Tough Lessons | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
August 2012

Tough Lessons

By Carl Gladstone (NCJ & NEJ)
In the past 10 years the NCJ has unfortunately had a couple of youth events planned and ready to go, only to have very limited to no registrations. This has caused some significant financial challenges as well as giving us a sense of anxiety over planning any events at all. I want to recognize the leaders of those events who all struggled through lots of confusion and sadness, who took responsibility and benefited from compassionate jurisdictional leadership in attending to the details of the aftermath of those moments. It is also a good moment to remember that guides and mentors are an invaluable part of young people-led ministries. The best youth group in the world will make mistakes if volunteer counselors and paid staff aren't supporting their decisions. A young adult planning group will have amazing and ground breaking ideas, but if there isn't someone to follow up on some of the practicalities and implementation of those ideas, then life and school and other agendas can quickly get in the way. The NCJ is now in need of great mentors both for our jurisdiction-wide youth and young adult ministries, but also on a one to one basis. If you or someone you know has some great wisdom to share and some honest guidance to offer, please visit GLOBALYOUNGPEOPLE.ORG/FIELDGUIDE to join a new effort to create a database of ministry leaders with something to share. Even when we stumble, God is there to pick us up. Thanks for all your attempts at deep discipleship with young people in the Midwest, and I'm praying for our capacity to move on toward perfection! Sincerely, Carl Gladstone YPM Regional Staff - NCJ Area