Working Together: Building Ecumenical Relationships in Youth Ministry
On a recent trip to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, I had the privilege of dining with a group of area Youth Pastors and Youth Directors. Around our table were representatives from four Christian church denominations and organizations. Every person had a heart for youth ministry and finding ways to support each other’s ministries, as well as the students they all serve. I was amazed at the way these fine folks worked together across denominational lines to represent Christ to the youth in Beaver Dam and the surrounding communities. These energetic and amazing folks partner together a few times a year for larger scale programs and get the whole community involved. Pretty amazing to hear about the adventures they’ve had together and watch their wheels spinning new ideas for future events.
And speaking of wheels spinning, mine haven’t stopped since! I love the idea of working youth and family ministry together in partnership with other churches. Plugging into the vast amount of resources and talent that is in God’s kingdom can benefit everyone and the entire community. Getting started from scratch takes time, effort, legwork, and a lot of phone calls – but the end result can be amazing when we focus on Christ and leave the denominational lines behind. In my church we have partnered with other denominations for Vacation Bible School, and that has always worked to our mutual advantage to share costs, decorations, etc. How much more could we do if we joined Youth Groups, or planned larger community youth events together? The sky is the limit here friends!
In this “Working Together” series, we will be further exploring the nuts and bolts about creating partnerships that will bless you as well as your youth ministry. Whet your appetite here with this link to a great story about Ecumenical Youth Ministry from the ELCA.org. If you have stories to share about how your church has partnered with others in your community, I would love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com.
Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! My name is Joanne, and I am a Jesus-girl, wife, mother, and college student living out my ministry calling in Northeastern Ohio. I am passionate about helping people and equipping them to know and serve the Lord. One way I am living out my calling is by leading parents into an understanding that they are the main disciple makers of their children – and that the church is here to assist them with that goal. I am on staff at Parma Evangelical Lutheran Church in Parma, OH where I serve as Director of Education & Family Ministries. I also attend Indiana Wesleyan University where I study the Bible and communications. I am blessed and privileged to be working with some of the most awesome people in God’s Kingdom. Most recently my passion for helping others has been realized in sharing resources and facilitating connections between other workers in Youth Ministry. And I am doing just that right here; as a volunteer for Called To Youth Ministry.