The Teen Group at Cardinal Drive is a very active group of about 15 teens from 7th-12th grade. We have a very diverse group of teens who love sports, dance, art, poetry, music, reading, drama, and just hanging out. Our teens are from all over the Chicagoland area, stretching from Mount Prospect to Crystal Lake. They come from up to 45 minutes away to be a part of the great things happening in our Youth Group! We provide classes on Sunday morning and Wednesday night for our teens as well as a small group that we call "Nite Lite" that happens on Sunday night in the homes of people in our church. During the year we do lots of great things, and all of them work to fulfill our mission of helping teens to know Jesus and develop a maturing faith that will last a lifetime.
We do a ton of activities throughout the year; some of them happen multiple times and others only once a year. The list of activities below is not an exhaustive list but contains the highlights of our year!
Sunday nights for our Youth Group is Nite Lite! Nite Lite happens from 5pm-7pm at a home of a church family each week. During that time we have dinner together, play games, talk, hang out, and spend some time in worship and Bible study together! It is a great time to be encouraged in our faith and to be reminded that God has called us to be a light in the darkness, a night light!
Connection Point is put on by area Churches of Christ and happens about 4 times a year on Sunday afternoons. We want to provide opportunities for the youth of our congregations to meet and develop friendships with other Christians their age. We also want to give them a chance to worship together, learn together, and laugh together. There is never a cost, and you are always welcome to come and connect with us...
Our Youth Group travels to Colorado every other summer (on the off years of Honduras) to climb a mountain! This trip has been a key to our unity and spiritual growth. Wilderness Trek takes you on a 5-day hike up a 13,000 to 14,000 ft mountain. This trip is as rugged as it sounds! We hike all our food, tents, clothing, cooking supplies, and sleeping bags up the mountain and as a team summit that mountain! This is a mountain top experience in every way!
Winterfest is one of our teens' favorite trips that we do every year! It is the largest Church of Christ Youth Rally in the world and hosts about 10,000 people for the weekend. It happens every year on the 3rd weekend in February in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. At Winterfest we are challenged and inspired through the thoughtful and engaging messages and worship times. We have a lot of great group time, lots of fun, and lots of time on the road together!
From about April through November we do bonfires out on the front lawn of the church building on Wednesday nights! During these times we laugh, talk, answer ridiculous questions, pray for each other, sing and have a Bible study together! It is a great time of being together and worshiping God under the stars! It starts at 7pm and wraps up by 8pm.
This is just a small sampling of the many things that our group does throughout the year. Our aim is to create opportunities that help nurture their faith, give them the opportunity to serve, spend time in worship, and spend time enjoying being together!
Rob Carris has been working with Cardinal Dr. Church of Christ since July of 2002 as the Youth & Family Minister. He and his wife Molly serve the teens & families from 7th grade-12th grade. Rob has a B.A. in Youth & Family Ministry and graduated as top graduate in his field for 2001. Rob has a love and passion for working with teenagers. He says that he loves the openness and willingness of teens to be changed by God and be convicted by his Word. Rob is a bit of a kid himself, too!
When he's not doing Youth Ministry stuff, Rob loves doing graphic design, working on his cars, going to concerts, complaining about the Chicago Bears, and doing just about anything with his family!
Rob and his wife, Molly, are both natives of suburban Detroit and have three young children of their own.