Profession of Faith, in stages...Roots, Shoots, Fruits
Roots recognizes child-like faith in Jesus Christ. It is typically for younger students (upper elementary and middle school) who, with the approval of their parents, have a desire to come to the Lord's Table. They have an understanding of their sin and recognize Jesus Christ alone as their Lord and Savior. Students meet with the Pastor, Youth Pastor, and some Ministering Elders to profess their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and express their understanding of the Lord's Table. Upon approval from the Ministering Elders, the students' commitment is acknowledged in front of the congregation, and their are invited to participate in communion with the rest of the professing members.
Shoots challenges students to make an adult-like commitment to Jesus Christ and the church. It is typically for older students (high school) who not only have an understanding of their sin and acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Savior but also have an understanding of the church confessions, what it means to be Reformed, and a desire to make a public profession of their faith in Christ. Students spend several sessions with the Pastor, Youth Pastor, and some Ministering Elders. During these sessions the students profess their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We discuss what it means to be in a relationship with Christ, how to grow and feed that relationship, and deepen their understanding of Reformed theology. Upon approval from the Ministering Elders, students profess their faith in front of the congregation and become professing members of the church. Students do not have to take Roots in order to take Shoots.
Fruits offers an opportunity for church leaders to speak face to face with students as they move from high school into young adulthood. This is typically done over breakfast on a Sunday morning at the end of senior year. Leaders take this opportunity to gain an understanding of students' faith journey and how to continue to pray for them and help them grow. This time is also used to talk about church membership and the importance of bearing fruit within the church community as they move on to college or work.