SYNC Rallies Connect Youth Across the North District
Some 80-125 youth are expected at the October 14 rally kickoff in Gilmer, Texas.
High school junior Jake Akin, a member of Williams Memorial UMC, realizes his generation is drifting away from the church. Says Jake, “I guess kids these days don’t have a positive experience or model about the importance of God in their lives, and that’s a shame.” Adds Jake, “I sing in my church youth band and I think it will be really cool to be able to play at all of our youth rallies coming up in the north district. I especially like seeing the kids from several churches connecting and bonding in Christ because it makes for powerful times!”
North District Youth Coordinator Aaron Dudley says the series of rallies begin October 14 in Gilmer, Tx and then rotate to FUMC Hallsville in December, FUMC Waskom in February, FUMC Gladewater in the spring and to Williams Memorial UMC next summer. “SYNC stands for Synchronized Youth Now Connected and the focus is on the awesome connectional aspect of the Methodist church,” he says. “We move the rallies around the district to build friendships and momentum for next summer’s mission work.”
As one of the district’s youth leaders, Jake had a hand in helping choose rally speakers and brainstorming group games. “It’s cool to see all the conversation about Jesus and God at these events,” he adds. “My goal is to reach out and invite friends at my school, because kids will come if they think it will be fun.”
The host church typically provides facilities, the meal and volunteers to set up/serve and clean up. District youth start arriving at 5 pm for the registration and meal, followed by group games and worship that includes a challenging youth related message.
Aaron acknowledges that, “Reaching, inspiring and equipping the young people of this generation for Christ’s cause is a challenge and a blessing all at the same time. These rallies allow churches of all sizes to host events and they create a forum for youth groups of all sizes to merge with others for a greater sense of connectedness. Hosting a youth rally can often bring some new excitement to a church, and maybe a chance to jumpstart another stage of ministry.”
This is one great way—especially for small churches, Aaron adds, of “Investing in the Young.” His long-term goal is “to expand youth networks, friendships and discipleship efforts across the district and have everyone ready to do project work in their own communities by summer.”