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
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!