The Missouri Conference Next Generation Ministries staff supports local churches in the areas of children, youthage, college-age and camping ministries in making the youngest disciples in our church. They have been in a season of evaluation and listening to leaders of these programs over the last several months and are excited about what is to come. Associate Director Rev. Mona Candea reported on the activities of the past year.
The Safe Gatherings program enters its final months of its transition phase with a total of 5,864 lay volunteer certifications, 575 clergy certifications for a combined total of 6,459 certifications. 345 churches out of 746 churches have set up accounts set up with Safe Gatherings.
2022 saw the return of many great programs for NextGen Ministries. Although there were still challenges resulting from COVID, through day camps, NextGen Ministries was able to reach 23 churches and 1,878 campers. Through traditional overnight camps and mission trips they were able to reach an additional 857 campers.
$287,670 was granted to 10 college ministries.
On July 17-21 the NextGen Ministries will be holding a new summer conference called UNITE for middle and high school students at Central Methodist University. As of mid-April, there are over 400 registrations for this week-long event. The event aims to INSPIRE students to unite through worship and mission, CREATE opportunities for students to use their voices, ENCOURAGE students to be Kin(g)dom workers in their local communities, and EQUIP a generation of young people to share the love of Jesus for the transformation of the world.
Through powerful speakers, high energy worship, small group time and of course plenty of fun this event is packed to make a lasting impression in the lives of our youth. Save the dates for UNITE 2024 July 22-26 at CMU.
In January the ministry area launched a pilot group for NextGen Leaders Academy. NGLA aims to train new and existing youth and children’s leaders across the state by giving them the tools they need to grow and succeed while creating a continuing support system for their ministries. There are currently 18 individuals taking part in this six-month program that culminated in June. Year two begins January 2024.