Means of Grace: Youth Perspectives on Faith, Technology and Community During a Pandemic


Youth Perspectives on Faith, Technology, and Community During a Pandemic - Episode No. 41

In this episode, Melissa McGill and Jeremy Coffey check in with the 11th grade youth small group they co-lead at Myers Park UMC. Four youth – Hayden, Nathan, Lucy and Bobby – share their thoughts on how faith, community and technology intersect for teens during the pandemic. We’ve pivoted in all areas of Church life this year – here’s what it looks like for this high school small group and how their Church continues to play an important role in their lives.

Show Notes - Episode No. 41

For more conversations geared toward parents of children and youth, check out Beyond Baptism, the new Myers Park UMC podcast featuring Rev. Taylor Pryde Barefoot, and Children and Youth Directors, Amy Jo Alspaugh and Jason Rhymer.
Find Beyond Baptism on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts!

Interested in having a conversation like this with the teenagers in your church? Here are the questions we used to guide this conversation.
How would you describe our small group (or youth group) pre-pandemic?
What was the most challenging part of meeting virtually for you?
What do you think are the differences between community online and community in person?
How is the pandemic affecting your faith?
What advice do you have for teens your age who might be struggling right now? How are you coping?
What advice do you have for adults who want to support teenagers?
What do you hope the Church learns from this?  
What are you grateful for? Have you gained anything during this time?
What is something that you’re looking forward to?

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

Design Thinking

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

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


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


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.