoke to the church about the work of the Youth Discipleship Blueprint Team. As he talked, I began to see what kind of young people might be formed by this process, and I was impressed. I thought, “If parents out there only knew that by bringing their kids to First Baptist Church they could end up with the kind of committed Christians Daniel is talking about, you couldn’t keep them away!” So, read Daniel’s report, and feel the kind of excitement that is building at First Baptist Church.
Good morning! My name is Daniel Hocutt, and it’s my pleasure to provide an update on the work of the Youth Discipleship Blueprint Team. Our team seeks to define foundational building blocks for faith development in the student ministry from grade 6 through college. Our team is led by Mark Potts; our staff and student ministry liaison is Bart Dalton; our liaison to the 2020 Visioning Team is Shawnae Lacy; and our team is rounded out by its members Mimi Bennett, Ann Carter, Elizabeth Lipford, Courtney Moses, Terry Whipple, and me.
First, I’d like to share a little about our team: Among the greatest benefits of our work as a team has been getting to know one another. We’re members who attend different Sunday services, facilitate and participate in different small group Bible studies, live across the metro area, and work in disparate fields. Fellowship and discipleship inspire community, and working as a team has extended our communities to include one another in intentional and affirming ways.
Second, I’d like to share a little about our working style: Team meetings open in prayer and an affirmation of our team values. Throughout each meeting, we pass a palm-sized wooden cross from member to member; the holder of the cross is the designated prayer warrior for the team until passing the cross to the next member. We close our meetings in prayer and a plan for next steps. We commit to intentional, daily prayer for the work of the team. We seek to discern rather than decide, and we value contributions from all team members toward discerning. Throughout our work, scripture is the basis of discernment.
Third, I’d like to tell you about what we’re doing: We’re asking ourselves what our youth should experience, understand, contribute, and demonstrate as a member of our student ministry. Our responses have coalesced into 12 foundational building blocks of faith development for Student Ministry. Although in draft form, here are the 12 building blocks:
- To live a life that models Christ.
- To recognize and practice faith-based servant leadership.
- To develop habits and disciplines of the faith.
- To become literate in Biblical knowledge.
- To establish and grow a faith of one’s own.
- To know and become part of God’s story through a vibrant relationship with Him.
- To radically welcome and integrate self and others into fellowship.
- To recognize one another as members of a vibrant community of Christian faith.
- To participate in the ministry and fellowship of Richmond’s First Baptist Church.
- To recognize and practice spiritual gifts as the body of Christ.
- To engage in discipling relationships with fellow youth and leaders.
- To focus on the spiritual development of leaders in the youth ministry.
We are now in the process of recommending when and how each of these building blocks might be integrated into the annual cycle of youth ministry. We’re also exploring how these blocks will combine, year after year, to form the firm foundation of faith described in our charge. We’re connecting these building blocks to the work of the Children’s Ministry Blueprint Team, to integrate our plans toward faith development that spans the childhood and adolescence of our students. As we work, we continue to pray for discernment, for wisdom, and for direction. Please join us in these prayers. Thank you for your support.