The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection of Leawood, Kansas will host the Young Preachers Festival (YPF) June 27-28. The Church of the Resurrection has partnered with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry as part of the Young Clergy Initiative to encourage and equip the next generation of leaders for The United Methodist Church.
The gathering is designed specifically to engage and empower young people across the country to pursue their call to ministry, and to help further inspire and develop preaching gifts in those who have already answered that call.
The festival is intended for persons age 18-34 who are graduating high school seniors, college-aged ministry participants, seminary students, declared candidates for ordination, youth directors and young clergy already serving in churches.
The festival’s featured preachers/speakers include Adam Hamilton, Sarah Heath, Kevin Murriel, Jerusha Neal, Charley Reeb and Scott Chrostek.
Experiences for Festival participants include:
- Learning about the craft of preaching, sermon preparation and preaching skills from the panel of featured speakers
- Participating in inspiring worship and hearing some of today’s denominational leaders preach the gospel
- Preparing and presenting a sermon and receiving feedback
- Meeting and connecting with other young church leaders
The festival will be held concurrently with the South Central Jurisdiction Bishops’ Week, providing an opportunity for participants to meet and interact with several active bishops. The opening session of the festival will feature a greeting from the bishops and a presentation on excellence in Wesleyan preaching. An opportunity to continue the conversation will follow the session at a lunch with the bishops.
Bill Gepford shares the impact the festival had on ministry at Tonganoxie United Methodist Church, where he served as Senior Pastor during the last festival, “We brought a big team to Young Preachers Festival: the lead pastor, children's minister, youth minister, two pastoral interns, and a college leader who volunteered in our youth ministry. I'm grateful that the reasonable cost makes it possible to bring a bigger team. Each of us came home energized for ministry, and with new skills that we could apply to our areas."
Gepford continues, "When we got back, we started a preaching feedback team. Every Wednesday, whoever was preaching that week would give their sermon to the rest of the team (who had all been at the festival) for critique. That idea alone had a huge impact on the quality of sermons at that church.”
This year’s event marks the third United Methodist Young Preachers Festival. Previous festivals held in 2015 and 2016 drew 150 participants each. The limited number of attendees allows for maximized time with colleagues and ministry leaders. Kyle Reynolds, a 2015 participant noted, “YPF gives you the chance to make connections with people you might not otherwise meet and begin to build friendships and dream about what the future of the church might hold.”
Affirmation of call is an important aspect of the festival, and Bill Gepford provides an encouraging example of how the Festival influenced one of his young leaders: “…the coolest part of Young Preacher Festival came a few weeks afterwards, when one of our Pastoral Interns had the opportunity to preach at our church. He had never given a sermon before, but stood up and gave one of the best sermons I've ever heard (I still wish I could preach that well). People still talk about it - and it seemed to be one of the confirming moments in this young man's call to ministry. I'm grateful for the role of the Young Preachers Festival in training all of us, and making that moment possible!”
If you have further questions about the festival, contact Kari Burgess, ShareChurch Communications Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional details and registration can be found at www.youngpreachersfestival.org
. Registration is limited, so register early. Contact us at email@example.com