What is The Ridge?
The RIDGE Student Ministry exists to glorify God by partnering with parents to disciple their students aged 13 to 19 years old.
In all of our ministry to children and youth, we have the same mission: to bring glory to God by making disciples of Jesus Christ. We believe that Scripture clearly shows that Christian parents are to be the primary disciple-makers in the lives of their children. In Deuteronomy 6, parents are commanded to teach the Scriptures diligently to their children. In Ephesians 6, fathers are told to bring up their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The weight of responsibility for raising Godly children rests primarily upon mothers and fathers.
Because of this, our primary goal in The RIDGE Student Ministry is to partner with parents to disciple their students for the glory of God. In the pursuit of this mission, we are committed to engaging in this partnership in a variety of ways, including encouraging family discipleship in the home; creating avenues for students to grow in the faith alongside their peers; providing opportunities for students to connect with the whole church; and providing resources and training for parents to aid them in discipling their children.
While this page provides an overview of the key characteristics of the RIDGE experience, a more thorough discussion of the principles and framework guiding our student ministry is available on our RIDGE Student Ministry Fundamentals page.
The Ridge is . . .
We believe that face-to-face relationships are the primary biblical method of discipleship. Therefore, our aim is to foster healthy, God-honoring student–Christ, student–parent, student–church, student–student, and student–world relationships.
Since parents have the God-given responsibility to, and are in the most effective position for, overall training and development of their children, they are always invited, encouraged, and expected to join any and all of our student gatherings and discipleship communities and are urged to take an active role in The RIDGE leadership and planning. Additionally, we desire for students to be integrated into the life of the church as a whole. So we encourage, equip, and invite believing students to participate fully in worship, in service, and in discipleship in the church at every level as their capability and maturity allows.
From the moment students join The RIDGE, they are placed in Discipleship Groups—small group communities consisting of one or two RIDGE Leaders and three or four other students of the same gender and age range. These groups meet monthly to study the Bible and learn how to apply the gospel in everyday life.
What students need most is an overwhelming Christ-centered vision of God’s gracious majesty. Therefore, The RIDGE Student Ministry will treat with joyful seriousness all of the eternal, glorious truths of Scripture that humble us as sinful creatures and exalt God as gracious Creator, Lord, and Savior.
We believe that effective discipleship will lead a disciple to become a disciple maker; that is, to begin discipling others. Therefore, The RIDGE Student Ministry will work hard at training students to be about discipleship in their homes, schools, teams, church, jobs, and everywhere God leads them to participate in society as they grow into adults who are committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ in our city and throughout the world, all for the glory of God.
What should I expect?
Typically, involvement in The RIDGE Student Ministry follows regular rhythms that includes the following five elements:
God calls the family to play the primary role in discipling the next generation. Therefore, we aim to come alongside parents to help them craft their own approach to family discipleship. By providing gospel-centered resources, we equip parents to develop their own family rhythms.
On the second Sunday of each month, students get together in the evening for a larger gathering. This gathering includes hang-out time; a short, focused time of Bible teaching and discussion; and smaller discussion groups focused on helping the students apply the Scriptures in their lives.
On the fourth Sunday of each month, students meet with their RIDGE Leaders in their Discipleship Groups to dig deeper into Scripture, voice their struggles in a more intimate and protected setting, and receive guidance for applying the Bible to their own lives.
We believe that the best way for students to serve is in the context of the whole church family, rather than only in “student-specific” service opportunities. Therefore, we invite students to serve on our ministry teams wherever that is possible and appropriate, to participate in church-wide service opportunities, and to serve the larger community alongside other church members.
We believe that godly friendships with peers can be a great blessing to students, helping them to engage with and grow in Christ. Therefore, we encourage parents, in partnership with RIDGE Leaders, to be intentional and proactive in coordinating activities where their student-age kids can just hang out and have fun together.