Young Adult Ministry
Hi folks, I lead a young adult ministry at my church that meets every Friday Night. I just wrote the following "agreements" that I would like to add to the meetings as a group reading before the meeting starts. What do you think?
Thanks for your input!
Fuel is the Young Adult Ministry of MCC Austin. We have been created as a ministry for young adults to be led by young adults. Our goals are to help each other:
Create powerful, life-long friendships
Love & enjoy our lives
Please join us in reading our Agreements:
We know that MCC Austin is a “Caring, Inclusive & Progressive” Christian church and we agree to honor the same values:
o Caring—By knowing God’s love for us, we can show it to others. We show this love to each other by being understanding of our differences, compassionate of our individual challenges and by encouraging each other as we become who God is calling us to be. In all that we do, will honor God’s love for ourselves and each other.
o Inclusive—We know that the message of God’s love is for everyone, without exception. We strive to be committed to being inclusive by welcoming everyone: lesbian, gay, bisexual, straight, transgendered & those who are questioning. We value & honor the contributions of both women and men, in our faith history and here in our church and in Fuel. We acknowledge that in the same way nothing separates us from God, nothing will separate us from each other: Not race, color, faith background, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, finances, disabilities, health, etc.
o Progressive—We know that fundamentalist and extremist theology has been the source of great injustice in our lives and throughout Christian history. As a Progressive Christian church and ministry, we welcome the opportunity to investigate our beliefs and the beliefs of others & discover new answers about what it means to love God and to be a modern day Christian in today’s world. We place a high value on the uniqueness and the variety of our individual faith backgrounds and we know it is more important for us to be together and love each other than it is for us to be the same.
This is great! I think it's great that you want to keep these qualities at the forefront of everyone's mind each time you meet.
My only recommendation, would be to use short, punchy definitions for each characteristic. For example: Caring (or Compassionate) We will honor God's love for ourselves and each other in all that we do. (Keep it in the active voice)
The reason I make this recommendation is that if it's easier to memorize, they'll take it with them and it will be brought to mind often.
On another topic, the 3 qualities you want in your group provide a great outline that you could use for a discussion group or bible study...just a thought.
Great job! I wish my youth group had this kind of leadership and direction when I was there! Good luck...keep us posted!
Ideas for training leaders in our young adult ministry...
General Leadership Training:
-Keeping control of a meeting: (handling situations like a disruptive person, or handling people who try to dominate)
-Setting normal limits & boundaries to prevent people from trying to take all your time & energy... to prevent burnout or worse
-How to be intentional about being inclusive
-How to introduce & promote MCC's values, like Progressive Christianity & Inclusive language
Identifying Mental & Emotional Health Issues & Creating a Plan to Respond:
-Drug & Alcohol Abuse
How to support & care for people without putting yourself at risk:
-How to talk to people & encourage them without making them dependent
-Setting limits & boundaries with difficult or potentially dangerous people
-Identify how helping can sometimes be negative
more on YAM...
Greetings from beautiful Austin, Texas!
Hi everyone, My name is Nathan Black. Here's a little bio info. I'm 28 and a member of MCC Austin. I am planning to be accepted into seminary this year in order to prepare for MCC ordination. After growing up in Oklahoma and attending Oral Roberts University, I have been INCREDIBLY blessed to find MCC almost three years ago.
For income, I work in finance & investments. For fun, I love finding good restaurants, listening to live music, going out to the lake. And I'm currently learning the guitar and I love singing. I want to eventually be able to minister at other churches through teaching and music.
I'm not sure what my ordained life is going to look like... pastoring a church, being a music or young adult minister, traveling and teaching, writing books, working for/creating a nonprofit or political organization... but I know that God has a call on my life and I want to prepare for whatever God has in store.
I write a lot in my blog about what I'm up to in life... http://blog.myspace.com/nathanatx
Ok, enough about me! I just wanted to establish some crediblity with you all. Here's what I really want to talk to you about.
In February of 2005, I started Fuel, MCC Austin's young adult ministry. http://www.geocities.com/fuelmcc or http://fuel.mccaustin.com We have over 60 young people on our email list and 10-20 come and participate each Friday night in our "Fuel Cells." This month, we are going to begin advertising for the first time, so we're expecting our numbers to jump! The fuel cells are like a cell group or bible study. We have a time of sharing, prayer, worship & teaching. Then everyone hangs out, watches movies, orders pizza, etc.
Behind the scenes, a lot of pastoral care and outreach happens. Some of the members' issues I've dealt with have been personality disorders, attempted suicide, someone testing positive, and on and on. I have two mentors/advisors who have taught me so much. I have grown INCREDIBLY through leading this ministry. And the impact in the lives of the young adults has been life-changing.
Here are some of the topics and special programs we've done: Dating with Integrity; Sexual Ethics; Forgiveness; God's Heart for You; Progressive Christianity; Ancient Church Traditions; Compassion; Resovling Conflict; Homosexuality & The Bible; Inclusive language; MCC values & beliefs; etc...
So here are my questions!
Does your church have a young adult ministry? If so, what has worked really well? What has made an impact with the young people? What challenges have you had?
How many young adults attend your church? (18-30 years old) As a percentage of the congregation? How many glbt young adults are in your community? Is there anything in place to reach out to them?
If your church doesn't have a young adult ministry yet, do you know of anyone who has a heart for young people? How many young adults attend your church regularly? As a percentage of the congregagtion?
How supportive would your church be in starting a young adult ministry?
How would this sound?
--A team of leaders & advisors from Fuel would come and do an initial training weekend with everyone at your church interested in starting this at your church.
--You would have training & leadership manuals, lesson plans, special project plans, fundraising programs, advertising & promotion programs, outreach and christian service projects.
--You'd also be able to participate in an online email/message group for continued coaching and support.
--Eventually, we could develop regional Young Adult retreats & mission trips.
This is just to test the waters, if you will. I'm already compiling a lot of this information as I might be leading a session at our conference. Right now, I'd like to know if any of this speaks to you. Do you think it would speak to the members of your church?
This is going to be an amazing year for MCC and I believe for our young adults.
Be blessed & let the love of God ignite your hearts for young people!
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