You are an awesome youth worker and you are making your summer calendar for 2019. Ok, thinking about 2019 might be giving you a panic attack based on all that went down this summer. Either way, we are going to help you impress your leadership because next summer you alredy have the main event planned: Youth 2019. It’s July 10-14. Why in the world should a trip to Kansas City in July be on your radar?
When you’re a part of a United Methodist Congregation, you are part of a connectional system that can unite to do incredible things! One of those things that happens every four years is the National YOUTH event for every United Methodist Youth. If you lead a youth ministry, it is worth attending. YOUTH 2019 is crafted to be theologically Wesleyan, astoundingly relevant, and connectional to the core. What about your students who aren’t necessarily UMC? All are welcome at YOUTH 2019, connected to a UMC or not.
What are the wins and challenges that come with putting this on your ministry calendar for the summer of 2019? Let’s start with the wins. These will help you sell the idea to your church and get your youth excited.
- Your youth get to discover their connection to a broader church, and to other youth with active faith lives in the UMC. The Young People’s Ministries unit of Discipleship Ministries is committed to creating the highest-quality event possible.
- Celebrate the diversity of the UMC, with the presence of each ethnic caucus and intentional work from our design team, we rep the big tent of the UMC in person
- National-level speakers and worship artists, on a big stage, in the Kansas City Municipal Auditorium. This 10,000 seat arena will rock with worship every night!
- You get to participate as much as the kids. There are workshops and development opportunities for adults as well as youth. Prayer space from the Upper Room, workshops from General Agencies and other real-life youth and youth ministers will be of the highest quality.
- Deepen connections within your group with travel time, intentional devotions, and fun in Kansas City.
- Service opportunities are rolled in to the programming. We’re partnering with local service organizations to support their good work. Your youth can put their hands and hearts to good work.
- Chances to create Holy Mischief while at the event using excellent guidance from our Design Team
- Call opportunities abound! It is amazing how many stories from past youth events feature a reaffirmation or crystallization of a call into ministry.
- It’s a time for togetherness after the General Conference in February of 2019. Some folks haven’t talked about the special Called General Conference with their youth, but it is happening in February. YOUTH 2019 is the first national-level event to take place after that gathering, and we are intentionally creating a space to celebrate the things that unite us. Youth have often valued being together, and know better than adults at times, that different does not have to mean divided!
- Kansas City is a friendly, safe downtown environment with plenty to see, do, and eat! Hotels are all walking distance to the Kansas City Convention Center and Municipal Auditorium, so once you’re in town we’re just talking about walking, no cars needed!
Now to the challenges. As with everything you do there are a couple of things you are going to have to think through in order to make this a reality. Here they are:
- Yeah, it’s a 4-day event in Kansas City, so it means travel and sure, some cost. You can build community by fundraising and making this a shared experience. Think of YOUTH 2019 as an investment in the spiritual growth of your youth. Maybe there are other churches from your area interested in going?
- It only happens every four years, so it goes at the same time as normally scheduled summer stuff. Yes, sometimes there are choices to be made. Camps, service or mission trips, choir tours, VBS volunteering…any of the above might happen every summer in your ministry. Take time to assess the value of what your youth gain and what your church gains through what you offer in summer programming. Perhaps this national-level youth event is worth considering, especially since it only happens every four years!
And of course, there’s a video to help you spread the word:
Connect with the YOUTH event @YOUTH 2019 on all major social media platforms or our website youth2019.com