Hey, I’m New To Bay Area:

If you’re new to Bay Area Community Church, or just checking out our website to decide if you want to visit, you might be asking, “What does Bay Area offer for my middle or high school student?" You might be wondering what goes on during our student gatherings (services) or how to get your student signed up for an event.  Maybe you're just looking for resources to help your student grow in their faith beyond our student ministry. Whatever your question might be, we hope the tools and links below will help you out.

If we could boil down our ministry to two main ideas, it would be Person & Place.

We desire that every student who enters The Warehouse doors would be known. When a student walks in, they would be greeted by peers and commited adult leaders who have a passion to walk alongside them as they live out the gospel.

Whether it is our Amplify Wednesday night Gathering or any of our exciting events, we want to create a safe environment that helps foster relationships - a place where students can drop their guard and make friends.

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What is the purpose of Bay Area Student Ministry (BASM)?
We want to point students toward Christ and provide opportunities for them to develop meaningful relationships with peers and godly adults who will help them grow in their faith.
Our purpose statement: To help students develop such passion for Jesus and compassion for others that they don’t graduate from their faith when they graduate from our ministry.

What are your core values?
We enjoy being with middle and high school students – all ages, from all backgrounds, and from diverse points along their spiritual journey. Our desire is to create environments that develop trust, build natural friendships, and ultimately point them to Christ. Students deserve safe and secure places where they are welcomed, cared for, and respected by all. We are committed to protecting the physical, emotional and spiritual safety of students so each one can see and hear clearly from a loving God and caring adult leaders.

Parents are the primary influencers in a student’s life – and we are on their side. Our desire is to partner with families as they grow together and move closer to Christ. We do not want to undermine or replace a student’s parents; rather, we want to leverage our ministry resources to have a greater, Godly influence on each student. We will offer parenting workshops, connecting points with our ministry leaders, counseling, and resources that can help parents disciple their children. We welcome parents to observe and/or volunteer at any of our gatherings or events.

God is the great communicator, and His Word is the compass that will provide each of us with direction, discernment, and revelation for our lives. Our goal is to provide relevant, Biblical teaching in all our environments, assist students in developing spiritual disciples so they foster a life-long commitment to the Bible, and to help them discover the truth found only in His Word.

Students are capable of giving, serving and leading – these are the things that Jesus did, and He wants students to follow His example. We believe that students are as capable of reaching their friends, spreading the Gospel, and helping the hurting as much as any adult. As students grow in their relationship with Christ, we want to empower them as servant-leaders, and disciple them through training, mentoring, accountability, and encouragement.

Student ministry is all about relationships – with their peers and godly adult leaders. Our desire is to create environments that are safe, fun, and open to every student regardless of their background. We work hard to help students be known, and know others. This can be a challenge in this ‘relationship-from-a-distance’ world of social media; however, we believe that God does His best work in the context of relationships. Whether its through our large group gatherings, our small group discipleship format, our many fun events, or community service/mission projects, we want to foster a sense of community and relationship.

#6 FUN
Students live in a sometimes stressful world of academics, peer pressure, competitive sports, achievement, and very little margin. They often just need a place to have good, clean fun with friends in a place where people know their name. If students have fun, they’ll want to keep coming back. If they keep coming back, they’re more likely to enjoy being with God’s people and be opened to the message of the Gospel. We offer a balance of events, retreats, camps, service projects, gatherings, and activities that allow students to enjoy some of the best parts of being a teenager. We value having fun!

How is your student ministry structured?
The Warehouse is currently closed due to construction. Our new space is set to open in fall of 2018. So in lieu of a Sunday morning Gatheirng we have a Wednesday night gathering for students called, Amplify. High and middle school are invted to attend each Wednesday during the school year! In addition to our gatherings, we offer a fun outreach night for Middle School called Club 678, which meets once a month on a Friday night from 7 – 9pm. Both BASM-Middle, BASM-High and BASM College feature retreats, camps, community service projects, special events, mission opportunities, and more throughout the year. See our events section of this website for specifics.

What happens during your Wednesday night Amplify Gatherings?
Our Amplify gatherings, are a welcoming, engaging, and fun environment that students won't want to miss! Students will experience four dynamic segments of our gatherings:
• Fun Segment (snacks, games, and fun videos)
• Worship Segment (music, videos, offering, and monthly communion)
• Teaching Segment (relevant, Bible-based teaching series designed to help students navigate the exciting, yet awkward journey between elementary and high school)
• Community Group Segment (same-gender, grade-specific groups lead by trained leaders who help students apply the teachings to their lives).

