Uptown is a church that seeks to know the full life found in Jesus Christ and to share that life with those in Charlotte and around the world. Each of our ministries at Uptown are called to reflect this vision. In the context of Youth Ministry, we view the covenant family as central to the life of each student. At Uptown we have five distinctives of family-centered youth discipleship:


Distinctive 1 is to Affirm and Assist the family role in the life of each student. The youth ministry will reinforce the healthy Christian values found at home; serve the parents by equipping them through training and teaching; create opportunities for families to grow together through fellowship, service and teaching opportunities.

What this looks like practically throughout the year:

  • Periodic training seminars/parenting Sunday school classes
  • Encouragement to participate in a mission trip as a family
  • All family events that include students, parents, and siblings
  • Teaching students and parents to see mom and dad as the primary discipler
  • Utilize parents as volunteers throughout the ministry on every level
  • Yearly combined parent/youth Sunday school class
  • Encouragement to plug into a Life Group as a family

Distinctive 2 is to Connect Students into community; peer relationships aimed at strengthening and encouraging each other towards Christian maturity. Due to the nature of teenagers and their unique development stage, it is important for them to develop relationships with each other and form an identity as a group.

What this looks like practically throughout the year:

  • Maintaining a combined High School and Middle School youth group
  • Providing age and gender-specific community building such as Mentor Groups and Youth Sunday school table discussion groups
  • Providing opportunities for fellowshipping and serving side by side
  • Retreats designed to welcome in new students and strengthen existing friendships

Distinctive 3 is to Integrate Youth into the extended church. It is important for students to not only develop relationships with each other but also be included as a part of the whole church body. Therefore students will be encouraged to develop relationships with the whole church by using their gifts and abilities to assist the church in its worship and work.

What this looks like practically throughout the year:

  • No youth section in corporate worship
  • Students encouraged to serve together within the larger church (Nursery, Welcome team, VBS, Roadies, Missions, Worship team, etc.)
  • Yearly attendance of an Adult Ed. Sunday school class
  • Intentional effort to promote youth participation at church-wide functions (Church-wide Retreat, Lessons & Carols, Community Picnic, etc.)

Distinctive 4 is to Reach non-Christian youth and their families. The youth ministry will equip students and families to engage non-Christian students and families.  As students and families share their faith with others, the youth ministry will serve as an entry point into the church. Ultimately as we reach out to non-Christians we want to reach the family, not just the student, encouraging parents to engage parents as youth engage youth.

What this looks like practically throughout the year:

  • Events designed for families to invite neighbor families
  • Intentional effort to pursue parents of visiting youth
  • MOB Squad – Making Outsiders Belong – Our Youth Leadership and Welcome Team focuses on drawing visitors and new members into the group

Distinctive 5 is to Equip students to serve. Our desire is to help students see who they are in light of what Christ has done for them and to serve the world around them in response to this good news.  We will equip students to identify and use their gifts for His kingdom and prayerfully look for God to raise up godly leaders and servants to be sent out into the workplace and mission field.

What this looks like practically throughout the year:

  • Wilderness Adventure Trips
  • Student Led Mission Trips
  • Weekly Sunday School
  • MOB Squad Training
  • Events designed to prepare students for life after high school

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