Student Ministry Upgrades

Since 1993, many improvements have been made in the student ministries, as we continually evaluate how to better serve Christ and fulfill His call to reach the world with the gospel message. See below for a list of many of the upgrades made during that time frame:

  1. Limit formal church discipline cases as much as possible (2017)
    • Eliminated church discipline meetings for high school ministry. When appropriate,
      upperclassmen get moved to college early.
  2. Provide off ramps (2018)
    • Put higher emphasis on helping members find other Bible-believing churches that better
      suit their needs if that is their preference.
  3. Ministry house resources & training
    • Trained leaders on proper use of accountability software in ministry houses, which are
      not required but are used by many houses (2017). Semi-annual reminders of proper accountability software use are sent to leaders.
    • Developed and taught Principles of a Healthy Ministry House class. (2020)
    • Added a special line in the Ministry House Agreement calling for members to be
      committed to taking medications prescribed by their doctor. (2015)
  4. Mental health concerns
    • Taught a multi-week college Central Teaching (CT) series called, “Finding Peace.” The
      series explicitly taught that serious mental health issues often need professional
      counseling and perhaps medication. Our leadership does not teach that serious mental
      health issues can necessarily be solved by reading the bible more or praying more.
    • Offered a mental health training seminar for youth workers by a licensed counselor,
      Greg Schad. Greg is the Executive Director for Crossroads Counseling Group and
      Crossroads Consultation. (2019)
    • Offer quarterly counseling workshops for leaders, run by the counseling department.
    • Dwell leaders have published extensive resources on counseling and related topics to
      help believers understand and handle a variety of mental-health issues.
    • Created the Disclosures email hotline, giving youth workers direction on handling
      sensitive student disclosures of abuse or self-harm. (2012)
  5. Youth leader vetting and safety training
    • All volunteers/staff working with minors undergo thorough vetting including third
      party background checks. (1993)
    • All volunteers/staff are required to pass an online safety training class which includes
      protocols for abuse and self-harm disclosures. (2019). Home church leaders are
      mandated reporters as per Ohio Revised Code.
    • High school ministry leads periodic mental health and trauma workshops run by
      licensed counselors and social workers.
    • Offer 2-4 yearly training classes for all high school leaders along with a written
      handbook. Written handbook is sent to leaders semi-annually which outlines expectations and
    • Banned indoor vaping at meetings and coached leaders regarding this. (2019)
    • Groups are required to do yearly parent meetings to make sure parents know the leaders
      and can see the groups for themselves.
    • Coordination with other student ministries like Vineyard, Young Life, YFC, and FCA.
  6. Increased pastoral oversight resources
    • Updated the Confidentiality and Gossip paper (2018)
    • Implemented and utilized the Adult/Student Liaison team, an Adult Ministry Initiative
  7. Additional teaching and leading to seek God’s opinion above others. (2019)
    • Added more teaching and coaching in order to lead and teach folks not to rely on
      external motivation, like other’s opinions. Instead, pointing people to God and how to
      have an “audience of one.”