Youth

The youth ministry at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church exists to equip and empower youth (grades 6-12) – in and through Christ – to grow in their faith and love for God, His Church, and all people; and to become fully-devoted, world-changing Christ-followers. We do this in support of and collaboration with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church’s mission of “Building up God’s people, through His Word, for His world.”

 Our mission and vision sprouted from Paul’s instructions to the leaders of an early Christian church. He writes in his letter to them…

[Our] responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. – Ephesians 4:12-16 (NLT)

Paul may not have had youth ministry in mind when he wrote this letter, but his instructions were relevant and clear: Grow! The life of a Christ-follower is an ongoing journey of growth – of growing into the person – and the people – God desires us to be. To be sure, “…growing in every way more and more like Christ…” doesn’t just happen. It takes dedication. It takes persistence. It takes intentional – even, at times, sacrificial – commitment. It takes practice. Youth ministry is ultimately a practice – one in which we invite and encourage youth to “practice” the way of Jesus – a life that reflects who we are, whose we are, and who we were created by God to be. Our practice – what we do and why do what we do – is an effort to help every youth be planted, be nurtured, and be transformed; so that they may be equipped and empowered to plant, nurture and transform.

Good Shepherd's youth ministry...

... wants to see every youth become a fully devoted, world-changing Christ-follower.

... sees that the best way for that to happen is for youth to be in an active relationship with Christ, the Church, and other believers.

... believes that an active relationship includes: experiencing community (fellowship); knowing Jesus (learning); building the kingdom (outreach); raising praises (worship); and sharing the love (service).

... seeks to meet the spiritual, emotional, and social needs of youth while encouraging a lifestyle that reflects their identity in Christ.

... offers engaging events, opportunities, and environments for teens in grades 6-12 to connect with others, grow in their faith, and be transformed through an active relationship with Christ. 

Our two youth group environments are: MSM (Middle School Ministry - Grades 6-8) and HSM (High School Ministry - Grades 9-12). Events and opportunities for these two groups are planned throughout the year. For more information about youth ministry at Good Shepherd, contact Holly Vanderhoof (Youth Ministry Facilitator) or read about MSM and HSM in other sections on this page.

MSM

All middle school age youth (grades 6–8) are encouraged to be a part of MSM (Good Shepherd’s Middle School Ministry). Activities are limited right now, but when we start gathering again, here are some events you can expect.

Monthly and Annual Events

There are many activities and events planned throughout the year for the middle school youth. Such events include the the Quake in Baltimore, MSM Youth Nights, and much more.

Confirmation

7th and 8th grade students may choose to take part in our confirmation program, which is divided into a number of modules. These modules are offered in a hybrid format this year. We are meeting once a month in a class that combines in-person and videoconference attendance. Additionally, Pastor Johann creates videos with more class material. For more information about the confirmation program at Good Shepherd, email Youth Ministry Facilitator Holly Vanderhoof. Or take a look at the "Confirmation" section on this page for an outline of what's covered in each module and a link to the videos.

HSM

All high school age youth (grades 9–12) are invited to be a part of HSM (Good Shepherd’s High School Ministry). High school youth are encouraged to take part in the many events and opportunities (spiritual, social, and/or service oriented) planned throughout the year.

Our gatherings are limited right now, but read about what we hope to return to -- soon! Read more about it below.

HSM 630

HSM 630, our High School Youth Night, is held on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Youth Room. All high school youth and their friends are invited to join us for this twice-a-month gathering. Each HSM 630 will be a different experience, so come often be a part of this great community!

MSM & HSM @ HOME

All high school youth are encouraged to be a part of our Sunday Morning Bible Study and grow deeper in their faith and understanding of the Christian life. This casual, conversational, affirming, and informative gathering meets online now. Email Youth Ministry Facilitator Holly Vanderhoof to join in. 

Fall Retreat

Hey high school students! We’re so excited to announce the return of the High School Fall Retreat on Friday, November 5– Sunday, November 7, 2019 at Camp Caroline Furnace in Fort Valley, VA. 

