If you are not aware, in April 2021 our Youth and ten adult volunteers participated in a program provided by the Perkins School of Youth Ministry entitled “Reboot.” It was a program directed to getting Youth connected into the church not only presently, but to keep them connected through adulthood. While doing the Reboot sessions, it helped us as a group to understand what our Youth want in their ministry programs, what they need in the program, and most importantly how they had a need and desire to be included and connected in our church.
It started out with them expressing they want more youth participating in their Youth Program and lots of fellowship projects, but it grew from there with them sharing what they truly wanted and needed. They wanted to be participants in making decisions about our church. They wanted to be communicated to about church happenings. They wanted and needed to play an active role in worship services. They wanted and needed to be more involved in the ownership of their Youth Ministry Program.
These wishes and needs do not happen overnight. It is a work in progress one step at a time. We have seen a couple of different Youth filling the roles of working in the Sound Booths on Sunday mornings. We see a couple of them participating in the first service Choir and sometimes in the second service Praise Band. We have a youth that has actively been putting together lessons for Youth Sunday School and the Youth Sunday Evening Program. There are plans being discussed to incorporate them more into serving in our two worship services with Scripture reading, greeting and taking up the offering, etc.
Another main point in Reboot that was pointed out was if a Youth is only connected in the Youth Program and not any other aspect of the church before they graduate, the majority of them will leave the church. Not only our church, but Christ’s church.
So that brings me to share with you the upcoming JFUMC Prayer 360 Project. I’m looking for adults to be Prayer Partners and giving them the opportunity to connect in other ways each month of the school year with the Youth of our church. Because of participation in the PSYM Reboot Program, our Youth Program received a grant to carry-out the Prayer 360 Project. I’m going to use the funds from this grant to purchase: cards, stamps, treats, and other things needed to help the adults reach out and connect with the Youth they are given to connect with. The Project will begin on August 21, 2022 and continue through May 7, 2023.
I need willing participants to sign up July 18-August 14 so I can have time to assign adults to each Youth. I am hoping that each Youth in our church will have at least four to five different adults each to connect with them. I would love for each and every adult of our church to participate if only in signing up to pray daily for one particular Youth, but the Project needs adult partners to go that extra mile each month to reach out to their assigned Youth for this project to even be more successful.
I will be placing sign-up sheets in each LIFE Group classroom, in the Narthex in the main building for first service attendees and in the Family Life Center for second service attendees. If you have any additional questions I can answer about the Prayer 360 project, please feel free to contact me by email or phone.
Thank you in advance for your prayers and participation,
Be Guinn, Youth Director