“MONEY IS NO OBJECT! Resources are UNLIMITED! What would the perfect district youth event look like?”
This is the question that over 40 youth leaders from across the district dreamed about and discussed during the Pre-Conference Networking Session last Sunday. Everything from a Christian Cruise to concerts with Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns and Skillet was presented. Divided into small groups, they were able to get to know each other, share ideas, problems, and solutions with one another. Clay Farrington got things going by having us participate in a game, (great game for youth nights); then showed us how to link the game to a wonderful devotional about being connected.
After praise and worship, we met for training led by Lane Gilbert and Vicki Mann. Nuts and Bolts of Administration, Visioning and Personal Spiritual Growth were the main topics. Some great handouts and freebie “take homes” were available. Clay brought up a DVD of an incredible youth summer program called “TRIBES” that was given away as a door prize. One of the best parts of the meeting was the question answer time. How do you encourage the youth to attend Sunday School? Is there really a way to get the Sunday morning crowd and the Wednesday night crowd together? How do you get youth excited about worshiping with the oldest members of the church? How do you build real relationships between the oldest members and the teenagers in the congregation?
If you did not make it last Sunday, we really did miss you. Being Connectional is what the pre-session was all about. How can we, the youth leaders, staff and lay, full time and part-time, become more connected and develop community across such a large and mostly rural district? There were many great suggestions and several have already been implemented under a program call OutStretchUMC. We have a Facebook page up, OutStretchUMC, that is totally devoted to UMC youth leaders. Links are posted
to the District and Conference sites and several youth pastors have posted their youth groups and sponsored mission causes. This on line community is a place for us to help, equip and encourage each other. Several members are in need of some miscellaneous equipment and other members have a praise band and would love to come visit your youth group and lead them in worship one night. Forming a circuit of Youth Speakers was suggested where a youth leader would be ready and willing to speak to your group when you needed to miss. This is what being connectional is about; helping our brothers and sisters that share the same heart in ministry.
Our e-mail address is Outstretchumc@gmail.com, if you need more information, if you would like to address the above questions and give your input or if you just want to say hi. We would love to hear from you.
Keep in touch!
Vicki Mann, OutStretchUMC