Amplify takes place from 6:30-8:30pm each Wednesday with an optional dinner beginning at 6pm. Dinner costs 5$ and we announce what it will be every Monday in our weekly email. Students will love all four segments! Ultimately, they'll leave better equipped for another week of real-world challenges!

In addition, they will hear relevant, challenging messages while in a community of their peers. Topics are chosen that meet students where they are, yet challenge them to grow deeper in their faith. Our summer gatherings features free coffee/donuts, games/mixers, fun videos, live worship, and a Biblically-based message.

What is Club 678?
We created Club 678 so middle school students could invite their friends (specifically their unchurched friends) to a fun, safe, friendly place where they could experience the love of Christ and the fellowship of the church. Students will experience fun games, plenty of hang out time with their friends, group competitions, snacks (reasonably priced snacks and drinks at our Café), and a brief, Christ-centered talk from one of our leaders. Club 678 takes place one Friday each month from 7-9pm during the school year.

Does my student need to register to participate in gatherings?
Registration is a no-cost, just-show-up process! We ask students to fill out a Student Info form upon their very first visit. After the initial visit, we also ask the parents to complete an Annual Permission Form, which includes emergency contact info and a medical release. At any point, your student can show up to get registered.

Is there a dress code during gatherings?
BASM gatherings and events are typically pretty casual. Jeans, shorts, t-shirts, hoodies, etc. are par for the course in most of our environments. As long as students dress in good taste and their outfits are appropriate in appearance, they are free to dress however they wish during our gatherings.

Who are the volunteer leaders for BASM, and why should I trust them?
Fantastic question! Every leader who serves at BASM has been put through an application process, a personal interview, criminal background check, and had references checked. In addition, our leaders meet monthly for training, accountability, and team building. This helps ensure that we attract only leaders who are dedicated and committed to our ministry vision, values, and strategy. We place a high priority on building a volunteer team that consists of caring, trustworthy, godly leaders who have a passion for serving families and pointing students toward Christ. You can always ask us for the names and contact information of your student's Community Group Leader. We also ask that each Community Group Leader work on developing a relationship with you so you as the parent can work together with that leader in the best interest of your student. In other words, you should get to know your student's leader!

How do students join a Community Group?
He/she will automatically be placed in a Community Group and assigned to a leader. Community Groups are gender and grade-specific groups.

How do I build a relationship with my student’s Community Group Leader?
We want to build a partnership that flourishes between our student ministry staff, parents, and adult leaders. We provide parents with the names and contact info of their student’s Community Group Leaders. In addition, we host several events throughout the year that foster community between parents, adult leaders, and staff. We offer a Parent Gathering once per year where parents can experience their student’s gathering on a Sunday morning. We also offer Meet and Greet events where parents can interact with staff and adult leaders. In our student space, The Loft, we have a Wall of Fame, where pictures of all of our Community Group Leaders are posted so everyone knows who our leaders are. Leaders wear name badges each Sunday and Wednesday so parents can identify who the adult leaders are that are serving their students. You can check out our Community Group leaders HERE.

Can I be the Community Group Leader for my own student?
The short answer is no. The long answer is that we want your student to develop relationships with other Christ-following adults. You are the primary influence in your student's life, but at BASM, we want students to build a web of relationships in addition to their parents that will help shape their identities.

Can I be a Community Group Leader for another group or serve in another area at BASM?
Absolutely. We have a lot of parents who do so. In fact, we believe it is extremely beneficial for you as the parent to serve in this ministry. If you are considering serving as a Community Group Leader, or in another capacity within our student ministry, please click HERE.

What about parents who want to hang out during the gatherings?
Some parents want to hang around during our student gatherings for a number of reasons. We have an “open door policy” where we encourage parents to visit and check out what their students are involved in. Parents are welcome to attend almost any gathering at any time and experience all that is going on. When you enter The church, just check in at the counter so our adult leaders know who you are and why you are hanging out in the space. Then, you have the freedom to take in the entire gathering. The exception would be during the Community Group segment. Parents wanting to sit in on their student’s CG should contact a staff member first.

Does it cost anything to join BASM?
Absolutely not. We only ask that all students complete a Student Info Card on their initial visit, and that their parents fill out an Annual Permission Slip shortly thereafter. Other than that, our gatherings are totally free. The only cost is for specific events such as camps, retreats, special events, etc.

