The heartbeat of TFC is the weekly connection meeting. In locations where TFC provides community youth groups, connection meetings are held weekly and are designed to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of teenagers. Teens are taught the Word of God with the purpose of building a biblical foundation, igniting a passion for the Gospel, and developing the ability to share that message with others as disciple-makers.
Our desire to see teenagers develop a heart for missions was the main force behind the development of mission trip opportunities over 30 years ago. These trips are designed to pull teens out of their comfort zone as they learn to see the needs of others through the lens of the Word of God. With an emphasis on prayer, personal devotions, and an “I’d be glad to” attitude, teens are challenged to see the world through the eyes of Jesus while serving as his hands and feet. Every year we offer several trips and each one is designed for a different level of spiritual maturity with a specific goal of moving students to the next level in the disciple-making process.
After attending large youth camps in the Kansas City area for several years in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the ministry leadership decided to begin designing their own camp experience locally in Southern Nebraska. TFC Camp happens over a two-week period each summer at the Camp Joy campground east of Alma, NE. During wild and wacky games, water fun and special events the teenagers develop long-term friendships with other area teens. Spiritual growth occurs through devotions, seminars and messages which encourage campers to take the next step in growing in their relationship with Jesus Christ. TFC Camp provides solid opportunities for teens to grow in the disciple-making process as they are integrated into student leadership positions through a variety of intentional leadership development steps.
In 2014 TFC developed this mission trip opportunity in response to the need for short local mission trip experiences. These trips focus on serving rural communities in our area for 2 to 3 days and they provide excellent faith building opportunities for teenagers and the adults who lead them. The trips are designed around the acrostic Surrender, Pray, Look, Ask, and Serve Happily – which is also the structure for these trips. We gather as a team to surrender our lives to God for his use and then we travel to a local community where we pray and begin looking for opportunities to serve as the Lord leads us to projects or people who need a helping hand.
TFC provides opportunities to gain hands on experience in rural youth ministry through one of three internship programs. Each of these internship opportunities are designed around a specific “season” of the ministry of TFC and youth ministry as a whole. Whether you are looking to experience the development and production of summer camp, all aspects of summer ministry within TFC (Mission Trips, SPLASH Trips, TFC Camp), or a full year in the trenches of weekly meetings, special events and summer ministry, TFC has a spot for you to grow your faith, develop skills and abilities, and serve the Lord in the context of rural youth ministry and disciple-making.
Understanding that growing as a disciple is a process, through the years TFC has supplemented what was taught in weekly meetings with a variety of training and/or refreshing “getaway” opportunities. Whether through large conferences or ministry specific student leadership training events, teens have the chance to step away from the everyday routine in order to dig deeper in their walk with Christ and grow in their leadership skills. Through events like 180 Encounters, all-nighters and concerts, teens also have the opportunity to gather with friends from across our ministry area and enjoy extended time to fellowship with one another while growing deeper in their faith.
Over the course of 40 years of ministry many teens have made their way through the “halls” of TFC Connection. As a ministry we have recognized the need to stay connected with former students to encourage them to continue growing in their faith and provide them with opportunities to serve. These opportunities include anniversary celebrations, campus/city gatherings and mission opportunities. Through these activities we hope to reconnect TFC alumni with one another as they continue to grow as disciple-makers and serve in their local churches and communities.
As a ministry we felt God calling us to begin investing in people who were wanting to work with youth in rural communities in this region so we created a structure for youth groups to be associated with TFC through something called “Associate Groups”. Associate groups have access to TFC resources and coaching from TFC staff members. As a ministry we have over 200 years of combined ministry experience among the staff and we want to share that experience with others. Associate groups can decide to become a full TFC group after one year of being an associate group and then they will receive added benefits including coverage under the corporate insurance policy and a 15 passenger van if one is available.
As a staff we have members who have been a part of the ministry for only a few years but some have been on staff for well over 30 years. As a group, the staff at TFC has around 200 years of combined ministry experience and we would like to share some of that experience with others who are working with youth. Several of the TFC staff members are certified life coaches as well. Coaching is a part of our staff culture and interns receive a significant amount of coaching but we also offer coaching to people outside of TFC including volunteer and paid youth workers.
Within the ministry of TFC there are several opportunities for volunteers to be involved in ministry with teenagers. The weekly meetings are one of the main opportunities for volunteers to join in with the ministry of TFC but we also provide other opportunities for people to join us in ministry with teenagers on mission trips and at TFC Camp. We appreciate all of our volunteers and our desire is that they grow in their faith along with the teenagers they are investing in.