Young Adult Initiators

Calling movers, shakers, and community-makers.

Montreat Conference Center is piloting an experience for young adults that will nurture community, explore meaning, and encourage young adults to ask questions that will influence their lives of faith for years to come.

Montreat will support ten to fifteen small groups of young adults for a year, each group led by an initiator. The heart of each group will be the experience of exploring lives of meaning in community, but the ways they interact are limited only by the imaginations of the initiators – one group might gather around dinners; another group might gather around public service or community organizing; another group might cycle, run or hike.

We are looking for the initiators of these groups: enthusiastic self-starters who want to create community for young adults in the place where they are. These initiators will attend two retreat meetings in Montreat at no cost and will receive ongoing support throughout the year. The first class of initiators will be 10-15 people who are passionate about creating communities of people for mutual support, exploration, and faith talk. We are hoping that the groups created will show a great amount of variety in context, interests, activities, and ways of being community.

We will be accepting applications until February 13, 2018, for the inaugural class of Young Adult Initiators.

Apply to be an initiator!

 

What is a young adult small group?

An intentional community of 10-15 young adults who commit to monthly gatherings around a shared interest and ongoing conversation about how life and faith interact.

What’s the point?

At Montreat Conference Center, we are looking for ways to support people in the important years of young adulthood. We know that there are lots of different ways to tackle young adulthood, and even half-a-dozen ways to define “young adult,” but we believe that a common desire among many young adults is to create bonds of community in which they can ask questions of faith, meaning, and purpose. We want to allow these small communities to spring up in a supportive atmosphere, so that one day an older adult might look back and see this small group as having an important impact on their life of faith.

How is Montreat defining “young adult”?

Montreat wants YOU to define young adult where you are. The beauty of creating lots of groups is that they can all look different.

Can I be a young adult who initiates a young adult small group?

Absolutely. We are looking for a group of enthusiastic self-starters who want to create community for young adults in the place where they are. If you’re a young adult yourself, that’s great.

Do I have to be a young adult to initiate a young adult small group?

No. Let’s say you’re the person in the church whose task is to foster community among young adult members; you might make a great initiator of a small group even if young adulthood is behind you.

Can I be a paid church worker who initiates a young adult small group/s in my congregation?

Sure! Small groups can be great ways to strengthen bonds in a congregational setting.

Do I have to be a church worker or affiliated with a congregation to be an effective small group initiator?

No! We are looking for small group initiators who can create a wide variety of different groups based on where they are and what their people are interested in. One young adult small group might be initiated by a YAV alum, another by an avid hiker, and another by an activist for social change.

What will Montreat provide me?

Two retreat meetings with your fellow young adult small group initiators; in the first (April 11-13, 2018) we’ll get to know each other, set goals, and learn about creating great small groups. At the second retreat (in April of 2019) we’ll gather again to tell stories of what worked and what didn’t, and prepare the next year’s group of initiators. Montreat will provide these two retreats (including room, board, travel, and training) at no cost. We will also provide ongoing support throughout the year.

How many initiators will you select, and how will you select them?

We will select 10-15 initiators to be our first group, and we’ll be looking for people who are passionate about creating communities of people for mutual support, exploration, and faith talk. We are hoping that the groups created will show a great amount of variety in context, interests, activities, and ways of being community.

What’s the time commitment?

Each small group should meet with intention for one year (probably once a month, but you’ll decide the exact schedule based on your context). Initiators are responsible for forming the group and organizing its gatherings.

What if I need help?

We want to help you, and if we don’t know an answer or have a resource, we’ll do our best to help you find it!

What will happen at our first retreat in April of 2018?

Initiators will get to know each other, develop a framework of common goals for their work, imagine what their groups might look like, work on plans for organizing their group, and learn skills in small group ministry.

Can I apply as part of a team?

We would accept an application from two people who wanted to work as a pair to initiate a small group.

Why did you call the leaders of these groups initiators?

We think forming each of these communities, especially in the beginning, is going to require the passion and energy of a person who takes the initiative to locate people, invite them in, and foster their getting to know one another.

Can these small groups be virtual?

No, we want to place our emphasis on face-to-face interactions and group endeavors, whether that’s making dinner together, providing a community service, or going to a concert.

When can I apply?

We will be accepting applications until February 13, 2018, for the inaugural class of Young Adult Initiators.

Apply to be an initiator!

 

Questions? Contact Carol Steele at carols@montreat.org or Evelyn Coleman at evelync@montreat.org.

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