An effective leader will work with church and community leaders of all ages to address the needs of young adults and opportunities for growing as Christian disciples. Young-adult ministry shall be for, with, and by young adults. Young adults in the congregation and community will grow in faith as Christian disciples.
Spiritual Gifts and Qualifications Helpful for the Job
- The young-adult ministry coordinator benefits from having one or more of these spiritual gifts: servanthood, teaching, exhortation (encouragement), leadership, administration, evangelism (meeting new people), helping, and shepherding. This leader should show evidence of passion for young-adult ministry, prior effective ministry leadership, and evidence of active and growing discipleship.
- Useful skills for this position are the ability to listen to and communicate with people of all ages and the ability to work with other ministry leaders, delegate responsibility, and follow up to complete tasks.
- This leader should show genuine interest in responding to the hopes and concerns of young adults in the community.
Responsibilities of the Position
- The coordinator of young-adult ministry will be attentive to the hopes, concerns, and needs of young adults in the community to determine how the congregation might serve them and how they might serve one another as Christian disciples and good neighbors. The coordinator will identify key people in the community and congregation for collaboration and advocacy for young people’s issues.
- The coordinator needs to be familiar with the congregation’s overall goals and how they are achieved through the congregation’s ministry with young people.
- The coordinator will promote understanding of Christian vocation in daily life, building an understanding of God’s call to all Christians.
- This leader will advocate that all young people are welcome and expected to be vital participants in the congregation.
- The coordinator will work with people of all ages to plan and carry out ministry with young adults in a varied and wide-ranging program that includes worship, study, fellowship, service opportunities, and more.
- The coordinator will be informed of and follow the conference child safety/vulnerable adult policies, procedures, and requirements to be followed by the local church.
- The coordinator intentionally communicates with organizations, people, and resources in the community that relate to young adults and seeks to connect the congregation with the community.
- The coordinator will guide the work of the young-adult leadership team (if organized) throughout the year, including planning its agendas and presiding at its meetings.
- The coordinator will work with other leaders to learn about curriculum and other resources available for young adults in order to help teachers and group leaders select appropriate resources for study and growth.
- The coordinator is accountable to the charge conference through the church council.
- Become acquainted with the young adults in your community, noting the issues they face, the culture they enjoy, and the needs they have. It is not necessary to duplicate or copy other programs, but seek to identify gaps where your congregation can lead the way in making a positive difference in the lives of young adults.
- Soon after you are elected, convene the young-adult leadership team (if organized) to evaluate young-adult ministry, share hopes and concerns, and plan for your work. Or ask a group of interested young adults to help you plan. Share the ministry with others by delegating projects to people in the church or community who have passion.
- Study Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2017-2020: Ministries with Young People and Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2017-2020: Adult Ministries.
People and Agencies That Can Help
- Your pastor, other people in your congregation and community (including young adults) and district and conference leaders. As you travel, visit other congregations to observe ministries for, with, and by young adults.
- Discipleship Ministries, Division on Ministries with Young People, http://www.umcyoungpeople.org/.
- InfoServ, the information service for the church, provides current information about United Methodist resources, programs, and staff services. Email: [email protected]; Website: infoserv.umc.org.
Web and Print Resources
- 20/30: Bible Study for Young Adults. A series designed for adult learners in their 20s and 30s. Each volume connects everyday life themes to Scripture and group action. Available from Cokesbury, 1-800-672-1789, www.cokesbury.com
- After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion by Robert Wuthnow (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010)
- The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016 (The United Methodist Publishing House, 2016)
- Change the World: Rediscovering the Message and Mission of Jesus by Michael Slaughter (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2010)
- God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It by Jim Wallis (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2006)
- Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2017-2020: Adult Ministries (Cokesbury, 2016)
- Guidelines for Leading Your Congregation, 2017-2020: Ministries with Young People (Cokesbury, 2016)
- If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus by Philip Gulley (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2011)
- Interpreter, www.interpretermagazine.org
- Lasting Impressions: From Visiting to Belonging by Mark Waltz (Loveland: Group Publishing, 2009)
- Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer by Sam M. Intrator (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005)
- The Orthodox Heretic and Other Impossible Tales by Peter Rollins (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012)
- Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life by Phileena Heuertz (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2010)
- The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller (New York: Riverhead, 2009)
- Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults by Christian Smith (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)
- Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power and How They Can Be Restored by Marcus Borg (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2011)
- They Like Jesus But Not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations by Dan Kimball (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007)
- Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006)