Grace United Methodist Youth exists to empower, educate and equip the youth of GUMC to love God, live like Jesus and change the world. That is the driving force behind all we do. It gives direction, insight, and guidance to why we’re in ministry, and what the ministry is meant for. But, what does each one of these mean?
To love God means to choose what is good for God. While we typically think of love as a warm and affectionate feeling (and it certainly is), it is much more than just that. Love is both an action, and the fuel for our action. It is what compels us to act, and to act on the beneficial behalf of those we love. It is out of love that we avoid causing harm, and it is out of love that we intentionally choose what is good. To love God is to choose what is good for God, namely, to put into practice His commands (John 14:15).
To live like Jesus means to arrange and re-arrange the affairs of our lives to the ends of becoming like Jesus; to arrange the patterns of our daily lives so that the character of Jesus is formed within us. This means, we learn from Jesus like students learning from a teacher, or athletes learning from a coach. To be a disciple literally means, to be a learner. We are all someone’s disciples (or a lot of people’s disciples), the question is: are we Jesus’ disciples? The base standard is whether or not we love (choose what is good) for each other (John 13:35).
We pray in the Lord’s Prayer that God will bring heaven to earth. While most theological studies center on getting to heaven when we die, Jesus seemed focused on getting heaven into people while they lived, and bringing of all creation into interactive relationship with the Kingdom of God. God has a desire to partner with each student in GUMY to change the world so that, through them, the Kingdom of God and the ways of God will burst forth into the whole world.
As parents, family members, care-givers and youth leaders, our role is to educate, equip and empower our students to the ends of loving God, living like Jesus, and changing the world. This means we:
- teach: not only content but also, how to live it out
- engage in active relationship with students
- remind them of their irreplaceable purpose in God’s realm
- love God, live like Jesus and change the world in our own lives and contexts (life with God is more “caught” than “taught”)
Thank you to each one of you for the role you play in helping our youth live out this great mission!