IDK Reaches Out to 45 Youth Who Have Felt the Call to Ministry
By Jim Parsons
IDK is a day long event for youth (6th
Grades) who feel they may be called into some sort of ministry. This year the Western North Carolina Conference held two events. One was in the Uwharrie District at Pfeiffer University. The other was in the Catawba Valley District at Denver UMC.
Together 45 youth attended these events and during the day, the youth heard numerous call stories of people who are doing all sorts of ministry right there in their district. Throughout the day they also learned what calling and vocation are, did a Spiritual Gifts Inventory to learn their own gifts and talents and participated breakout groups to go deeper into what life is like doing ministry. All while mingling and playing games with other youth who are feeling called.
Each youth brought a Lay Mentor along with them. The Lay Mentor is a person who will bridge the gap between this event and the local church. They are people in their local church who are willing to invest in the sense of calling this youth is feeling and help them explore that calling further when they get back home.
IDK Events are places where youth can start their journey. Through hearing different call stories our hope is these youth start to hear their own story within these stories. IDK is a place to recognize that God calls all types of people to all sorts of ministry. One youth from the Catawba Valley event said, “the most helpful thing at IDK was hearing the people’s stories and callings.”
“Everything is being brought together,” one youth from the Uwharrie District event said. When a youth experiences a call it can feel like they are all alone because not everyone in their youth group is wrestling with the same feelings and inklings from God. Youth can be afraid to ask questions because they don’t know whom they can actually talk too. IDK invites those one or two youth from each church that are wrestling with the idea of being called into ministry and brings them together so the youth know they are not alone.
Grow Groups are then set up for these youth to meet together throughout the year in order to keep the conversation going and to provide a safe and understanding place to continue to ask questions.
In 2014 the IDK team received a grant from the Young Clergy Initiative to expand these IDK events to all the districts of the Western North Carolina Conference. After the success of the pilot IDK’14 in the Metro District and the two IDK’15 events this year we are on our way. We already have interest from North Piedmont and Yadkin Valley to hold an IDK’16 event up there and we are hoping to possibly add another in the mountains.
God continues to call people into ministry and it is our job to help cultivate that sense of calling, especially in the youth of our conference. For more information about IDK and how you can get an IDK event in your area, please visit www.callingidk.org
or contact Rev. Jim Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Jim Parsons is the pastor at Indian Trail UMC in Indian Trail, NC
Resources for Vital Congregations
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor
GBHEM Leadership Resources
Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church
Englewood Book Review
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
Ted Talks: The Golden Circle
Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability
Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability
Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians
Be A Disciple
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network
Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations
Living As United Methodist Christians
Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials
Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today
John Wesley Sermons: Anthology
Get Their Name
Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit
Canoeing the Mountains
Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People
Community: The Structure of Belonging
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
Institute for Emerging Issues
Congregations 4 Children
The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants
The Duke Endowment
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at email@example.com.