Young People’s Ministries was created to connect young people and those in ministries with young people to each other, to the church, and to God.
The purpose of Young People’s Ministries is to empower young people as world-changing disciples of Jesus Christ, to nurture faith development, and to equip young leaders by:
- developing youth/young adult spiritual leaders of local congregations to transform lives by making disciples of Jesus Christ;
- challenging The United Methodist Church to embrace, confirm, and celebrate God’s call on the lives of young people;
- cultivating and nurturing life-giving ministries where influence and worth are not limited by age or experience;
- advocating for the issues and concerns of young people in the church and the global community;
- empowering young people to work as agents of peace, justice, and mercy; and
- building a network of support and providing resources that connect the diverse experiences of youth and young adults in local ministries and communities across the globe.
Fifteen youth and young adult ministry professionals staff Young People’s Ministries. Additionally, forty-four youth, young adults, and adult workers with young people from around the world serve as the Division on Ministries with Young People. Young People’s Ministries “has the authority to determine and interpret program directions that support its mandate.”
Why a “division” of an established general agency?
The Shared Mission Focus on Young People, an organization of youth, young adults, and workers with young people from around the world, considered several structures of the denomination in preparing their legislation. Becoming a division of the General Board of Discipleship was most desired because the mission of the division and the mission of the board most aligned: to nurture, develop, and shape disciples of Jesus Christ. As a division of the agency, the organization can work closely with other divisions in the agency as well as with the other 12 boards and agencies of the denomination.
How Will the Division Organize for Ministry?
The work of the division is structured through three networks (youth, young adult, and adult workers), and a number of table groups formed around the needs, hopes, and dreams of the division members. The networks focus on issues related specifically to ministry dreams and challenges faced by youth, young adults, and adult workers. Each table will include members from each network, Young People’s Ministries staff, and agency resource people allowing for broad input and strong participation of all throughout the division’s work. In addition, time is spent in regional groups and sharing with the entire group so that all are familiar with what is happening with young people’s ministries throughout the connection.