The United Methodist Church General Conference approved the Division on Ministries with Youth People on May 1, disbanding the previous United Methodist Youth Organization and the Forum for Adult Workers in Youth Ministry.
Presented by the Shared Mission Focus on Young people, an initiative of the United Methodist Church since 1996, the petition was based on the team’s research showed that the existing ministries for youth and young adults in the general church are disconnected and often the message does not reach the local church. The division will eliminate such disunity by providing centralizing the youth ministry.
Arthur Jones, delegate from North Texas, presented the petition at the conference and said, “This is exactly what the church needs.”
The majority felt the same: 780 voted to approve the division out of 900 votes. Nearly the same number, 749, voted for The budget of $6.6 million, which included $1.8 million off the budget.
The Shared Mission Focus on Young people will be integrated into the new division, which may not be entirely new.
Since 2001, the Shared Mission Focus leaders have been gathering dreams on their Web site, www.idreamachurch.com. One read, "I dream a church where young people’s call to ministry is recognized and encouraged without taking into account their age."
The division will be at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship in Nashville, Tenn.
"This is an historic moment," said Jeffrey Greenway, Western Pennsylvania delegate and chair of the legislative committee on discipleship. "The young people have shown us a model where the old things pass away and new things come into being."