Our flagship ministry to the youth grades 7-12 in our community, our Wednesday night Youth Group is focused on making strong connections with Christ and one another. We spend the first half-hour of our time working on homework and enjoying each other's company. Following that we spend between 30 minutes and an hour exploring the Bible and different aspects of the Christian faith. We also often will talk about real life situations and issues during this time. For the remaining time we always play some sort of a hilarious team game and further build our bonds with one another. Once a month we also try to branch out into our community and a service project.
(6:30-8:30pm Wednesday Nights)
Our church camp is a week long event that takes place every summer (usually in June) that has its focus in growing our students as a group. Filled with team games, quirky traditions, self guided worship, Bible studies, and students who love Jesus, this is one of the most epic weeks our students participate in each year.
(One week every summer)
Similar to our church camp in epicness, but with an outreach focus is our mission trip. Every year we take a trip outside of our comfort zones and go somewhere where God can use us in new and exciting ways. We have been everywhere from the big city to the rural countryside proclaiming Christ's love. We generally have two major outreaches: We work on physically bettering the places we visit, and we work with the people in the area on a personal level. In addition to working hard to better our world, we also take time to encourage each other with one on one times and Christ cards. This is something that is unique every year, and every year God shows up in big ways.
(One week every summer)
We take a trip out to Camp to get away from the stresses of school and regular life. During our time there we focus on one specific aspect of our walk with Christ and enjoy our time spent together. We go swimming (in a heated pool of course), play night games, play various team games, and even learn a little about Christ along the way.
(One weekend every Fall or Winter)
Every December we make the short trek over to the Planet Wisdom conference. Planet Wisdom is a non-denominational youth conference that attracts students from across the county to worship Christ together. Bringing in big name talent every year (Mark Matlock, Francis Chan, the Skit Guys to name a few), Planet Wisdom always delivers a great experience. In addition because we are so close to the conference, and because the conference is always on a weekend, we pair our Planet Wisdom experience with a church lock-in. This allows us to not only have a wonderful time worshipping Christ with thousands (yes, thousands) of others students, but it also allows us to have some deep conversations on our own.
(Usually the first weekend in December of every year)
Our Confirmation classes are short, sweet, and to the point. Offered generally to those in 8th and 9th grade, it is open to any student after their 8th grade year who wishes to be confirmed. The classes themselves are focused on a couple of things that are different from the usual Youth Group: The focus here is prepare students to be responsible members in the church with a bigger understanding about what it means to be a Christian and a United Methodist. We explore our roots, the basic tenants of faith, the structure of the Bible, and the expectations that are placed upon voting members. We also like to have fun in these classes with the occasional ultimate Frisbee dual between the two classes and games intermixed throughout.
(Every Sunday Night from 6:30-7:30pm during the school year)
During the summer months we meet with other area youth groups to play some friendly slow pitch softball. This isn't a very competitive league… the emphasis is on everyone having fun and doing their best. No experience is needed, just show up and have fun is our motto here.
(Most Sunday nights throughout the Summer)
Part of the reason our youth continue to have success in our activities is because we have students who continue to take on the mantel of servant leadership in our church. The SLT group meets to discuss upcoming ministries, what services they would like to see accomplished, and to plan for First Night Worship and Youth Group. Open to all high schoolers who can commit to following Christ and have shown an aptitude for serving, this is a great opportunity for our students to show their growth by helping others to grow.
(The second Wednesday of every month at 5:45)
Finally, in addition to all the things that we do on a regular basis we also like to randomly have fun as a group in a bunch of different ways. Whether it is a bonfire at one of our parents' houses, a trip to Feed My Starving Children, or getting together to watch the Super Bowl, we like to sometimes just have fun doing whatever.
(Interspersed throughout the year)
If any of these ministries, services, or activities sound good to you I invite you to get into contact with me at your convenience. We love seeing new faces and would love to have you become a part of our wonderful Youth!
Thank you and God Bless,
Youth and Young Adult Director at Osseo United Methodist Church
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