Welcome to GraceYouth Student ministries

GRACEYOUTH is our middle school and high school student ministry. It serves local students in grades 6 through 12. My Sponsors and I would be super excited to have your student participate in the great opportunities for spiritual growth we have designed for our youth. We can’t wait to witness the awesome plan God has for your student in years to come.


My desire for our students is for them to be whole Christians. I want their faith to be a central and defining part of who they are. I believe it is important for our students to not only understand the truths they are taught but to also embrace them and make them their own. I want them to own a faith worth owning.

I hope to plant seeds of desire in them, to awaken them to a love for God and others in the hope that they will influence family and friends to fall in love with God as well.

I believe that God’s truth is always relevant and that he gave us laughter, smiles, and imaginations as tools to reveal truth to the skeptical and the broken as well as those who already believe.

I believe we can improve our communities’ understanding of who God is and what His church is to be.

I believe people’s ability to grow and path to growth will often be unique to them.

I believe faith is best nurtured through experience and discovery, not by force-feeding with a fire hose.

I believe ministry is best done out of the overflow of ones’ spiritual life; that it is difficult to teach from a dry well.  I also believe that faith and life are tied to one another in such a way that growth is at its best when people share their lives.

Proverbs 11:14 says: Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”

 The GraceYouth Staff is a team of adult Small-Group Youth Mentors (SGYMs) serving and operating under the direction and oversight of the Student Ministries Pastor (Aaron Zustiak).   The SGYM’s serve as “Life-Mentors” to their small group students.  Our TEAM aims at serving and reaching out to ALL the four-state area’s middle and high school students.

I am fortunate to work with a great group of faithful followers of Christ who love investing in the lives of our teens.  We believe that faith is something best learned in community and that God reveals His truth through each of us in different ways.  We give voice to that through our Small Group Youth Mentors or “SGYMs” (Sig-ums).

SGYMs are adult sponsors who lead our small groups, speak to the students during YouthGroup, and lead by example during worship.  They pour what God has poured into them into our teens, passing the baton of belief to the next generation.

Our Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (grades 9-12) students gather every Wednesday night from 6:15 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. where we worship, study the Bible, play super fun games, talk about our journeys with Christ, and then break out into grade and gender-specific small groups for a time of discussion.

Our program places a strong emphasis on small groups; leading students into a more intimate and committed relationship with Christ, helping them discover their spiritual gifts and how those play into their purpose in serving God’s kingdom.  We serve alongside parents to support and augment each family’s home life and are constantly trying to be a more family-nurturing youth program.



Several times a year, we cross the state line to attend youth rallies at Joplin’s Ozark Christian College. The Event, Getaway, and Deeper Life rallies each bring nearly 1,000 regional teens to the campus for worship, topical classes (such as “How to share your faith” and “Know why you believe” among others) as well as some great hang out time.

It is a great chance to strengthen friendships as well as their faith. Check occ.edu/events for more info. 

Students will also need a current GraceCommunity medical release form on file with the church to participate in any GraceCommunity trips. If you want to print one at home, click here to complete the SUMMER 2020 GraceCommunity MEDICAL RELEASE FORM. To participate in any Summer events we must have an MRF filled out for your student.

GRACEyouth Students are headed to Everton, MO this year to Maranatha Bible Camp click here for details on Maranatha

High School will attend JULY 5th-10th

Middle School will attend JULY 26th-31st

Grace Community Church (formerly Riverton Friends Church) has a great heritage, something we desire to tap into with our ministry. We want to help our students develop both roots–to give them an anchor for the challenges they will surely face–and wings–so that they will find God’s unique calling for their life and fulfill it.

Our goal is for this ministry to be a healthy supplement to how you are already teaching your kids to grow. We love you and look forward to walking alongside you and your family in this awesome journey God has before us.

May God grant us each the wisdom, the perseverance, the creativity, and the grace to succeed! 

-Aaron Zustiak

Associate Pastor

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