“When I served as a missionary at the Robeson County Church and Community Center,” says NC Conference Outreach Team Coordinator, Steve Taylor, “it was one of my true blessings to partner with dozens of youth and adult work teams in the Center’s housing ministry. I was always amazed at the passion and energy of the youth and young adults as they ministered to poor people in Robeson County who often had few options and little voice. The young people’s willingness to engage the ‘hard spaces’ of ministry was a vital witness to Jesus who always goes to, enters in, and calls us to be with those whom he calls ‘the least of these.’ And I was always reminded that these young folks are some of the best of who we are as United Methodists.”
There are so many opportunities for young people in our United Methodist Church. It is simply a story we must tell and make available. Young adults have long-term opportunities to serve in ministries of love and justice that fully reflect a deeper call to Christian living. To name a few:
The Mission Intern Program is a missionary ministry designed to place young adults in a cultural setting different from their own. The three year ministry allows the participants to spend half their time outside of the United States and half of their time in cross-cultural settings inside the U.S. It is a ministry designed to allow young adults to live out a radical expression of servanthood, justice, and walking inside the life of Jesus.
US-2 Ministry Program provides a missionary opportunity for young adults to serve in cross-cultural experiences in ministries of service and justice within the bounds of the United States. Participants work in a myriad of different settings, living out a witness of love and advocacy in the name of Christ. Young adults spend two years in ministry at their placement sites engaged in work that is transformational for the community and for the participant. They live out the witness and incarnational presence of Jesus.
You can read more about these opportunities of missionary service as young adults tell their own missionary stories of life and hope and wonder.
Of course, there are many other opportunities for youth and young people. In short-term mission programs, like Global Justice Volunteers, young people in mission make a difference. Whether participating in a program to raise awareness of social issues, networking with others around the world, volunteering in a clinic, or dedicating their lives to long-term missionary service, young people transform their communities.
And not to forget, UMVIM and other volunteer opportunities through our local congregations.
So … Go for it! Be Mission!