OHIO VALLEY DISTRICT
We exist to build leadership among the youth of the Ohio Valley District. We are looking for youth grades 7-12 and all youth workers paid and volunteer to be a part of “making disciples one youth at a time".
By Jonathan Naylor, Mt. Pleasant UMC
I would like to thank the District Youth for supporting Solid Rock Retreat. For those of you that do not know what Solid Rock Retreat is, it is a weekend retreat held at the FFA Camp Muskingum for junior high and high school students that was held the weekend of March 2nd. For the weekend, we had a band from Malone University, and our speaker was Joe Burkhardt who spoke about the meaning of placing our identity in Christ. In addition, the youth got to choose between three classes that met twice during the weekend; the first class time was geared towards education, and the second was geared towards experience. The three classes that were offered were spiritual healing, spiritual gifts, and spiritual disciplines; all three focused on helping the youth grow in their relationship with Christ. The retreat was extremely powerful for the 55 youth that were present.
I would like to share what I saw that really stood out to me during the weekend. What stood out the most was that the youth took ownership of their faith both personally and as a community of believers, encouraging and supporting one another in powerful ways. I have been working in youth ministry for eleven years and full time youth ministry for seven, so needless to say I have spent countless weekends at retreats and camps over the years. But what I noticed about this particular weekend was that they prayed over each other with authority and power like I have never seen before. It is not uncommon for youth to come up to me or other leaders and want prayer during weekends like this, but that is not what I saw over the weekend. I witnessed youth going to other youth and requesting prayer, and more importantly, youth feeling confident enough to pray with power and authority over their brother or sister. It was amazing for me because I have taught my youth for years that I am nothing special; I do not have a special connection with God because I am a youth pastor. I do not have magic words when I pray, and God does not listen more to me than He does to them. But during this weekend I witnessed youth that actually believed this, youth that prayed over their fellow students with the faith and authority that is rarely seen in Christians three times their age. I had the great honor of standing back and watching youth that I have taught over the years speak into the lives of their fellow students by praying God’s identity into them. I watched as these students spoke hope and love into each other because they were open to the Holy Spirit’s voice. I cannot communicate the excitement, empowerment, hope, joy, and love I felt as I watched youth follow the lead of the Spirit and speak the word of God into each other; it was beyond words.
For all of this, I would like to thank the district for helping support this weekend for it would not been possible without your support.
You are the leadership of your generation and can be leadership of the church today. Join forces with your local District Youth Council to help plan leadership events, fun events, and other great things that are specific to the Ohio Valley District in hopes of bringing more youth back to church and into relationship with Jesus.
We can have all of these great ideas about things to do, but we need to make sure they will work well with the direction and visions that you have for your local church’s youth ministry! You can’t successfully partner with your District if we don’t know what you actually need! There’s no point in giving the answers and solutions to the questions and problems that no one actually has.
So if you haven’t had contact with the local District Youth Coordinator yet, initiate that conversation and see how you can partner! If there are things that you would love to make available for your youth but you don’t have the time/resources/etc. there’s a great chance that could happen in a big way!
For more information or meeting dates/times please contact Tiffany Manley at (740) 317-0609 or via E-mail.
Ohio Valley District Office:
Rev. Bruce Hitchcock
352 Canton Rd.
Wintersville, OH 43953
Phone: (740) 264-1601
Fax: (740) 264-1972
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
(Summer Hours beginning June 21
Monday through Thursday
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m
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