Our aim is to love and lead our KIDS and STUDENTS to know, love, and obey God through hearing and experiencing the gospel on Sundays, through fun environments and events, and most importantly in partnership with their parents.
Since families make up almost 40-50% of The Austin Stone and continue to be our fastest growing demographic, family ministry remains a top strategic focus and priority for our church.
We believe the best way for children to become disciples of Jesus is for parents to be the primary spiritual leaders of their children. Because of this biblically-based belief, our highest value is parent discipleship: helping parents spiritually lead their own children. We commit to partner with parents who will disciple their kids, and disciple the kids whose parents won't.
It is our hope that children who grow out of our ministry will have a strong understanding of God’s love as it is declared in His Word and demonstrated through His Son and His people, by the power of His Spirit. We pray they will trust Jesus and be eager to share His love with others.
The safety of the KIDS and STUDENTS God has entrusted to us is of utmost importance to us. This conviction is not only in word, but in action. That's why this year, over 500 of our family ministry leaders from across our whole church body participated in mandatory training by MinistrySafe.
Every Sunday, God entrusts us to lead and disciple the next generation as they grow in gospel truths. We have partnered with LifeWay to lead our kids through The Gospel Project curriculum, which covers the full range of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation in a three-year span. By the end of 2018, our kids will complete the third year of this scope-and-sequence, having covered the end of Jesus's ministry, the beginning of the church, what it looks like to be a Christian today, and Christ's promised return. Next year, we will go back to the beginning of the 3-year teaching cycle, starting with creation and moving chronologically through the Old Testament. As our kids study Old Testament narratives, they will learn that every story in the Bible points to Jesus. And as they hear stories they studied three years ago, they will do so with different curriculum that has been curated specifically for their age group.
Our goal in KIDS is to be gospel-centered in everything we do, and that aim is reflected in our toddler, preschool, and grade school curricula, which center around Six Basic Truths:
God made everything, including me.
God is King of everything, including me.
God is good and is the greatest treasure in the world.
I’m born a sinner and I need a rescuer.
Jesus is the rescuer who can bring me to the greatest treasure in the world.
Tell the world that Jesus is the rescuer.
The vision of Students at The Austin Stone is to cultivate a community where students learn to exalt the name of Jesus in our city, nation, and world while equipping families for discipleship.
The mission of Students at The Austin Stone is to contextualize the ministry and mission of The Austin Stone Community Church in the lives of 6-12 grade students. We seek to worship Christ, equip students with the gospel, build community that allows students to be known and cared for, and make disciples.
We gather Sunday mornings to sing, learn and grow together, so that students are shaped by the story of the gospel rather than the story of the culture. During the week, our Students participate in Discipleship Communities (DCOMMS), age and gender specific groups where students study the Bible, cultivate friendships, and are mentored by volunteer leaders. In addition, we plan an execute age-appropriate events in our ministry to help students grow in their faith, deepen friendships, strengthen their ties to our church, and have fun.
In February, 220 students from The Austin Stone participated in ATX Student Weekend, where hundreds of students from churches all across our city joined together to worship Jesus and learn from His Word. During the weekend, dozens of students professed new faith in Jesus, and hundreds proclaimed a refreshed surrender of their lives and ambitions to the lordship of Christ.
This next year, we plan to emphasize parent engagement, keeping parents better informed about events and rhythms. In addition, we plan to offer more "Lunch & Learn" sessions, giving parents a regular touch point to hear ministry updates and allow us to equip and support them as they navigate complex issues their teen is facing.