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Throughout the nation, youth ministry leaders are faced with the never-ending challenge of reaching younger generations, welcoming them into the church and enveloping them with the words of Christ’s love. Churches seek to become a home for many youth and young adults, but how do those with deep-rooted traditions reach the next generations and keep them secured in their faith and commitment to the church?

This year, for the inaugural Youth Leader Summit, Mo-Ranch partnered with Brian Frick, who serves as the mission associate for formation and camp and conference ministries at the Presbyterian Mission Agency. In his current professional role, Brian explores timely and ground-breaking issues and trends facing youth, youth adults, camp and conference centers and the Presbyterian church.

“Brian led a discussion focused on ‘How we got to where we are today’ in the life of the church, and that was really helpful in understanding the context many of us face in ministry today,” said Kathy Anderson, Mo-Ranch director of programs. “Simply being in the room with other youth ministry leaders was inspiring and comforting knowing that we’re all in this together.”

Together, Brian and the attendees were tasked with dissecting what has been leading youth and young people out the door of churches as well as exploring emerging studies on what we, as leaders and pillars of the church, can do to rebuild sustainable Christian Formation in any size congregation. Attendees were able to explore who the youth and young adults are in the church, what their discipleship practices are and how to authentically integrate these sectors of the population into their specific church’s congregation.

“I really appreciated the discussions regarding bridging generational gaps,” said a summit attendee and lifelong Mo visitor. “I enjoyed deep-diving into not just re-inventing youth ministry, but actually working with our realities of multiple generations.”

After reaching 30 youth leaders from across the nation—many whom were brand-new to Mo—Mo-Ranch’s program department hopes to expand upon the energy and excitement of this gathering to offer more in the future.

“It became very evident that the church and its ministry is on the cusp of something new,” said Anderson. “This is an exciting time, and Mo-Ranch needs to continue to be a place that affirms, equips and supports those that work in youth ministry.”

The Youth Leader Summit is already on the books for next year and is scheduled for February 10-12, 2020. For questions, please contact Kathy Anderson at kanderson@moranch.org or 800.460.4401 ext. 236.

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