Rethink Children and Youth Online Summit will delve into future of ministry for younger generations

Children and youth will be the focus of discussion at the Rethink Children and Youth Ministry Summit, held online May 20-24 by the United Church of Christ and Convergence.

In collaboration with leading practitioners in the ministry field, the five-day summit is a unique learning opportunity for congregational leaders, educators, parents and caregivers, and anyone passionate about nurturing the spiritual growth and faith formation of children, youth, and their families.

This virtual gathering will delve into these ministries, providing insights, practical tools, and strategies to foster a strong foundation of faith in young people. Registration for the free event is available now.

The Rev. Trayce Potter, UCC minister for children and youth engagement, is excited about the gathering where she will serve as a conversation partner. She sees it as an opportunity for growth.

“The landscape of children’s and youth ministry has been quickly changing over the last decade, and these changes were accelerated with the pandemic and other social justice issues. As a result, many of us are wondering how to effectively provide services to and ministry with young people. This conference is an opportunity to learn some new tools, gain valuable insights, and even hear directly from youth themselves,” she said.

New frameworks for younger generations

“The most consistent lament we hear from congregations is the yearning for families with young children to return to the church. As congregational consultants, they call asking, ‘Can you help us get families with young kids to come back?'” said Rev. Cameron Trimble, CEO of Convergence. “We can, we say, but only if you’re willing to shift your understanding of what it means to belong to a church in 2024.”

Leading practitioners in ministry will speak at the five-day Rethink Children and Youth Ministry Summit.

Participants will learn from experts in spiritual formation, intergenerational ministry, and ministry to children, youth, and families. The summit is designed to offer valuable perspectives, practical tips, and innovative approaches while debunking common myths about young people to make spiritual education engaging and impactful.

“This summit is designed to lean into this issue — to explore with our best experts, including youth themselves, the future of children and youth ministry in congregational life,” Trimble said. “The conversations are challenging and dynamic. We can promise you walk away with an entirely new framework for imagining how the church might be in relationship with younger generations for the sake of a more just and generous world.” 

Curated resources, diverse perspectives

A unique element of the summit is that youth will share their own advice on how to build meaningful connections to help build insights into the challenges they face and discover effective ways to connect with and guide children and youth on their spiritual path.

Speakers will also include well-known authors, speakers, and scholars from various settings with experience in children, youth, and family ministries, including Brian McLaren, Theresa Cho, Lenny Duncan, and Sarah Bessey.

The summit will offer access to a collection of digital, downloadable resources tailored for children and youth programming, intended to empower attendees to integrate meaningful content seamlessly into programs, making the spiritual journey for young individuals enriching and enjoyable.

Registration is free and available now.

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Categories: United Church of Christ News

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