Youth Engagement Events

Youth ministry is more than offering events, BUT events can serve as launching pads to deepen discipleship with youth and youth leaders.

Here are a few ways to make sure an event has its greatest impact:

  1. Prepare well BEFORE- pray, worship, study, talk, and serve well before the event occurs
  2. Schedule TEAM TIME during the event- carve out time daily for your team to get together and ask "How is it with your soul?"
  3. Prepare well to TRANSITION- work with youth and youth leaders to hone their stories of transformation and practice how they will share what they've experienced. Prepare youth for "the return from the mountaintop" experience by helping them to build next steps before the event is over... with whom will they share their experience, how will they engage anew in leadership and formation in the church and community, what adults will they invite into their journey of further study and discernment, etc. 
  4. CELEBRATE after the event- before you even leave for the event schedule a time for those who participate to come together and remember- invite space for prayer, worship, study, talking, and serving with this team




MRI is celebrating its 35th year of serving youth ages 12-18 in a weeklong spiritual retreat intended to create a space for young people to hear, question, consider, struggle, and respond to God's call and claim on their lives to become Christian disciples, leaders, ministers, pastors, and evangelists. This year's theme is "Called by Name, Redeemed and Not Afraid" and Pastor Curnell Graham, currently serving at Linworth UMC in West Ohio, will be the resident theologian of the week.

MRI's principles are to be Christ-centered, to develop community, to engage in covenent, to discern God's call, and to provide an institute for learning. MRI's program components include: educational classes on Bible and other select topics, a college residential experience, family groups, worship, committed and flexible staff, format and structure, roundtables, a resident theologian, a mission experience, a career/witness spotlight, and MRI Olympics/Recreation. 

LOCATION: Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, OH

DATES: Sunday, July 15-Friday, July 20

COST: $220/person, registration due June 22

* MRI unashamedly targets African-American youth, as this demographic has been underserved in the UMC. However, we realize that in the Kingdom of God there is "neither Jew nor Gentile, male or female, slave or free..." Thus we are open to all youth who desire to seek God's purposes for their lives (the "whosoever" in John 3:16), regardless of race, social or economic status, denomination, etc.! 

More Information: Contact //bcsmart735 [at]">Brian Smart, 2019 Dean of MRI



West Ohio has three camps offering fun, faith, and formation throughout the summer and retreat and mission opportunities in other times of the year. There are still openings for camp weeks this summer! Try your hand at culinary or musical skills or explore the hills of Appalachia through high adventure at Camp Otterbein (Logan, OH). Dive into a splash-themed week, test out your survival skills, or take on leadership in adventure at Camp Wesley (Bellefontaine, OH). Participate in camp weeks geared toward persons with disabilities as a participant or buddy at Camp Widewater (Liberty Center, OH). 

More Information



"Youth 2019 is for all United Methodist youth, grades 6-12, and their leaders. Join thousands for 4 days of discipleship, worship, Bible study, service opportunities, and life-changing fun." The YOUTH event is the national gathering for United Methodist Youth and is sponsored by Young People's Ministries, a unit of Discipleship Ministries of the UMC. Youth and youth leaders will have the opportunity to connect with each other, denominational leaders, and connectional agencies to help discover, discern, and delve into the wide variety of ministries of the United Methodist Church. 

LOCATION: The Kansas City Convention Center & Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri

DATES: July 10-14, 2019

COST: $319/person (Early Bird through January 31, 2019)

* All payments must be made for the entire group and made in full when registering

More Information 

Youtube Promo