A2 leads to new youth outreach efforts

11/6/2007

By Rev. Marjorie Walker
Guest Columnist

Hats off to the Mississippi Conference A2 Indicators and A29 Ministry Plan. The members of the Samuel Chapel United Methodist Church are excited about the implementation of A2 and A29.

They have raised both interest and awareness of the mission of the Samuel Chapel UMC and the Mississippi Conference and our need to intentionally focus on professions of faith. Our mission statement: “To seek the lost and disciple the found.” We have several goals to help us build on the importance of professions of faith discovered from completing the A2 Indicator survey. The goals are ways in which we will work toward strengthening those weaknesses that we identified in the survey.

As a result of working through the indicators, we have begun to rethink our approach to community outreach youth ministries. God’s plan for salvation will continually be emphasized throughout all youth ministries. Our youth are the hope for the future of the church. In a community where too many young people struggle to find purpose and direction in situations where the only options may seem to be drugs, crime, teenage pregnancy, gangs and other risky behavior, we believe that it is the mission of the church to energize them to live daily as disciples of Christ.

Some youth today may have dropped out of church because they were bored or overlooked because they felt that their needs were not met or understood. Equipping young Christian leaders and enhancing their vision for ministry can help them influence the lives of other youth.

Another goal for us is street ministry. We are taking our ministry to the streets of Itta Bena and the surrounding areas. The “Chapel” Street Ministry is mentoring 16 ex-gang members who are working toward accepting Christ as their lord and savior, and are working productively to bring about a change in the community through community service. It is our desire to reach other men and women, young and old, on the corners and streets to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

The indicators have become a motivational tool in carrying out the great commission stated in Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

Walker is pastor of Samuel Chapel UMC in Itta Bena. Church A29 Committee members contributed to this article. They include Shirley Perkins, Doris Askew, Elsie Harris, Merlin Dauphin, Mabel Robinson, Dr. Lloyd Porchia and the Rev. Ben Ashford.