From Derrick Scott III
Another Why Reclaim Blog.
We’ve been hosting a few Reclaim Regional Gathering over the last several months. Part of the reason for the regionals is to get the word out about the Reclaim Main Gathering. But the primary reason for the regionals is to get into districts and get face to face with young adults…hear their stories and develop friendships. Over and over, I hear the same story.
“I am a young leader and I love the UMC. I am serving in ‘Small-Mediumsized UMC’ in Average-Town, Florida. I love the people and believe that this is where God wants me right now. But there are few to no young adults in our congregation. Surprisingly, Average-Town, FL has more young people than you would think. Most of them grew up in church, but no longer seem interested. Some have left because of the music or the lack of programs for our age group. But most, are just not interested. And it seems that although our congregation is nice and friendly, they are not too bothered that their kids and grandkids are missing from the life of the church. All this considered, I feel very much alone. Don’t get me wrong, my DS is supportive. Families invite me to dinner every now and then. But I lack a community that understands the temptations and struggles that I face as a young adult. Sometimes I feel like I am the only young adult who really feels called to serve the church. I’m not giving up, I just don’t know how long I can continue serving this way.”
Again, I hear the same story at every regional gathering in every district we’ve visited. I hear the stories of courageous young people who are daily answering the call to serve congregations of varying size and influence and at the same time trying to fight the constant feeling that they are all alone. Reclaim exists to gather young adults from across the state to show them that they are not alone. For me and the team, Reclaim is not simply an event to be planned, it is about friendships and connection. Specifically at the regionals, success for us is not so much in the numbers but in the names. We pray for the attendees. We think of them often. And we hope to see them in April because we want to remind them that there are many young adults in the Florida Conference just like them.
Why Reclaim? To tell young adults in ministry that you are not alone.