I am so glad you have shown interest in our Student Ministry! First and foremost, I want to welcome you to Gateway. This is a loving, accepting and kind church. Truly a great family to be a part of. We are located at 245 Brent Lane, Pensacola, FL 32503 and yes, we are very close to the beach and yes it is beautiful. We really really enjoy being around each other. Youth Ministry is more than just a group on a Sunday Morning/Wednesday night thing. It really is the Body of Christ.
We exist to participate in God’s mission within the world as it is. We believe through Jesus, we can see the world as it can be and we strive to make that real. We want to be reflections of Christ. We want to be participants in the Kingdom of God. To love is to know who God is and we strive to love in all we do.
Our Student Ministry is a fun, dynamic gathering of teenagers, 7-12th grade. I would love for you to scroll through our web page, which you are currently at!
Our Student Ministry is heavily involved in all of the other ministries at Gateway and we are always looking for ways for our teens to grow closer to Christ, closer to each other and the Body here at Gateway and be reflections of Christ in their daily lives. We do this by creating environments for them to excel in. To practice in. To learn what it is to have a heart of worship, to forgive, to be held and to hold others accountable, to reflect the love of Christ through all of their interactions. These environments range from class time, local hang outs, retreats, camps, service opportunities and more. These environments will look different then a teens average daily life, but this is OK! We want them to see what life CAN be like when surrounded by the love of Christ. Our goal is to create an environment in which the Kingdom shines forth and the teens can see that this is the life that Christ has called them to.
Our group is not without its challenges. Any family has a bit of a messy side. We strive to break down naturally formed clichés, that tend to be age based. We can struggle at times with being welcoming of new people. While we would love for every grade level to get along perfectly, to spend time together, to mentor one another, we also understand that much of what is happening in the Student Ministry is a time for growth and learning. We are teaching our teens how to be and this will come with various learning curves and challenges. Friendships that have spanned years can be challenging to come into as a new student, so we strive to teach our teens how to be warm and accepting and open in the name of Jesus. I ask for patience and grace, as we are all constantly maturing in Jesus. Time is an vital part of a growing Body of Christ. Time to learn each other. Time to gain trust. Time to grow. Time to mature.
Our regular meeting times are:
Sunday Morning at 9:00 a.m.
Sunday Night Small Group at 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday Night at 6:30 p.m.
Our classes are discussion/lecture based times of learning that span many topics and are always biblical. We want our teenagers to engage the Word in a positive, meaningful and lasting way. We employ a wide variety of teachers, including the students themselves as part of learning to teach. Our classes are commonly split between Junior High (6-8) and Senior High (9-12) on Sunday Mornings. When we have the teacher support, this happens on Wednesdays as well. We participate in Sanctuary, our once a month church wide time of worship on Wednesdays, and we host a once a month time of worship with our Children’s ministry on Wednesday nights as well.
We also worship every time we get together. Our worship style ranges from quiet devotional singing, dynamic, high energy praise and worship with a great mood setting atmosphere, worship led by our praise team, worship led by our students who engage their musical gifts and abilities to VBS style worship with the children (and yes, the teens enjoy this as well).
Our Major Events are the same every year, with a few adjustments (to accommodate scheduling mostly).
“Reflect” Winter Retreat-
A opportunity for our teens to worship and lead a retreat with other groups from TN and Kentucky.
“Up, In & Out” Spring Retreat-
This year our retreat was April 20-22! You can see more information and sign up here!
Yearly Mission Trip-
Every year we look to either stay local, stay national or go international, as a way to reveal the need for mission in our Teens lives! This year we will be attending the Nashville Work Camp! Listen out for details!
Impact Jr. & Sr.
A fully immersive Youth Conference/Camp on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. Definitely a highlight of the year. Impact is ALWAYS the third full week in June (with Impact Jr. starting the Friday before). Click on the link to sign up and see more information!
In the backwoods of Mississippi at Gulf Coast Bible Camp, we get together for a week of absolute family building. This is an amazing time to grow closer as a youth group and be challenged as the Body of Christ. Information will be coming out very soon.
Every Year the teens help out in a MAJOR way for this great event with our children. From leading worship to leading classes, our teens engage in a way that our children will NEVER forget. This year it will be July 29-August 1st!
Rock The Universe
A High octane, high energy trip to Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure where we enjoy the theme parks while SURROUNDED by the best contemporary Christian bands in the business. Live concerts, great rides and a lot of adrenaline. This trip is more geared to the fun side of things and is a great reward trip for a busy summer.
This trip was cancelled last year due to Hurricane Irma and we can’ wait to get back down there.
GSM Fall Retreat
Traditionally November 17-19 (Weekend before Thanksgiving)
Held at the beautiful Hargis Retreat Center just south of Birmingham, this is our relax and unwind retreat. A retreat by all senses of the word. We enjoy stone fireplaces, cool temperatures and a very relaxing atmosphere as we bring the year to a close.
In addition to these HUGE events, we do many service projects within our congregation and throughout the community, we have local hang outs (Halloween Get Togethers, Christmas Parties, Spring Break hang outs, movie marathons, etc), and we participate in other ministries (Fall Festivals, Easter Egg Hunts, ETC.). Those are scheduled throughout the year.
All of this is to make much of the name of Jesus. These are the very environments our teens will learn and grow from. I hope you choose to join us on this beautiful journey!
For your current calendar needs, you can see all of our upcoming events on this website!. Remember, it’s always updated and you can choose to follow any new post by subscribing on the right side of the home page. You can also like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GatewayStudentMinistryPensacola
If you choose to join our family at Gateway, you will be added to our Student Ministry email list and text messaging service.
Thanks for checking us out! Hope to see you soon!