We’re teaming up with Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church in our area to offer high school youth an incredible, life-changing weekend retreat. This year’s theme is “In The Making”. We’ll take a look at the life and faith of one of the most well-known people in the Bible, David. We’ll see it’s not the destination that defines your faith and who you become; it’s what happens along the way – what happens in the making. This is going to be an awesome weekend filled with challenging talks and conversations, outdoor activities, interactive Bible studies, powerful worship experiences, group bonding, intentional relaxation, and so much more. Our fall retreats have been a highlight of the year for many of our students – in fact, many past participants considered them to be a pivotal moment in their faith journey… and we hope that this year’s retreat will have that same powerful impact on your life too. Words cannot express how much we want to see you there! 

The cost for this retreat is $125.00 which covers all meals (except for dinner on the way there and lunch on the way back), lodging (we will be staying in large, furnished cabins/bunk-houses), use of the Camp Caroline Furnace amenities, and a retreat theme t-shirt. Good Shepherd has a limited number of spots reserved for this retreat so complete and return your registration slip and payment as soon as possible (spots are reserved on a first-come-first-served basis). And don’t let the cost be a deterrent! There are scholarship funds available for those who request assistance. PARENTS: We are in need of parent/adult leaders for this event. If you have a heart for teenagers and would like to come along and help out, please indicate so on the registration slip or contact Holly Vanderhoof. 

To sign up for this retreat, fill out the registration slip below and return it to the Church Office (1133 Reston Ave. Herndon, VA 20170). Please include your full payment and completed GSLC Emergency Care Information Form / Consent & Release Form. The registration deadline is Sunday, October 10. 

If you have any questions or would like more information about the High School Fall Retreat, please contact Holly Vanderhoof at  Holly Vanderhoof or 703-869-4062.

Registration Form -- To register please click here

Summer Workcamp (Mission Trip)

Every summer, our high school youth have the opportunity to participate in a Workcamp (hosted by Group Mission Trips). This is a longstanding tradition for the youth at Good Shepherd, and a highlight of the year for many of our teens. Workcamp is a transformative week of service, bonding, fun, and worship with youth from all over the country. During this week, participants will serve deserving residents of a community (usually located 5-8 hours from GSLC) through home repair, light construction and carpentry, painting, and so much more. They will also get a chance to work as a team, building friendships that will last for years to come. If you’ve been a part of a Workcamp before, you know how life-changing this event can be. . . and if you’ve never been, don’t miss this opportunity to see for yourself what an awesome experience it truly is! Email Youth Ministry Facilitator Holly Vanderhoof for more information about this summer's mission trip.

COnfirmation 2020-2021

Confirmation, our two-year faith-affirmation program, is composed of twelve modules (classes) that cover the essential parts of Luther’s Small Catechism and fundamental aspects of the Christian life. These modules are designed to relay information and at the same time allow for students to openly discuss and connect with what they’re learning. Modules 1-6 will be covered during Year A and modules 7-12 will be covered during Year B. All students (in 7th grade or beyond) who desire to be confirmed must complete all twelve modules.

These modules are offered in a hybrid format this year, with in-person and videoconference attendance. Class dates and times, once scheduled, are subject to change. Email the Church Office for more information.

YEAR A

Module 1 – Old Testament Review

Module 2 – New Testament Review

Module 3 – God the Father

Module 4 – God the Son

Module 5 – God the Holy Spirit

Module 6 – The Lord’s Prayer

 

YEAR B

Module 7 – Lutheran Essentials: Law & Gospel (Part 1) – Commandments 1-3

Module 8 – Lutheran Essentials: Law & Gospel (Part 2) – Commandments 4-10

Module 9 – Lutheran Essentials: Word & Sacrament – Baptism + Communion

Module 10 – I Believe: The Creed & the Church

Module 11 – Christian H.A.B.I.T.S. (Spiritual Disciplines)

Module 12 – Living with Others (Family, Friendships, Right Relationships)