Building the church of tomorrow by deepening the walk of youth is the mission of FUMC’s youth ministry. It is the transition from Sunday school faith to church leader that is the ultimate goal of our program. The middle school and high school years are when many make a personal decision to accept or reject Christ.
It is also the time where busy sports schedules, boyfriends and girlfriends and peer pressure really kick in. Through a mix of biblical teachings, lessons applicable to today’s tweens and teens, and numerous activities, we strive to help youth include Christ in their lives. We offer a variety of weekly programs as well as service opportunities and chances to attend conferences, leadership trainings and mission trips all over the country.
While we encourage regular attendance, who we reach with our ministry fluctuates constantly as schedules change. We hope everyone feels welcome whenever they can be here.
Faith Formation (6th - 7th)
Wednesdays 6:30pm to 8:30pm August thru Mid-May
The Faith Formation youth group meets Wednesday nights during the school-year in the Wesley Youth Room upstairs. The group attends Come as You Are Worship, and then goes upstairs for fun, fellowship and learning. The class is designed to help prepare middle school youth for life’s challenges.
The focus is on helping youth understand and own their individual faith beliefs. We share about the value of making good choices and how Jesus influences our life. Our emphasis is on sharing all things with Christ, whether that be trials or celebrations.
Faith Formation is the cornerstone of our middle school ministry with from 60-90 youth and adults attending each week. Throughout the year students will have opportunities for mission work and service--in the community and beyond, including mission trips during winter school break and during the summer.
8th Graders who wish, meet separately with the pastors two Sunday evenings a month for Confirmation. Confirmation provides the opportunity to discover how their call to be followers of Jesus Christ can be lived out as United Methodist Christians in the church and the world.
Confirmation (8th Grade)
1st & 3rd Sundays September through April.
Confirmation is for youth in 8th-12th Grade. Confirmation provides the opportunity for youth to discover how their call to be followers of Jesus Christ can be lived out as United Methodist Christians in the church and the world.
Confirmation meets on the 1st and 3rd Sundays during the school-year. Participants attend Faith Formation on the other Wednesdays.
Confirmation is a 1-year program that helps students discover their faith can be understood and lived out through the church. Youth learn about the United Methodist heritage, spiritual practices that keep us connected to God, our understanding of baptism and communion, and the unique United Methodist understanding of how we live out our Christian faith in the church and the world.
Confirmation students have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a Mentor, an adult from the church. Often these mentoring friendships become so meaningful that they extend beyond the year of confirmation.
At the end of the year, students are invited to become members of First United Methodist Church by offering their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness to the church’s mission and ministry.
Soul'd Out (9th - 12th)
Soul’d Out is a youth fellowship for 9th – 12th graders Wednesday nights from 6:30 until 8:45 p.m. After a time of worship in the Sanctuary, the group moves downstairs. Because of busy high school schedules, a free meal is provided by the church at 7pm.
Soul’d Out is the cornerstone of our high school ministry. We use a variety of methods for lessons instead of a structured curriculum, involving videos, music, drama, and messages from speakers. Lessons tie back to how Christ relates to youth today. Some nights involve a time for small group discussion.
Through Soul’d Out, youth have the opportunity to seek small group study, discipleship, mission and service opportunities and attend large events including, rallies, concerts and sporting events. Our church attends Dare2Share each February, summer conferences like Student Life and also plan mission trips each summer.
For more information on Soul’d Out or other ministries offered for high schoolers contact the church at 237-3158.
Deeper (9th - 12th)
This is a small group study to allow youth to do just what the title says – take their faith DEEPER. The group meets Sundays 7-8:45 throughout most of the year. Generally the first 45 minutes is a chance for youth to socialize, have a snack and share their Christian walks with one another. At 7:45, the group shifts into the lesson for the night. Lessons are sometimes directly from the bible or based on other materials like Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love” or set curriculums like ALPHA. The group meets downstairs in the couch room.
Our Youth Director often leads this program but other volunteers sometimes fill in for special studies or as substitutes.
Below is the youth policy approved by our administrative council. In order to be the best youth program, we want to make sure the expectations are known by our youth and our parents.
Kearney First UMC Youth Policy
All youth attending First UMC classes, functions, activities or events are expected to:
Respect and follow the directions of group leaders and volunteers.
Use appropriate language when talking to other youth, leaders, and volunteers.
Take care of the Church building and furniture.
Be the best example of Christ and First UMC in all situations.
While every situation may be different, teachers, leaders and sponsors will use the following procedures as a guide for minor incidents and violations of these expectations. The Director(s) of Youth Ministry reserve the right to handle any incident differently if so warranted.
1st Incident: Remind youth of expectations, notify the Director(s) of Youth Ministry, and if needed, attempt to notify the parents.
2nd Incident: Youth may be asked to leave for the remainder of that class session, function or activity, the Director(s) of Youth Ministry will be notified and will attempt to notify parents of the incident and the youth policy. If on a trip, parents will be notified and the youth will be required to stay with an adult chaperone for the remainder of the day/trip if necessary.
3rd Incident: Youth may be asked to leave for the remainder of that class session, function or activity and will not be allowed to return unless parent is also attending. The Director(s) of Youth Ministry, the Senior Pastor and Parents will be notified. Parents, youth, class leaders and the Director(s) of Youth Ministry will mutually determine how long this applies and under what conditions the youth may return.
This policy is to be posted in all classrooms in the youth area (downstairs), will be posted on the website and will be available to anyone through the church office upon request.