I’m thankful for your interest in the Sylvania Church Student Ministry in Tyler TX. Below you’ll find the answers to several of our most frequently asked questions. Enjoy your reading and let me know if I can serve you in any way!
1) “Why is it called the Oasis Student Ministry?”
The Tyler TX student ministry at Sylvania Church is called “The Oasis” because it aims to serve as a “refuge” or “place of rest” for God’s people. Our prayer is that our students and leaders will find their rest in the Lord Jesus as we worship Him in our hearts based on the truth of who He has revealed Himself to be in creation and in His Word.
2) “What does the Oasis Student Ministry believe?”
For a more detailed explanation of what the Oasis Student Ministry believes, check out What We Believe. The core beliefs of the Sylvania Church student ministry in Tyler TX may be best summarized in the following: “According to the divinely inspired, perfectly inerrant, and completely authoritative Word of God, the Bible, God has chosen to reconcile sinners to Himself by grace alone through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Therefore, the Oasis believes that God alone deserves all glory and honor and praise forever and we believe our lives should and must be spent delighting ourselves in Him and reflecting back to Him and to the rest of the world the beauty and greatness of who He is.”
3) “What’s the aim of the Oasis Student Ministry and how is it accomplished?”
Check out the Oasis Purpose and Philosophy page.
4) “How can I be part of what the Oasis is doing outside of the weekly meetings?”
The Oasis Student Ministry calendar can be seen by logging into the “Members” section via the navigation menu above. Once logged in, you should see “Oasis (JH & HS)” under “Groups” on the right side of the page. Click it for access to everything that’s going in the Oasis Student Ministry. If you’re all ready in the Membership database and a part of the Oasis Student Ministry group within the database, then you should all ready be receiving email updates. If not, you can sign-up here.
5) “What is the role of parents in the discipleship of their children?”
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deut. 6:4-9, ESV; see also Deut. 11:18-21, Deut. 4:9-10, Joshua 4:19-24)
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov. 22:6, ESV)
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4, ESV)
These passages contain at least the following implications for parents:
a) Dads and moms should be devoted to the Bible.
The simple truth is that you cannot give away what you do not possess. If you have no love for God or His Word, then you will never be able to give it away. That’s why the beginning of God’s address to the Israelites through Moses in Deut. 6 addresses what God requires of parents, namely, they love God with their whole heart, soul, and strength and that God’s words be treasured in their hearts.
b) Dads and moms should be teaching the Bible to their children at home.
This is the inescapable requirement of these passages. Parents, and fathers in particular, are required to teach God’s Word to their children.
c) Dads and moms should know what their children are being taught at church.
Parents are responsible to make sure their children are trained up in biblically sound, Christ-exalting teaching. This undoubtedly includes what they are taught at church, which includes the student ministry. I’ve had numerous lengthy conversations with parents concerning who teaches in the Oasis, what those people teach, how they teach what they teach, etc. Following such conversations, parents often apologize for taking so much of time, which is ironic because those are some of my favorite conversations to have. In fact, not only am I not bothered when parents engage with me in such conversations, I am concerned when parents don’t engage in with me in these conversations. On this note, you can listen to the most recent Oasis Student Ministry sermon by clicking the orange “Play” button in the top right corner of this page. Additionally, you can read through my personal blog for insight into what I believe.
Though these are the clear implications from the passage, they don’t always feel so basic. To the contrary, they often feel overwhelming. The truth is that many parents are terrified at the thought of providing spiritual leadership to their homes. They feel inadequate, irrelevant, exhausted, and/or too busy to spiritually mentor their children.
In light of this, the goal of the Oasis Student Ministry is not to replace, but to assist parents in the fulfillment of their God-given responsibilities. We want to equip parents with whatever answers, resources, prayer, encouragement, and love they may need along the way. As the student minister, I want to know how I can help you succeed in training up your child in the way he/she should go so that he/she will grow to know and love and delight in Christ both here and forever!
6) “How can parents be part of what is going on in the Oasis Student Ministry?”
Because we believe the home is the primary context for the discipleship of children, almost every event we host outside of the weekly meetings are family events. This means that families aren’t merely invited to most Oasis events, but are actually requested at them. These events not only enable parents to learn more about what their children are exposed to at church, but also to fellowship with their children and develop/deepen relationships with other parents who are in similar stages of life. I can’t encourage parents enough to take advantage of these times.
In addition, there are almost always opportunities to serve in the Oasis, so please contact me by phone at (903) 592-1591 or by email if you’re interested. These including teaching, mentoring, praying, planning, and hosting events, etc. Thanks again for your interest and I hope to hear from you soon!
How Can We Help?
If you have any questions or if I can serve you in any way, feel free to contact me (Chad Barnes) by phone @ (903) 592-1591 or by email at [email protected]. I hope to see you here!