Student Ministry Changes

Over the past season of time, Hope Student Ministry has been chatting with parents and students and evaluating our Sunday mornings.  This information has led us to consider some of the following changes that would begin this fall.  Obviously, we believe that these are wise changes and while we have talked to a variety of people about them, we haven’t had the opportunity to speak with everyone.  So, if you would like to help us by providing feedback and wisdom, please read about our possible changes and then pick a way to engage the conversation further.  

Change One.  Starting in the Fall, we are making the switch to having a Sunday Morning service for grades 7-12.  Each service will contain age-appropriate teaching, worship, fun, community, and testimonies. 


  • We value worship and our HS students on Sunday mornings never have a chance to worship together.
  • We value an organizational structure that allows older students to have a role pouring into and being an example for younger students. While these discussions occur in our HS Immersion Groups, there is currently no spot for this to happen naturally on a Sunday morning. 
  • It will create more organization across our student ministry.
  • It can allow us to head upstairs at times and continue to emphasize a family approach to ministry.
  • We desire to create a welcoming environment for guests to Hope Church and believe that this will help facilitate that goal.

What about the teaching of a JH student and a HS student?  How can you make both age appropriate? 

  • While we want worship, fun, and testimonies to happen together, we understand that age appropriate teaching will still have to take place as a JH/HS split for the majority of the time. Our HS students have expressed a desire to keep a time of discussion as their primary method of teaching.  Splitting them up will allow this to happen.  We do believe that there will be some Sundays where they will be together. 
  • The current plan is for our Sunday morning curriculum to be aligned with what is happening in the Gathering as well. This will allow us to take a theological issue and make it relevant for a student.  For example, in our current series of Encounter, we might have looked at each character and tried to figure out how they relate to current people in their life today.  The powerful, the privileged, the marginalized, the anxious, the fearful, the confused, the hopeful.  Same topic but different approaches. 

Change Two

Wait, where did the 6th graders go? 

  • Great Question! We are in discussions to create a 5/6 grade ministry for Sunday mornings during second service.  This new ministry would be overseen by Kids’ and Student Ministries and would provide an age-appropriate time for students to gather on Sunday morning.  The time would contain worship, teaching, and community building.  We will also be creating events, a rite of passage experience, and a taste of small group experience for students as well. 

Would 6th graders still go to Ignite?

  • At this point, the answer to that question is no. We are still wrestling through this, but many of our 6th grade students find Ignite to be a challenging place relationally and spiritually.  At this point, we are exploring the idea of creating experiences for 5/6 graders and their families that are more age appropriate for their stage of life. 

What Now?  How can your voice be heard?  Please know that we value your input and voice in these types of decisions.  That’s why we are making you aware of the possible changes now.  Listed below are three ways for you to connect with us. 

  • Sunday, May 5 during first service in the FUEL room. Student Ministry has a time of prayer for students, families, and the communities we live in every first Sunday of the month in the FUEL room.  After prayer is a great time to ask questions and discuss Student Ministry or culture in general. 
  • Email Lindsey Oliva at and request a time to meet and share. Please know that if 150 of you email, we can’t do that and will set up some corporate times to gather instead.  But, if we can manage the numbers, we’d love to meet and hear your insight.  You would either meet with Jim, Lindsey, or a parent who has been helping make these decisions. 
  • A final way to provide feedback and insight for those who are super busy but have a few thoughts is to shoot us an email with answers to the following three questions. Obviously, there are tons of questions we could ask, but that is overwhelming.  The questions below allow for a baseline of discussion points for the Student Ministry staff and consulting parents to reflect upon as we consider our future course.  We appreciate your time and your responses will help us as we move forward. 
    • On a scale of 1-10, would your son/daughter recommend Sunday morning at Hope to a friend? Why?  Would you recommend it?  Why? 
    • What is one positive you can share about Sunday morning gatherings for students at Hope?
    • What is one weakness you can share about Sunday morning gatherings for students at Hope?