SBC21 National Network of Young Adults

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The Purpose: Strengthening the Black Church for the Twenty-First Century (SBC21) presents the first National Network of Young Adults in partnership with young clergy and dynamic campus leaders from United Methodist Affiliated Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This national network offers principled African American clergy and young adults support and mentoring as they further hear, discern, and practice their call to ministry. By connecting young adults to a greater network of other disciplined young adults, campus ministers, mentors, and seasoned ministry leaders, we build a pipeline of effective leaders to serve within the church and respective UMC affiliated HBCU campuses.

The Rationale: “Studies show millennials are rapidly leaving the church, and are more likely to not affiliate with any form of principled spiritual practice. This is an urgent time not only in predominately African American congregations, but in the body of Christ at large. We must aggressively engage young adults and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of this world”.

The Goal: Identify, train and build a national network of relationships with one hundred young adult leaders from various walks of life committed to being and making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

The Team consists of:

Young Adult Leaders: Young clergy and lay leaders demonstrate active participation within their local, regional, and national church. These disciplined leaders are committed to attending AT LEAST two national gatherings.

  • Young Adults who clearly express call to ordained ministry must commit to communicate with Excellence Coach, who will provide guidance, mentoring, and nurturing throughout a two-year period.
  • Young Adults not called to ordained ministry, must demonstrate a call to community organizing, social justice, and/or other initiatives that positively impact the lives of others.

Campus Ministers & Chaplains: Campus Minister(s) & Chaplain(s) provide spiritual support, while working with SBC21 to provide meaningful opportunities to gather and host meaningful conversations that ministers to the needs and support student leaders on their respective campuses.

Campus Ministers must:

  • Identify AT LEAST 3 campus leaders who will lead efforts to organize campus initiatives, and
  • Commit to Monthly conference calls and multimodal training sessions.

Excellence Advisory Council: Excellence Advisors are seasoned Clergy Leaders (active and retired) who have demonstrated phenomenal leadership in the local, regional, and national church.

  • Excellence Advisors commit to developing a mentorship relationship with Young Adults pursuing ordained ministry through AT LEAST quarterly conversations that provide guidance, support, and nurturing throughout the discernment, candidacy, and/or ordination process. The relationship must be based on mutual trust, and uphold the highest ethical standards of confidentiality and professionalism.
  • Excellence Coaches, also commit to provide quarterly reflections documenting the progress of their respective mentee(s).