Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry’s focus is Sunday Evening Youth Group. Each Sunday evening youth experience community, share prayers,and learn to seek and love God.

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Youth Ministry News

What is BEYOND? (9/9/2018)

BEYOND launches for 11th and 12th-grade youth on September 16 with a mandatory information meeting for participants and their parents. Youth interested can register now. Not sure yet? Check out what BEYOND is all about:

BEYOND empowers students to use their gifts for God’s glory by developing Fresh Expressions funded by grants from the annual pecan sale.

Forming BEYOND

Mission Leadership Team had a rich history at First United Methodist Church of Orlando. For nearly two-decades, MLT helped 11th and 12th-grade youth discover who God created them to be and how to serve God in the world.

In 2017, the Florida United Methodist Conference announced a Fresh Expression campaign to help churches think about ministry in new ways. In early 2018, ideas for an evolved Mission Leadership Team began to form.

As curriculum developed, based in part on Bishop Carter’s Fresh Expressions book, it was clear adding new curriculum to MLT would not be sufficient. Instead, BEYOND formed.

Based upon a foundation created by Mission Leadership Team, providing an advanced level of discussion for 11th and 12th-grade youth, BEYOND strives to engage students on a journey beyond their current understanding of self and ministry.

What is BEYOND?

BEYOND is a high-level, opt-in discipleship opportunity open to high school juniors and seniors. Over the seven meetings students explore a curriculum focusing on the gifts and personality God has instilled in them and how to use those gifts and passions to develop opportunities for ministry.

The BEYOND curriculum invites students to discover their personality types, spiritual gifts, and the unique way they connect with God. Youth are then encouraged to use their unique understanding of self and explore ways to develop a Fresh Expression of ministry individually or as a team.

BEYOND empowers students to use their gifts for God’s glory.

What are Fresh Expressions?

Fresh Expressions are a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. The Fresh Expressions students create can be a one time project, an act of leadership, a new ministry, or something else that aligns with their passions and gifts.

Teenagers have unique abilities and ideas that have the potential to change the world. The barriers to developing those ideas usually involve resources and time. BEYOND strives to remove those barriers with BEYOND Grants.

What are BEYOND Grants?

The final BEYOND meeting is Pitch Day. Members of the church laity and staff listen to the students’ ideas and do everything possible to support and enable their Fresh Expression or leadership role. BEYOND Grants, using money raised selling pecans, are available to help fund ideas. Grants are renewable depending on need and availability.

Are there requirements for a BEYOND grant?

While everyone is capable and empowered to develop Fresh Expressions, BEYOND Grants have a few requirements:

  • Full participation and attendance at each of the scheduled BEYOND meetings. Considerations for pre-scheduled conflicts are permissible with advance notice. Renewal grants do not require attending BEYOND meetings a second time.
  • Greater than 55% attendance at Youth Ministry events leading up to Pitch Day. This includes regularly scheduled Youth Group and special events.
  • Maximum grant value is based on availability of funds generated during the annual pecan fundraiser.

Will all Fresh Expression ideas require grants?

Nope! While some ideas might require grant funding, not all Fresh Expressions have a cost involved. Some might just require time and manpower to launch. However, BEYOND Grants are available to remove any monetary barriers in the way for participants of BEYOND.

Do I need an idea to start BEYOND?

No! BEYOND is designed to provide space for youth to think, develop, and explore who they are as an individual. Youth are encouraged to use their understanding to develop ideas individually or as a team. That said, youth are welcome to come to BEYOND with ideas already percolating too.

Will ideas be limited in any way?

No! Fresh Expressions can be anything and everything. We’ll be focusing on our own communities and neighborhoods throughout BEYOND, but ideas can be big or small. There is no one size fits all to Fresh Expressions!

Register for BEYOND

Don’t Miss the Deadline (9/4/2018)

youth group

Sunday Evening Youth Group is on for another year of fun, excitement, and seeking God. Youth are welcome to join us Sunday evenings from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. There’s no cost, there’s no dress code, youth are welcome to come as they are and enjoy the evening. Friends are always welcome!

If you are able to provide a snack for Youth Group, please register for a week using Realm.

This year most Youth Ministry events have hard registration deadlines. These dates are in place to provide ample notice to transportation providers and venues while ensuring enough adult volunteers. Please pay attention to these deadlines so you don’t miss out on great opportunities.

Coming Soon to a Youth Ministry Near You:

The Core — Begins September 5

The Core is a leadership team for high schoolers that focuses on planning and leading our Youth Ministry. This group meets on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm on the Third Floor. Dinner is available beginning at 5:30 pm for $6 on the First Floor.

Registration is not required.

Beyond — Begins September 16

Our faith is one designed to live beyond the walls of the church. Through a series of six meetings, 11th and 12th grade students will explore how they’ve been created, their gifts, passions, and how they connect with God. Youth will then be challenged and empowered to move beyond their understanding and create a Fresh Expression of ministry using grant money.

The first meeting is mandatory for all potential participants and their parents.

Register Before September 16

Middle School Lock-In — October 26-27; $35

What’s more fun than staying at the church overnight, eating junk food, and watching movies? Doing all of that and playing Whirly Ball! What’s Whirly Ball? Only the best game ever created! It combines bumper cars, basketball, wiffleballs, and crazyness for a ton of fun.

Register Before September 30

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and sign up for our text message reminders.

Upcoming Events

The Middle School Lock In is a time for students to have fun, play games, and sleep at the church. This year, we’ll be heading to the Whirly Dome for an evening of Whirly Ball excitement!

Register Now

Epic is a group for 8th-grade students that focuses on what their Epic journey through life is all about. Youth are invited to explore and define their faith while becoming members of our church.

Register Now

Weekly Opportunities

Sunday Evening Youth Group

  • Third Floor Opens - 5:00 p.m.
    The Third Floor opens for the adult volunteer meeting and free play before worship.
  • Worship - 5:30 p.m.
    A worship service for the whole family, 5:30 Worship includes youth leadership and communion.
  • Games and Hangout - 6:15 p.m.
    Following worship, youth move to the Third Floor for games and hang out time. During this time a light snack is provided for free. Donations are accepted.
  • Groups - 6:45 to 7:30 p.m.
    Most evenings, Groups are grade-level based small groups. Throughout the year Groups may be combined for special experiences.

Sunday Mornings

Wednesday Evenings

Special Commitments

  • Blankner Devos & Donuts
    Devos & Donuts is a breakfast program for Blankner middle school students at 8 a.m. in Mrs. Layton’s classroom the morning after FCA huddles. Come for free donuts and a morning devotion before school.
  • BEYOND - Begins September 16
    BEYOND is a high-level, opt-in discipleship opportunity open to high school juniors and seniors. Over the course of seven meetings students explore a curriculum focusing on the gifts and personality God has instilled in them and how to use those gifts and passions to develop opportunities for ministry.
  • EPIC Confirmation - Begins January 20, 2019
    EPIC is a group for 8th-grade students that focuses on what their epic journey through life is all about. Register Now.


About Youth Ministry

The Youth Ministry of First Church, The Skylight, guides youth in sixth through twelfth grade to seek and love God and love and serve people. Led by the Minister to Youth and Families, Justin Cox, the Skylight Youth Ministry creates ways for youth to explore a relationship with Christ and build relationships with other Christ-following youth and adults.

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