A dozen laity and clergy gathered in Keokuk earlier this month to discuss techniques for developing youth ministry through their local churches. Nate Mason, the Leadership Development Minister for Young Adult and Generational Ministries for the Iowa Annual Conference, guided the conversation.
His work, which is supported by apportionment gifts from United Methodist congregations throughout the state, is to be a roving listener to discover where ministries are connecting to young people and discipling them to Jesus Christ. As a result, Nate has many opportunities for networking the people and ministries he visits with one another.
One of the ideas he shared in the workshop was abbreviated as 54321. Five unrelated adults are invited to serve as mentors for each young person in the church. Each month they commit to writing three handwritten notes of encouragement, initiating two conversations or phone calls, and finding face time with the young person outside of church activities at least once.
This approach emphasizes the need for adults to develop relationships with young people to help them grow in their faith. If you would like to explore these ideas in further depth, contact Nate by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 515.745.0108.