3911 Sweet Air Road Phoenix, MD 21131

Children + Youth

A United Crib to College Plan

Young Discipleship Ministries form a cohesive crib to college ministry plan to provide developmentally-appropriate learning, worship, service, and fun at all ages.  At each level, topics and themes connect to themes in worship so that, with resources provided to parents, families are set up to continue faith conversations and engage with faith practices outside of Sunday mornings.

Birth – 2 Years

Splash Nursery Ministry

Sundays, 9:38am -12:30pm
Nursery care every Sunday during 9:38 and 11:08 worship.

Baptism Workshops
Baptism prep gatherings create a space for new and expecting parents to talk about the realities of family life with babies, the need for self-care, and the role of faith as they prepare for their child’s baptism.

Splash also includes parent self-care events, family faith mentorship, and more!

PreK – 3rd Grade


Sundays, 9:38am
Voyagers starts downstairs in the Children’s Theater every Sunday except the last of the month! After some music and an opening, children break out into age groups for teaching and activities that connect to the topics in worship.

First Communion

Parents and children meet to discuss what a sacrament is and how God is present and known through communion. This gathering is followed by the celebration of first communion in worship.

Voyagers also includes family fun events throughout the year,
opportunities for parents to connect for support, and more!

4th – 6th Grades


Sundays, 9:38am
Sunday morning Pier456 includes time for group games and exploration of faith themes. Teaching times are kept short to allow time for discussion.
Check your children in on Sundays downstairs.

Entry into Middle School

Students and parents gather in the summer before 6th grade to talk about new expectations, pressures, and opportunities as they move into middle school.

Pier 456 also includes local mission projects, opportunities for parents to connect for support, and more!

7th – 8th Grades

Head to Heart

Tuesdays, 6:30pm
Head to Heart gives an overview of the basics of Christian faith and living in ways that engage and are relevant to middle schoolers. The core of the ministry is the small groups where youth can build a supportive community of faith and ask questions.

First Mission Trip
A 5-day mission trip close to home that gives students a wide variety of service opportunities so that they can start to discover the areas of service in which they are passionate.

Confirmation Sunday
A celebration in worship that closes a students’s time in confirmation
ministry as they publicly affirm their growing faith.

Head to Heart also includes retreats, activity nights, summer day trips, opportunities for parents to connect for support, and more!

9th – 12th Grades


Thursdays, 7:37pm
Oasis creates a space for high schoolers to have fun and explore topics of how faith plays a role in everyday life. Focus is placed on creating space for teens to feel safe to share while also challenging them to thinking deeply about faith.

Oasis Core Groups

Thursdays, 6:15pm
Core Groups are high school small groups that allow high schoolers to build a supportive faith community as well as dive deeper into the stories and themes from worship.

A two-part milestone where seniors celebrate with their leaders and peers at a banquet to celebrate their time as a part of Oasis and then are
commissioned on Sunday in worship.

Oasis also includes small groups, leadership teams, retreats, mission trips, summer day trips, opportunities for parents to connect for support, and more!

8 Things to Expect from Young Discipleship Ministries


Safe Environments: As a parent, there is nothing more comforting than knowing you are dropping off your child into a safe environment. Here at St. John’s, all of our leaders have gone through background screening and child protection training. Plus, our secure, digital check in system for children’s ministry makes sure that children are kept safe while in our ministries.


Engaging Spaces: Our spaces aren’t just safe, they’re cool. From our comfortable, cozy youth center for Oasis to the arcade-style air hockey table at Pier 456 to the light show in the new Children’s Theater, we hope our rooms are the kind of spaces that your teenagers and children love to be in. Over the summer, we’ve renovated many of ministry spaces with the specific goal of creating inviting environments for your kids.


Worship for All, Regardless of Age: Worship is not just something that happens in the Worship Center! From crib to college, our ministries teach young people how they can worship God in all sorts of ways. When they’re in worship, all of the children of God, young and old, will be invited to experience God and understand God’s story in new ways through the Closer Look.


Familiar Faces: We are committed to having a rotation of familiar volunteers to help your teens and children feel comfortable. We want our team of volunteers to know your kids’ names and greet them at the door when they arrive.


Take-Home Elements: Every week, young people of all ages will be leaving ministry events with a craft, new song, skill or question that requires more thought that will help them to both remember and tell the story.


Service to Others: From a developmental standpoint, it can be difficult for young people to understand what real-life Christian love and service are all about. Our ministries offer opportunities that help them to lay the framework for looking outside themselves to help others.


A Seamless Transition Between Age Groups: Every transition between the different ministries will flow in a way that helps young people to grow spiritually and be excited about the next step in their journey. Ministry themes will build on each other so that as children and teens develop, the way they see God, faith and the world develops with them. All of our ministries point toward the same mission: welcoming all, telling the story, and growing as disciples.


Communication: You can count on consistent communication from leaders about what your kids are doing, what they’re learning, and how your family can be involved. Too often, children’s and youth ministry can feel disconnected from the rest of the church. Our goal is to deeply connect the ministries of Young Discipleship with the wider church and with your family’s life.