Second Annual Youth Pastors’ Retreat
Contributed by Kaeleigh Moffitt
A record number of 40 youth pastors attended the second annual Youth Pastors’ Retreat from July 30-31 at the International Peace Education Center in Las Vegas.
Kaeleigh Moffitt, National Youth Ministry Coordinator, opened the retreat by sharing the national vision and purpose for youth ministry: to help youth achieve the five elements of connecting, inspiring, empowering, contributing and expanding. Together, youth pastors spent the weekend brainstorming and problem solving on some of the top challenges for youth ministry.
Of particular importance was a session on how to approach sensitive topics in youth group such as homosexuality, apathetic and atheistic youth, and serious situations such as suicide attempts, depression and abuse.
Youth pastors also discussed ideas for partnership with parents, inspired by the Phoenix Summit, Camp KOHOE’s recent parent-child workshop, and family fun events such as mother-daughter and father-son programs.
They read several chapters of the book Lead Small by Reggie Joiner, which focuses on the value of deeply impacting a group of a few youth in order to lead small. Youth pastors then explored leadership styles and weighed the pros and cons of those styles.
One youth pastor, Leilani Owens from Florida, led the group through an inspirational session on the theme “Expand”–sharing faith by empowering their own knowledge, developing passion in faith and living a life as a natural witness of True Parents’ teachings.
On Sunday, July 31, youth pastors had a chance to share the blessings and challenges of their roles with Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) USA President, Dr. Michael Balcomb, as he shared a thought-provoking message about our first real youth pastor, True Father, and the challenges he faced as a young leader.
Youth pastors returned home after a packed weekend, equipped and empowered to begin the next school-year of youth ministry. Keep these young leaders in your thoughts and prayers as they take care of their younger brothers and sisters in their local communities.