Youth Ministry Cohort and Equip youth worker training event benefit from UMFA grants

The United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas announced in an Aug. 16 news release that a total of $5,015 in grant funding has been given to support the 2016 Youth Ministry Cohort and the Sept. 10 Equip youth ministry training event.

“Providing accessible, affordable one-day training for youth ministry workers and making it possible for five churches to take a deep dive into a six-month youth ministry training cohort both fall in line with our United Methodist Foundation grants goals of supporting Conference leadership and training,” said Jim Argue Jr., UMFA president and CEO.

2016 marks the first time five churches—Grace Community UMC Fort Smith, Lakewood UMC North Little Rock, St. Paul UMC El Dorado, First UMC West Memphis and White Hall UMC—will participate in this training and mentoring project led by veteran youth workers. Without the UMFA grant, it would have cost each church $1,200 to participate; but the grant makes the participation in the cohort affordable for churches of all sizes.

“Our goal with the cohort is to provide the tools and resources that allow churches to have a consistent, sustainable youth program,” said Michelle Moore, Conference youth and young adult ministry coordinator. “We ask that from each church the youth leader, pastor and three other congregation members participate in this six-month program.”

Equip, which started four years ago with only 25 attendees, this year is projected to have 75 participants.

“It is training for youth workers, by youth workers, to enhance youth ministries and help create family ministries for churches throughout the Conference,” Moore said. The grant from UMFA allows the Conference to keep the cost of the attending workshop down so that all churches have the ability to participate, and some churches can send more than one person as needed.

The United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas manages $140 million in endowment funds and other charitable assets that benefit local churches and other United Methodist ministries. Founded in 1963, UMFA is one of the largest United Methodist foundations in the country and is responsible for over 750 funds that support United Methodist ministries.