AC Students impacts your student through two environments every Sunday. One of these is large group in the Foundry, where students first meet to interact in games and vibrant worship with their own live band, as well as to learn from inspirational speakers. The goal of large group is to set up fun and meaningful discussions in small group.
Small groups provide the fuel that drives students to make good choices during the week. Ideally led by two adult leaders and a high school mentor, each small group includes students from the same school grade, geographic area, and gender. This gives them the opportunity to develop a group of Christian friends close to home, which leads to further encouragement and accountability. Students enjoy getting together outside of church with their Small Group Leaders and small groups for community service, personal/spiritual growth, and additional fun. Our goal is that each small group remains together for the duration of middle school. On occasion, a group that grows too large will be multiplied to keep relationships personal. But don’t worry—friends and former leaders are always around!
Small group leaders volunteer to participate and then go through an interview/approval process before being selected to lead students. We group all students by school grade, geographic area, and gender.
After large group, your student will go to On Deck in the Café to learn more about AC Students and how we operate.
We all know how it feels to be a first-timer who is not quite at ease. On Deck takes the “awkward” out of “trying to fit in.” Designed specifically for students who do not yet have a small group of their own, it is a transitional environment that bridges the gap. When large group dismisses to small groups, your student will go to On Deck. Then, based on grade, gender, and school, he or she will be introduced to a permanent small group.
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage it. AC Students is designed to be fun and inspirational for every middle school and high school student. We’re thrilled when your student is excited to share what he or she is experiencing at church. Middle school and high school is a critical time when relationships can begin to get messy and emotionally challenging. Developing spiritual strength now will influence critical choices in the future.
Students typically get out of small group a few minutes after the main service ends. However, since conversations are geared to help students explore issues important to them, AC Students does not have an official end time. Each group wraps up discussion at its own pace.
Every year we offer two events during the school year for students to be a part of. In the fall we head to the mountains for Vertical Reality and in the spring we stay in town for a weekend called The Mix. In addition, every summer we take rising 9th graders through graduating seniors to a weeklong summer camp. For more information about our events, check out the Upcoming Events page.
When you look at the beaming faces in AC Students, you see far more than middle and high schoolers. You also see dozens of energetic adults and high school students who were once in your shoes—wanting to jump in, yet wondering whether they had time or energy to commit to mentoring. They discovered what you will soon recognize: our volunteers aren’t merely here to help. The relationships they form become their ministry and a treasured priority. In fact, small group leaders engage with the same students for at least two years—laughing, listening and leading. We’re delighted you want to become part of the reason that students love AC Students! For more information, email our Director of Student Ministries, Charles Ficken at firstname.lastname@example.org
Becoming a small group leader is a fun and exciting way to stay engaged with your own student. We absolutely encourage parents to become small group leaders—and, with our rapidly expanding student ranks, we need you—but we do not permit parents to lead their own children during AC Students. Some students need more space than others and are far more likely to be candid in small group discussions when parents are not present. We’ll help find the best fit for you, as well as the right place to maximize your student’s experience in AC Students.
We’re glad you asked! There are lots of ways to participate in the fun as you experience your own spiritual growth through serving. You can start by asking your student’s small group leader how you can support him or her. Offer to set up a trip, provide transportation to an outing, or host a gathering. You could also send an encouraging note. Any time you can provide the leaders an opportunity to just hang out with their students, ministry is happening. If you want to do more, consider becoming a small group leader or joining our guest services team. For more information, email our Director of Student Ministries, Charles Ficken at email@example.com
That’s awesome! We’re excited with you! Please check out the "Baptism" page for more information.
Click a link below for series content:
Your middle school student is ready for this season of massive change, but the question is . . . are you? This eight-part video series, led by Pastor Billy Phenix of Buckhead Church, walks through the new and different needs, wants, and make-up of your child. This is a resource for you, your spouse, or your whole small group as you navigate this season of change together.