Conference Call with Kenda Creasy Dean | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
February 2011

Conference Call with Kenda Creasy Dean

By Carl Gladstone (NCJ & NEJ)
Along with planning for this weekend's "Youthstrike for Christ" in Iowa, I had the opportunity this week to engage in a conference call with Kenda Creasy Dean and some of the Campus Ministries personell from Michigan. This was a great opportunity to ask questions of Kenda about our "almost Christian" youth and how that effects young adult ministries on campus and beyond. One of the key moments of the call came when Kenda described our Wesleyan heritage as that which pushes us to ministries that engage young people who see themselves as "beyond the church." Although she said she'd deny ever saying it, Kenda asked, isn't our history, and that of the Wesley's, one of going out to the barbarians and inviting them into the narrative of the Gospel? In other words, what have our campus ministries lost if they are basically landing places for young people who already claim United Methodism and Christianity as a part of their lives. Isn't our call to bring the message of the Gospel out to the fields and factories, campus squares and colleges? So I head off to a youth rally this weekend - and I'm really looking forward to it! I also hope that all the energy that we put into youth ministries gathering the youth inside our churches, gets translated into young adult ministries engaging young people who find themselves increasingly outside our church structures, programs, and communities. Thanks for the insight Kenda!