ATTACHMENT 1 Gary United Methodist Church Strategic Plan

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1 Youth ATTACHMENT 1 Gary United Methodist Church Strategic Plan Goal: Create a strong, multi-faceted youth program for middle school and high school youth that grows vibrant, young Christians who are leaders in the Gary Church congregation and in the community. Objective 1: Hire a dedicated leader of the youth ministry program (Youth Ministry Leader), who is dynamic, spiritually-grounded, compelling, and can engage both young people and adults, to lead the congregation in creating a signature youth program. a. Hire a Youth Ministry Leader by the summer of b. Senior Pastor creates a clear job description for this aspect of the person s work by 7/15/13. c. Create regular opportunities for evaluation of the Youth Ministry Leader s work by the Senior Pastor initially at short intervals of three months, six months, and nine months, but at least annually. a. The Youth Ministry Leader will receive positive evaluations, with respect to his/her youth responsibilities, from the Senior Pastor. b. Gary s Youth Ministry Leader will receive positive evaluations from youth and parents, twice per year. Objective 2: Create a Youth Ministry Team and a Youth Leadership Team, with clear job descriptions and regular meeting times, to assist the Youth Ministry Leader in planning, supporting, and coordinating all youth programming. a. Recruit a Youth Ministry Team of members, including youth, parents of youth, Youth Ministry Leader, Youth Group leader representative, Sunday School teacher representative and other interested members of the congregation by 9/15/13. b. Recruit a Youth Leadership Team of 5-6 members, comprised of middle school and high school students, by 9/15/13.

2 c. Create a clear job description for the Youth Ministry Team by 9/15/13, which includes the coordination and planning of events, communications, Youth Group program, Sunday School classes, annual retreats, active youth involvement throughout the church s ministries, summer mission trip, short-term mission projects, music group, youth outreach, parent outreach, program evaluation, and other responsibilities as determined by the team. d. Create a clear job description for the Youth Leadership Team by 9/15/13. a. A Youth Ministry Team, with members, and a Youth Leadership Team, with 5-6 members, will be actively involved in the planning, coordination and evaluation of the youth program and coordinating its work with the Youth Ministry Leader. b. The Youth Ministry Program will receive positive evaluations from youth and parents, twice per year. Objective 3: Recruit small teams of dedicated parent (or other interested adult) volunteers to support and assist Youth Ministry Leader and Youth Group Leaders with youth programs/events. a. Continually survey parents and other interested members of congregation about their interests in planning/helping with activities. b. Create a data base of volunteer interests in Shelby by 9/15/13, and update continually. c. Recruit 2-3 volunteers for each youth event, with volunteers identified by at least two months prior to every program/event. d. After each event, evaluate marketing, number of participants, ease of participation by volunteers, quality of staff leadership, difficulties/barriers encountered, and spiritual growth or growth in knowledge achieved. a. A fall calendar of youth events, with teams named for each event, will be in place by 10/1/13. b. A spring calendar of youth events, with event teams, will be in place by 12/1/13. c. A summer calendar of youth events, with event teams, will be in place by 4/1/13.

3 Objective 4: Create multiple, innovative channels of communication for youth programming to inform youth and their parents, such as personal invitations, texting, social media, s, Chimes advertisements, Sunday bulletin announcements, and verbal announcements wherever youth and parents are gathered. a. Create list of communication methods currently in place and evaluate their effectiveness by 10/1/13. b. Identify new methods of communication to be added by 11/1/13. c. Identify procedures all Youth Group leaders, Sunday School teachers, retreat leaders, mission leaders, music leaders, and outreach leaders will use to get activities publicized. d. Encourage cross communication between weekly Youth Group and Sunday School (i.e. Sunday School leaders be informed of and promote Youth Group events and vice versa). a. New communication methods will be added and their effectiveness evaluated twice per year. Objective 5: Provide engaging weekly Youth Group meetings for middle schoolers and high schoolers (separate groups) with opportunities for fellowship and spiritual development through large and small group settings, in designated space appealing to youth. a. Recruit Youth Group leaders by 8/15/13. b. Recruit Youth Group planning team including Youth Ministry Leader, middle school Youth Group leaders, high school Youth Group leaders, and Youth Leadership Team by 9/15/13. c. Plan schedule of activities for fall semester, with input from Youth Leadership Team, by 9/15/13. d. Plan schedule of activities for spring semester, with input from Youth Leadership Team, by 12/1/13. e. Redecorate upper level youth space to make it youth-friendly to be complete by 12/1/13. f. Track weekly attendance and reach out to youth as detailed in Objective 11.

4 g. Evaluate patterns of attendance monthly. h. Provide opportunities for all youth participants to evaluate program at the end of each semester. a. The number of students participating in youth ministry programs will grow, with an average weekly attendance goal of 40 youth (middle and high school youth attending Sunday School and/or Youth Group) for school year, 50 youth for school year, and 50 youth for school year. b. When surveyed about Youth Group activities at the end of each semester, students will report growth in their spiritual development. Objective 6: Provide Sunday School for middle school and high school students with dedicated leaders (at least two per class), an engaging curriculum, a year-round meeting schedule (generally consistent with Adult and Children s Sunday School), and a designated space appealing to youth, resulting in meaningful opportunities for spiritual growth and growth in understanding. a. Select engaging curriculum for students by 8/15/13. b. Evaluate curriculum twice yearly. c. Recruit additional Sunday School teachers by 9/1/13. d. Redecorate upper level youth space to make it youth-friendly. e. Track weekly attendance and reach out to youth as detailed in Objective 11. f. Survey students each semester on their growth in faith (by allowing them to comment on whether they feel they have learned something and are using what they have learned in their daily lives). a. The number of students participating in youth ministry programs will grow, with an average weekly attendance goal of 40 youth (middle and high school youth attending Sunday School and/or Youth Group) for school year, 50 youth for school year, and 50 youth for school year. b. At the end of each semester, students will report growth in spiritual development and growth in knowledge when surveyed about Sunday School, including the curriculum.

