It may sound cliché, but the youth really are the next generation of disciples. The conference wants to help churches provide meaningful experiences for growth for our young people while preparing them for life as adults and as disciples of Jesus Christ. Check this page for resources meant to help bolster youth group ministries in your local churches.
Great Plains leaders from across the connection have come together to create a free, online Confirmation resource for local church use. This resource includes 17 Confirmation lesson videos, activity suggestions, and Confirmation tips to support your local church in its Confirmation journey. This resource is intended to supplement Sparkhouse’s “colaborate: Methodist History & Doctrine” curriculum. We encourage all churches to purchase the Leader’s Guide and Student Handbooks for the most effective Confirmation experience. Please visit the Sparkhouse website to purchase the Leader’s Guide and Student Handbook.
Access this free resource by submitting a quick registration.
Materials for Youth Leaders — Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church offers lessons particularly targeted to youth-aged students. This resource provides leaders with instruction, needed materials, activities and discussion points. Some are for classroom settings. Others are for worship environments. All may be adapted to your setting and youth group size.
Small-Group Meetings Devotion Guide — Sometimes a little structure can help make a youth meeting more manageable for leaders and more meaningful for young people. This brief Small Groups devotion and conversation guide can provide some simple guidelines for icebreakers, prayer time, the introduction of scripture and an invitation to reflection, a time for gratitude and a closing.
Strengthening Youth Ministry — The Lewis Center for Christian Leadership offers up a list of 50 Ways to Strengthen Ministry with Youth. Learn some ideas about honoring the spirituality of young people, equipping parents to nurture the faith of young people, providing excellent adult leadership, and making worship meaningful for youth-aged people.
Youth Can Lead Now! — This resource guide, developed by the folks at McPherson (KS) First United Methodist Church, explores youth leadership through the eyes of Ben Wheeler, director of youth and discipleship ministries at the church, and Ashley Achilles, a summer youth intern. They share their ideas about what makes a good leader, including key traits, and they provide a framework for discussion and exploration. Scripture is woven throughout this guide, and activities direct participants into times of prayer, meditation and consideration.
Coaching — The Discipleship Ministries website has a space dedicated to young people's ministries. One section deals specifically to leadership coaching. Articles — which are added and updated regularly — provide you with insights on working with youth on social justice matters, technology, maintaining their health and more.
Grants from the Great Plains — The Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) of the Great Plains Conference of The United Methodist Church is blessed to be able to administer the Youth Service Fund (YSF). Over the years, we have funded mission work, events, training, and projects for youth and by youth. CCYM is pleased to offer two grant opportunities: one for youth workers for continuing education and leadership development as a youth worker, and one to host a youth event/project.
Denomination-wide Grants — The United Methodist Church provides grants for youth ministries around the world. Learn more about what is available and how you can apply. UMC grant applications are due each June 1 for funding to begin the following year. For further information or assistance, please reach out via email.