IDK Reaches Out to 45 Youth Who Have Felt the Call to Ministry

February 3, 2015

SallyQ400By Jim Parsons IDK is a day long event for youth (6th-12th Grades) who feel they may be called into some sort of ministry.  This year the Western North Carolina Conference held two events.  One was in the Uwharrie District at Pfeiffer University.  The other was in the Catawba Valley District at Denver UMC. Together 45 youth attended these events and during the day, the youth heard numerous call stories of people who are doing all sorts of ministry right there in their district.  Throughout the day they also learned what calling and vocation are, did a Spiritual Gifts Inventory to learn their own gifts and talents and participated breakout groups to go deeper into what life is like doing ministry.  All while mingling and playing games with other youth who are feeling called. Each youth brought a Lay Mentor along with them.  The Lay Mentor is a person who will bridge the gap between this event and the local church.  They are people in their local church who are willing to invest in the sense of calling this youth is feeling and help them explore that calling further when they get back home. IDK Events are places where youth can start their journey.  Through hearing different call stories our hope is these youth start to hear their own story within these stories.  IDK is a place to recognize that God calls all types of people to all sorts of ministry.  One youth from the Catawba Valley event said, “the most helpful thing at IDK was hearing the people’s stories and callings.” “Everything is being brought together,” one youth from the Uwharrie District event said.  When a youth experiences a call it can feel like they are all alone because not everyone in their youth group is wrestling with the same feelings and inklings from God.  Youth can be afraid to ask questions because they don’t know whom they can actually talk too.  IDK invites those one or two youth from each church that are wrestling with the idea of being called into ministry and brings them together so the youth know they are not alone. Group400Grow Groups are then set up for these youth to meet together throughout the year in order to keep the conversation going and to provide a safe and understanding place to continue to ask questions. In 2014 the IDK team received a grant from the Young Clergy Initiative to expand these IDK events to all the districts of the Western North Carolina Conference.  After the success of the pilot IDK’14 in the Metro District and the two IDK’15 events this year we are on our way.  We already have interest from North Piedmont and Yadkin Valley to hold an IDK’16 event up there and we are hoping to possibly add another in the mountains. God continues to call people into ministry and it is our job to help cultivate that sense of calling, especially in the youth of our conference.  For more information about IDK and how you can get an IDK event in your area, please visit www.callingidk.org or contact Rev. Jim Parsons at jparsons@wnccumc.net. Rev. Jim Parsons is the pastor at Indian Trail UMC in Indian Trail, NC

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