A Moment for Mission
"May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." — 1 Thessalonians 5:23, NRSV
There is much said about this generation of youth. It seems each week, there is a new article about what millennials are or are not doing, and the prognosis of the state of these young people in these reports is not good.
However, in our Wesleyan tradition, we emphasize the presence of God's grace throughout our lives. Sanctifying grace is the way in which God does the work of transforming us, moving us deeper into the way of holiness. On the journey of sanctification, as a person is working out his or her salvation, they begin to practice acts of piety and acts of mercy. This is what happens when United Methodist young people are involved in ministries of discipleship and mission. Not only are young people engaged in this life of faith in the moments they are living in, but also they are taking on leadership roles in their local churches, conferences and globally.
One of the ways that young people take action in The United Methodist Church is through the Youth Service Fund. The Youth Service Fund is fundraised and distributed by youth. These funds are then used to support more youth participating in local and global mission. The money is collected for these funds by youth groups, at youth events, or by offerings taken up by churches.
These young people are making a difference for the transformation of the world!
God, we thank you for the energy, passion and commitment of young people who are living out their faith in service to you and your kingdom. We pray that we might match their enthusiasm and generosity in the ways that we give today. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Third Sunday of Advent – Bountiful God, we rejoice in your goodness! You have done wonderful things for your people through the ages. We are grateful for your precious gift of being forgiven through Jesus Christ. You brought us out of sadness and into joy, as you tenderly wiped away our tears and gave us laughter. Let our gratitude overflow in love and kindness for people who are near and far away. Use our gifts and offerings to bring hope and happiness to our neighbors through the mission of this church. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (Psalm 126)
Young people have many opportunities in The United Methodist Church. Some of these are created by young people themselves. The Youth Service Fund is a fund supported by the fundraising of young people. They collect donations from peers, organize fundraisers and collect money at youth events.
The distribution of these funds is decided by the young people. Youth groups and young people are able to apply for the use of these funds for projects that fit within the criteria in five different categories: faith sharing and outreach, leadership development, scholarship, ministry with at-risk youth, and agricultural/vocational projects.
Churches also are able to contribute to this fund, and many take up a special offering during the first Sunday in May. Seventy percent of the funds that are received stay in the annual conference to be distributed for local projects, with the remaining 30 percent going toward the national Youth Service Fund.
Through the Youth Service Fund, youth are empowered to go out and serve others.