Our first Spotlight On… Winner is NEXT Young Adult Ministry out of Killeen/Fort Hood and FUMC Killeen. The following is from Tim Marfell:
The goal of NEXT is to disciple and involve the young adults in the Killeen/Fort Hood community. Most of the visitors that we have received have been 35 and younger, many with small children. This ministry is designed to not only create space for them but to get them to understand that the present and future of the church is on their shoulders. Right now we have two weekly Sunday morning growth groups with about 25-30 young adults that attend. That is the first step: spend time in study with one another to grow as a group in our relationship to God. Second we have a monthly social activity that allows us to grow in our relationship with one another. These activities are anything from a meal at one person’s house to a softball team. Finally each month we have a service project to help those in our community. We have fed the hungry; provided child care for a night out at no cost for families who cannot afford baby sitters (this was huge! some of the people who dropped off their children had not had an evening to themselves in years); played bingo at a retirement home and many other great service activities. Coming up we are looking into adopting a room at a homeless shelter. We will be responsible for providing the needs of the shelter for that room. Our group is excited about truly making a difference in this community.
Tim told two stories of individuals within the community who have benefited from NEXT. The fist is a mother of two children whose husband was deployed until recently. About a month ago she shared in the growth group that she was at the breaking point. Members of NEXT surrounded her with prayer, brought food to her and watched the kids so that she could have some time to herself. Likewise, there was a young man who was a Wiccan and realized that something was drawing him to church. Through his connection with our growth group and his experience worshiping God through the music and sermons he dedicated his life to Christ and was baptized. Now he is pursuing a call to the ministry.
My family and I joined with the folks of NEXT last weekend to share in the sweet fellowship. They just returned from Topsey Exotic Ranch and Drive thru Safari. We shared a meal together. I brought with me my husband and little boy. It was wonderful to share time with other young adults and kiddos.
I love that Tim and the group at NEXT are meeting outside of the church, doing things for the whole family, and meeting the needs of the folks in their community. As they were leaving, folks were excitedly calling “see you at Sunday School tomorrow!” Jarrod and I wish we could have stayed church church and class in the morning, but we needed to head back to our own church responsibilities. The group was incredibly warm and hospitable to the three of us.
How is your church reaching out to youth and young people?