Unity Starts with Two
By Donat Samuel Gyurko
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18,19-20
As two young pastors on probation, Bence Vingh and I worked together in ministry in the youth department of the UMC Hungary. In September 2013, we traveled to Stuttgart, Germany to participate in the yearly EMYC (European Methodist Youth and Children) Council meeting. During this trip the ice somehow broke—we became true friends and not just collegues any more.
During the days we spent together, we realized that we have the same vision from God in our hearts. We have seen a need among our Methodist youth in Hungary. A longing for more than just participating in youth programs—it is the need to learn and serve together and live out our calling as disciples of Christ.
At the EMYC meeting, we saw youth and youth worker training programs from other Methodist youth departments all over Europe. As we watched closely, we both understood what God wants us to do. We decided to learn from the others, be united, and come up with our own program. As we shared with each other, we realized that our common goal is really about making disciples of Jesus Christ to change the world. We decided to unite in prayer and acts for this kind of ministry.
After we agreed in prayer, our vision developed with haste. We envisioned a training program for a small group (maximum 12 participants) that would teach young people in spiritual, intellectual, and practical ways to live out their call as disciples of Jesus.
This program was to be implemented in 4 different Hungarian congregations for 4 weekends during the school year. We intended it to be a well-balanced training with Bible study, praise and worship, lectures and workshops on self-awareness, leadership, social skills and organizing skills. We also intended for them to participate in the mission of local churches—particularly those ministries for the homeless, for the Roma(gypsy) people and youth-ministry.
The problem was that we had a vision but no resources. Every time we discussed it, we prayed united. We presented our training program in the next annual conference. Thankfully, the whole conference supported our vision. They decided to support our program financially. We got the resources we needed from God!
Three years have passed now. The two of us who united in vision and prayer, have expanded and grown. Twelve teens participated in our first MIX (Hungarian Methodist Youth Communities) Youth Training program, and we formed a disciple community. Last year, these twelve young people became the heart of our youth work: organizing programs, leading groups, and participating in all of the ministries of the Hungarian UMC.
The second turn started this October with 10 new trainees. We are grateful and excited for what is to come. God calls us to unite in our vision and prayer. And when we do, something great happens.
Donat Samuel Gyurko is a pastor on probation at Szekszard United Methodist Church in Hungary. He is also a member of the Division on Ministries with Young People as the Adult Worker representative of the Central and Southern Europe Central Conference.