March 13 – Youth Service Fund
A Moment for Mission
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.” Philippians 4:1, NRSV
Although Gitimbine United Methodist Church in Meru Town, Kenya, was thriving, the Rev. Milton Njeru noticed a lack of resources available to new members. He found it especially difficult to retain young people and to nurture their talents to enrich the church and the community.
Rising to the challenge, Njeru created curriculum to help new and lay members strengthen their leadership skills. He had three specific goals in mind:
Equip new members for effective Christian living through discipleship, Bible study, prayer, evangelism and leadership development;
Transform, develop and empower members for Christ-centered leadership; and
Develop and support servant leaders to reach out to the community.
Nearly 80 people attended the training. Participants said they developed a stronger intimacy with God, gained confidence in their abilities and felt prepared for servant leadership.
A connectional effort, the training received partial support through the Global Youth Service Fund. The Youth Service Fund is a unique grant program because all aspects involve youth. Youth create and contribute to fundraisers and determine which projects will receive money. All projects must be designed and led by youth and benefit young people. Seventy percent of funds raised by an annual conference stay in the conference. Thirty percent goes to the Global Youth Service Fund.
Since its creation in 1968, the Youth Service Fund has enabled youth to support one another in ministry around the world. Thanks to your generosity, young people are empowered to serve.
How are you involved in your church? Do you go to Sunday school and summer camp to learn about Jesus? Do you sing in a children’s choir? Do you help with the worship service by reading from the Bible? Do you help with weekday ministries such as a food pantry or clothes closet?
You don’t have to wait until you are a grownup to serve your church. Children are a very important part of God’s family.
When the adults in your church lead activities for you and your friends, they are following the advice in Proverbs 22:6 that reads, “Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.” Through their words and actions, grownups show us how to share God’s love.
Loving God, your children want to serve you. Teach us to stand firm in our faith and, through our gifts, nurture others to make disciples. In your name, we pray. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Second Sunday in Lent — Generous God, as we travel this Lenten journey, allow us to walk beside Jesus as he makes his journey into Jerusalem. As we offer our gifts this morning, may it be our way of saying we won’t turn away from the problems and conflicts of this world; but like Jesus, we will walk toward them. All we take for the journey is the compassion, mercy, and sacrifice that he carried -- moving toward what waited in the Holy City. We journey in Christ’s steps and pray in Christ’s holy name. Amen. (Luke 13:31-35)
The Global Youth Service Fund is making a difference in United Methodism’s Kenya-Ethiopia Annual Conference.
The Rev. Milton Njeru, Gitimbine United Methodist Church, realized newcomers to his congregation wanted – and needed – discipleship training. He developed curriculum for new believers and young leaders. The results? Increased understanding, knowledge and involvement and greater youth participation, teaching Sunday school, ushering, studying and reading Scripture, and encouraging evangelism.
“Our vision,” Njeru said, “is to nurture, mentor and equip young Christian servants and spiritual and transformational leaders in our churches and society. We send our sincere gratitude and thanksgiving to Discipleship Ministries for … nurturing future leaders and equipping disciples.”
For more than half a century, the Youth Service Fund has enabled youth to support one another in ministry around the world. Thank you!
To start a YSF fundraiser in your area or share an idea for a locally funded project, contact your conference treasurer. If you have ideas for a large-scale project, apply for the Global YSF at https://www.umcyoungpeople.org/global-youth-service-fund.