Mission Northwest is proceeding with exciting plans to develop three new learning networks aimed at providing crucial support for workers among young leaders in our congregations.

We all know how critically important it is to have vibrant children and youth ministries as well as a growing cadre of young, innovative pastors if our churches are to continue into the future. Even more important than mere survival is the fact that we are put here to impact the Northwest with the good news of Jesus Christ, a daunting task to say the least!

Building connections among those working in these areas that will provide collaboration, training, coaching, and support becomes a high priority for our Region, especially given the stress and challenges facing those in our local congregations who have answered the call!

Funds from a recently awarded ABC-USA Palmer Grant for Mission Northwest will allow us to provide resources for three new learning networks. These will be formed in the coming weeks and will focus on the following areas:

       1.   Children and young families

       2.   Youth (Jr. High, Sr. High, College and Young Singles)

       3.   Younger, innovative pastors, leading in ministry settings that need transformation

Recognizing that our churches are spread out over a large and diverse area, these networks will convene monthly using video conferencing technology. Each will be led by a region-appointed facilitator. They will schedule input from experienced resource people. Collaborative discussions for the purpose of sharing best practices will take place among all the participants.

An annual retreat for these young leaders is also envisioned for developing face-to-face relationships and celebrating ministry successes.

What we need most right now is to identify who are the people working with children or youth in our congregations, and to develop a working roster of possible participants in each of the children’s and youth networks. Region staff will recruit participants in the young pastors network. They can be people who are on your staff in full or part time capacities, paid or volunteer, or maybe someone who you think has a heart for stepping into a youth ministry position but needs training and support. Please send their contact information to the Region Office. Provide their name, area of ministry (children or youth) and contact information (email address, mailing address and phone number).

With their permission we will send them more information on the program and how they can be a participant.

This is an exciting time to be engaging together in ministry and this new venture holds great promise and possibility for our churches and communities!