District Youth Rallies: Key to Conference Connection With Youth


Jasmine Haynes, Mississippi Conference Communications


Youth engaged in praise at East/West Jackson District Youth Rally.
Over 269 young people and youth coordinators attended the East and West Jackson District Youth Rally held at Madison United Methodist Church on Sunday, November 17.  Youth enjoyed praise and worship lead by the Matt Littlejohn Band and a message on unity by Mississippi Conference youth and family ministry coordinator, Mike Howington.  


After seeing the two-district turnout, Howington shared that well-attended district rallies like this one are the first steps in the right direction to strengthen Mississippi's youth as a conference.


"I would like to see the youth from local churches create a culture of unity at the district level and as the district grows closer, so does our conference youth connection," said Howington.  "Our hope is that the district assemblies will encourage churches around Mississippi to all come together a couple of times a year as a conference."

Mississippi Conference youth and family ministry coordinator, Mike Howington speaks to crowd about unity. 

Howington explained that the hard work of district youth coordinators help make district youth rallies a success.  Rev. Kordell Sims, Sr. is the Jackson State University Wesley Foundation director, one of two West Jackson District youth coordinators and was a part of the team that planned the gathering. According to Sims, the rallies are a great way to get youth engaged in fellowship and leadership opportunities but they also aid the evaluation of what challenges exist for reaching the church youth groups that were not present.

"We want to hear the needs of churches so that we can partner some churches--for example partnering churches that may have a transportation issue with churches with vans that are willing to take other churches to events," said Sims.  "In the future, we are going to make a more personal approach to some churches that haven't been involved or don't feel the need to be involved." 

L to R: Rev. Kordell Sims, JSU Wesley Foundation director and Mike Howington


Both the East and West Jackson District youth coordinators plan to host another youth rally in the spring. The spring district youth rally will focus on servant leadership though Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM).

The Mississippi Conference recently launched a Youth and Families facebook page. Click here to like the page and follow the conference for youth happenings and resources. 

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