Shaping Our Youth

Christian churches within our community are making valiant efforts to reach our teens with the Gospel and using a variety of methods to do so. Programs are going as far as meeting kids in their own environment, creating safe spaces for honest conversations and encouraging service work that can truly make a difference for our society. The church’s eagerness to develop relationships with our youth led TourCollierville to connect with several youth programs to gain insight into Collierville’s youth ministry and evangelism.


Collierville United Methodist Church
A group that accepts and invites.
“A typical gathering consists of a time of hanging out in our youth lobby–talking, eating, pool, video games, gaga ball. Then we have a time of worship through student led music and singing before digging into the Bible. Then we’ll break into small groups to wrestle through the implications for our lives in what we’re learning. Ultimately, our goal is that God is glorified by whatever we’re doing. If it’s play, we want to glorify God in our fun and how we’re interacting as brothers and sisters in Christ. We want to worship God through music and our interactions. We want to find out what the scriptures say, and we want to challenge each other to live this out. We want to wrestle with life and grow in our faith. We want our students to encounter Jesus and grasp faith for themselves by asking tough questions while simultaneously stepping out in faith. Our youth are like any youth. They’re not perfect, but they’re good kids. Our students come from intact homes; they come from broken homes. We have kids who play sports and kids who participate in drama. We have loud kids and we have quiet kids. I hope that it’s an authentic group. It’s a group that accepts and invites. They are a ton of fun and continually seeking how they can live out their faith in Jesus.” – Mark Taylor, Associate Director of Youth | Average: 100 students, Meet: Sunday 9:40 AM, occasional after church outings ; Wednesday: middle school 6:30PM and high school 7:30PM (during school year)

Central Church

Providing an opportunity for students to experience God where they are.
“The biggest goal for the youth group is that each time they (students) come in, whether that be a Sunday or Wednesday night, or even a big trip or daily event, that they simply experience God – whether it’s for the first time, second time or the thousandth time – that they connect and experience God in some fashion. We want to feed that hunger of growing closer to Him. The biggest attraction to our youth program is the intentionality behind everything that we do. At the end of the day our focus is on providing students the opportunity to encounter God – whether that is through an in-depth message or small groups, we just want to anchor everything we do on providing an opportunity for every student to experience God. I believe that most of the students understand that we have great intention behind everything we do.” – Tinsley Heston, High School Coordinator Student Minister | Average: 45-50 students Meet: Sunday 9:30-10:40am; Wednesday 6-8pm (Resumes this Fall)

Collierville Christian Church

Faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.
“We provide a safe environment. I feel like with our kids – the one thing I stress with our ministry is that it should be a place that feels like family, and you don’t have to be anyone but you. There is total acceptance. Our big thing is serving. I always tell them if you don’t go out and do some type of service within your community, then you’re not showing your faith. Serving others is how you show your faith. And the kids are great about it! It is very important for the kids to get out and have that exposure in our community. The kids really do love it. Our yearly bible verse is “James 2:17 Faith by itself if not accompanied by action is dead.” Big thing is integrating the kids throughout church. You always hear that the youth are the future of the church, but really they are the church now. We really strive to get them incorporated in every aspect of the church, whether it be in worship, choir, music, offering – we try to really integrate our kids into everything.” – Courtney Brookshire, Director of Youth Ministry | Average: 10-20 students Meet: Sunday – Sunday School 10am, Youth Group Meet – 4-5:30pm; Wednesday Dinner Recreation Night – 6-8pm

Epiphany Lutheran Church

We put our faith to work.
“Our goal is to help young people find who they are and be comfortable with it, in relation to their faith. Faith is not something you just do on a weekend, or on a Sunday morning. It’s something that we live every day. So in the Lutheran church, we put our faith to work. And that is one reason why the Garden Ministry has been so successful. Our last harvest we had 30 kids, and in two hours they did what would have taken us 40 hours to do with the few adult volunteers that we have. The kids and volunteers helped harvest and provide the Collierville Food Pantry with 5,000 lbs. of vegetables in its five years! We want to meet with the kids out in the community garden. Two eagle scouts built us a 12×14 shade structure to have picnics and youth meetings. We’re trying to be creative to meet the kids in their environment! Some of the youth might not think they would ever want to get their hands dirty in the garden, but when they see the impact of taking some tomatoes to a person who cannot afford fresh tomatoes – when they see impact of that, it can change their lives. If you can show your children how they can have an impact on improving society, it tends to stick with them. They can see it in a tangible way.” – Rev. Monica Weber  Meet: Sunday – Sunday School 11:15am (Resumes 9/17)