5 Objective 7: Provide engaging annual retreats for middle school students and high school students that will offer opportunities for fellowship, spiritual growth, and growth in understanding. a. Recruit planning team including Youth Ministry Leader, retreat leader, and Youth Leadership Team by 10/1/13. b. Communicate event through multiple channels. c. After event, evaluate marketing, number of participants, spiritual growth and growth in knowledge achieved. a. The number of students attending annual retreats will grow 20% each of the next three years. b. When surveyed about the annual retreat, students will report growth in spiritual development and growth in knowledge. Objective 8: Involve youth throughout the church s various ministry areas, according to each youth s spiritual gifts, to help connect the youth to the wider church and grow the youth spiritually. a. Provide opportunities for youth spiritual gift evaluation by 2/1/14. b. Senior Pastor and Youth Ministry Leader will encourage each ministry team to increase youth participation in their ministry activities. For example, encourage youth participation in worship (i.e. usher, scripture readers, special music). c. Youth Group and Sunday School leaders inform youth of opportunities for participation in various ministry areas. d. Elevate/celebrate youth participation through various means of communication such as a Youth Spotlight in enews, worship service spotlight, etc. by 5/1/14. a. Each semester and during the summertime, youth will be involved in all the church s ministry areas including, but not limited to, Worship, Music, Mission, Children s Ministry, Care, Hospitality, GRACE, Church Council, Staff Parish, Finance, and Trustees.

6 Objective 9: Provide mission opportunities for youth through a summer work trip for high school students, short-term mission events/projects for all youth throughout the school year, and increased youth involvement in all-church mission projects. a. Recruit summer work trip planning team including Youth Ministry Leader, mission trip leader(s), and Youth Leadership Team by 2/1/14. b. Recruit short term event/project planning team including Youth Ministry Leader, interested parent volunteers, and youth volunteers by 10/1/13 to plan youth mission projects and to coordinate youth participation in church-wide mission projects. c. Communicate event through multiple channels. d. After event/project, evaluate marketing, number of participants, ease of participation by volunteers, quality of staff leadership, difficulties/barriers encountered, spiritual growth and growth in knowledge achieved. a. The number of students attending the summer work trip will grow 20% each of the next three years. b. At least two short-term projects/events will be planned for youth each year. c. The number of youth participating in mission projects will increase by 20% each year. d. When surveyed about the mission opportunities participants will report growth in spiritual development and growth in knowledge. Objective 10: Create dedicated youth music groups with short-term commitments to provide opportunities for vocal and instrumental music for middle and high school students. a. Recruit a Youth Music Leader by 8/1/13. b. Create a description of the youth music program including long term (next three years) goals and types and number of short-term groups to be provided by 1/1/14. c. Communicate opportunities for participation through multiple channels. d. Evaluate the music program twice annually.

7 a. Youth music groups will be created, with performances included on the church music calendar. b. The number of students participating in youth music will increase by 20% each year. Objective 11: Implement a consistent outreach strategy for all youth programs which will include monitoring weekly attendance, reaching out to students whose attendance patterns change, following up with guests and new participants, and providing tools for youth to invite friends. a. Sunday School teachers, Youth Group leaders and the Youth Music Leader will monitor weekly attendance. b. Sunday School teachers, Youth Group leaders and the Youth Music Leader will contact students whose attendance patterns change by sending a card, calling, ing, or texting. c. Sunday School teachers, Youth Group leaders and the Youth Music Leader will follow up with guests and new participants by sending a card and/or contacting by or text. d. Youth Ministry Team will provide resources to Sunday School teachers, Youth Group leaders, and the Youth Music Leader for these communications (i.e. postcards to mail and sample scripts for call, texts, or s) by 10/1/13. e. Sunday School teachers, Youth Group leaders and the Youth Music Leader will engage in conversation with youth about the best ways to invite friends and provide the necessary tools to facilitate this. f. The Youth Ministry Team will evaluate outreach efforts initially at six months and nine months, but at least annually. a. Increased participation in all youth programming, as measured by the attendance outcomes of this strategic plan. Objective 12: Create an outreach program for parents of youth to improve their connections to Gary Church, which will include fellowship and/or learning opportunities for parents of Confirmation students and fellowship and/or learning opportunities for parents of all youth.

8 a. Recruit volunteer parents from current Confirmation class to work with the Youth Ministry Leader to plan events for Confirmation parents by 10/1/13. b. Recruit volunteer parents to plan events for parents of all youth by 10/1/13 and continually. c. Create a description of the program including goals (i.e. fellowship get-togethers for parents and/or learning opportunities) and the number and type of events by 10/15/13. d. Communicate events through multiple channels. e. Provide opportunities for evaluation twice per year. a. At least two outreach events for Confirmation parents will occur each year with 50% of Confirmation parents attending each time. b. At least two outreach events designed for all parents of youth will occur each year with first year attendance of 20 parents per event and attendance increasing by 20% each year for the next two years.

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