Can I know what my student is being taught each week?
Yes. We send out weekly emails that give parents an overview of our upcoming Sunday talk, a few discussion questions to engage their student, and a few event highlights. You can also access the same teaching handouts your student receives each Sunday by reaching out to Lydia MacBride.

Is there a Bible you recommend for my student to bring to the gatherings or to use on his/her own?
We typically use the New Century Version or English Standard Version bibles in our student gatherings. However, the Student’s Life Application Study Bible is a great resource for personal use.

What if my student doesn't want to come or doesn't know anybody?
Honestly, they just need to come. And when possible, bring a friend along! We always appreciate phone calls or emails from parents giving us a heads up of a student who is more anxious than most. When we get these, we will find ways to make this student more comfortable whenever they visit. But no matter how anxious or confident they are, we always ask new students to come to our Check-In Counter where they are greeted by volunteers and other students. As with most environments in life, being new isn’t easy – especially for students. However, at BASM, you are only new once. Over the years, we have found that it does take one to three visits before most students feel truly at home. So if you ask your student “How’d it go?,” and he/she doesn’t seem to thrilled about his/her visit, encourage one or two more visits before you throw in the towel. We can assure you, it gets easier.

What if my student just isn't plugging in?
It’s not always easy for every student to get connected into their youth group. It can seem to some like a large place where they see others connecting while never being able to do so themselves. No effort is perfect, but we’d like to recognize several steps towards helping your student feel more at home.

Some easy ways your student can better get plugged in:

Come regularly: Sometimes students may feel disconnected from others and the ministry. Often this is because of not being in the loop on current events and message topics, which usually bring great bonding opportunities among those present. To the student, he/she may be losing out on some of those memory-making moments by simply not being around. Regular attendance is a great and easy step to take to build a consistent groove with God and others. We encourage students to attend at least 3 times before they decide to not come anymore.

Speak up: Almost every gathering has an opportunity for students to share with others what’s going on in their lives. As with any group dynamic, it’s easy to stay silent and let the “talkers” of the group talk. Encourage your student to share from his/heart and to be open to receive directional encouragement and spiritual sharpening in return.

Help others feel welcome: We have a great ministry for student leadership where students can help their peers feel welcome. Any student with a smile to share can help out, and they will become a part of a team that meets regularly for growth and direction. Contact any leader about joining our SALT(Student Action Leadership Team) ministry.

Use a talent/gift: Every one of us is wired up differently, be it up-front or behind-the-scenes. We’d love students to use their God-given abilities in serving Him back, and so we welcome all creative, tech, administrative, relational, and encouraging types (and everyone else) to find a ministry team to serve in. If one doesn’t currently exist that fits, we’ll start one up with the student’s help.

Go the extra mile: Many times students will leave a program with a great thought or direction but then lose it on the way home. Let’s face it - we’re all capable of being forgetful of really important things! All the more reason why we encourage students to have their own Bible (which we can provide as needed) that they feel confident in reading more on the topic or Bible passage presented. Likewise, it’s our hope that families will debrief the message with their student(s) so that even more processing is going on of God’s Truth.

Do the event: One of the greatest ways for students to grow is to be out of their element every once in a while. This is why we do retreats and trips that border on the uncomfortable (and at times completely cross over into new territory). Please take advantage of these weekends for your student, whether you send them off in faith or attend as a chaperone yourself.

It’s our hope that every student would attend gatherings for peer-to-peer accountability and adult mentoring, while also being connected to the main church. If we can help either to happen, let us know.

What if I want to get involved as a volunteer?
That’s awesome! We love having new members on the team. If you are considering getting involved in our student ministry as a volunteer, simply click HERE, to complete a brief form that provides us with more information about what you are interested in. We will be in contact with you shortly to provide more information and answer any questions you might have.

How can I stay connected to all that is going on in student ministry?
Communication is a priority for us, and we have a number of ways in which you can connect:
• Facebook: Like us at BACC Student Ministry
• Instagram: follow us at BayAreaStudentMinistry

• Student Info Kiosk: stop by our kiosk just outside of The Loft to talk to a volunteer, sign up for an event, drop off a registration form, or get other ministry resouces.

Who can I talk to about receiving counseling for my student?
We’d love to do anything in our power to help you and your student navigate life’s challenges. Feel free to contact either Brent Squires, Lydia MacBride, or Lauren Gibeault for more information on setting up a time to discuss how we can help.