Collierville First Assembly of God

Our goal is to know God and make Him known, wherever we are.
“Our mission ties to equipping each generation to embrace biblical christianity. We give our youth the opportunity to build relationships and learn how to defend their faith. The youth get together during our life classes on Sunday mornings and also meet on Wednesday nights. It’s just a good time for them (students) to interact and worship together. We touch on four things while they are with us, and that is worship, fellowship, instruction and service. Our purpose for the youth ministry is to equip our youth to be empowered by God. We train them to be strong Christians that can meet the spiritual needs of their friends and our community. And our students are involved in various missions around the city, particularly Teen Challenge, a faith-based solution to the drug epidemic. Our goal is to know God and make Him known, wherever we are.” – Rev. Jason Murphy | Average: 20 students Meet: Sunday – 9:30am; Wednesday – 6:30pm

Living Hope

They are growing in the Gospel, living in community with other people, and taking that and sharing it with their friends.
“We really do believe that one thing teenagers lack in their life is a healthy relationship where they feel they can be open and honest. So, they go off to college and haven’t really wrestled with hard issues. We feel like what better place to do that than in the church. We believe that our small group leaders play a huge role in our youth ministry. We encourage them to be involved in each student’s life, to do things with the students, take them out and get to know them so they can build trust… without that trust, without that sense that our leaders really care for them (students), they aren’t going to be willing to share and be honest. So we spend a lot of time going to football practice and lacrosse practice just building those relationships so when we get to our group time, those walls are broken down so they feel like they can really share and be honest. There is a statistic that says 3 out of every 4 kids leave the faith by the time they graduate from high school. We want to shift that statistic by building authentic and lasting relationships where they are growing in the Gospel, living in community with other people and then taking that and sharing it with their friends.” – Josh Glidewell, Student Pastor | Average: 40-50 students Meet: Weekly Small Group Meetings and Monthly Worship

St. Patrick Presbyterian Church

Loving God. Loving people. Loving life.
“We have four core family values that apply to the whole church: We believe that Community is Family, Heaven is Local, Feasting is Kingdom Work and Grace is Everything. I always go back to our mission statement of loving God, loving people, loving life. We want our kids to do that. We want them to learn and grow deeper in their walk with Jesus. We really encourage them to have a servant’s heart. We want them to have a community of friends at church that they can lean on and support one another, serve together, and worship together. And we want them to love life. We want it to be fun and have joy in their walk with Christ. (To new parents) Get to know our youth leaders and let them help the kids get to know one another. And then I would just say come constantly. I always tell parents, come for three months then we can sit down together and talk and see where they are – if they feel connected and how we can help them. And if they don’t know how, we can get them plugged in another way.” – Amy Henson, Ministry Coordinator | Average: 60 students Meet: Sunday – Sunday school – 9:15-10:15am & Stories of Summer (during summer); Jr. High 5-6pm and Sr. High 6-8pm; Wednesday – #WinningWednesday (during summer) 6-8pm

Highpoint Church Collierville

Students in Collierville reaching Students in Collierville – that’s the dream.
“Our hope is to teach students to be the church and not just go to church. If we teach students to go to church – then we’re teaching them that church is just a program, and everybody walks away from a program eventually. The mission is to reach students that are far from God and teach them to follow Jesus everyday. What we hope to do is give every single teenager in Collierville two things – we want to give them a place to belong and give them somebody to believe in them. If we could do that for every teenager in Collierville, this community would flip upside down. The crazy thing about 2017 is that everything is so inconsistent with their (students) schedules. Our hope is to be a consistency in the life of a student. That they can count on it (CREW) every week and when they show up, we’re going to treat them like they matter to us and they matter to God. In a world full of inconsistencies, we want CREW, their small group leaders and Jesus to be their consistency. We 100% believe that if a student has a place to belong and someone to believe in them, it will radically affect their faith and their future.” – Parker Richardson, Student Ministry Director | Average: 210 students Meet: Wednesday 6:00-8:30pm

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Service is a big theme for our youth.
“We want our kids to get to know the Bible and love the Lord. Service is a big theme for our youth. We do go downtown and volunteer once a month at Calvary Soup Kitchen, serving early for breakfast and then go to Sunday School and late service together as a group. One of the things our church is also doing is working with a local group called Special Friends, working with those with disabilities, and we do activities and have a meal. It is something we recently adopted and the kids seem to really enjoy. We are also planning a day of service in Collierville towards the end of August that will be church-wide and the youth will have a big presence. It will be our first event – I’m working with Page Robbins and Bible Resource Museum on the Square and reached out to a couple other organizations to get things set up, but we’re just going to do service on a Saturday as a whole church group. It’s just another way to teach our youth the importance of serving and giving back to the community.” – Julie Youngson, Youth Minister | Average: 10-12 students, Meet: Sunday – 9:30am; Wednesday Bible Study – 6-7pm (during school year)