The TWK Youth Ministry Operations Team recently hosted a Youth Leadership Event at Lakeshore, a new initiative aimed at empowering young leaders from 8th to 12th grade across the conference. Held on February 17, this event was an effort to purposefully invest in youth, encouraging them as they learn and lead in ministry.

Keynote speaker Jeff Cochran, author of ‘Next Level Leader’, spoke on the vital link between leadership and communication. Jeff shared, “If you want to learn to lead well, you need to learn to communicate well.” His insights, along with the opportunities to learn from other TWK leaders like Josh Shaw and Allison Doyle, as well as Millie and Brooke Cagle, offered opportunities for participants to grow as leaders.

Jordan Littrell of Grace UMC (Mt. Juliet) shared, “As a youth leader, bringing eight of our youth to this event was an invaluable experience. We could not have organized such an enriching event on our own, and I am deeply grateful to the conference for creating this opportunity. Our youth left the event not only with a strengthened bond with our UMC family but also with a newfound confidence to embrace leadership roles. It was truly inspiring to witness their growth and the sense of empowerment they gained.”

The event was further enriched by the participation of District Superintendents Rev. Pat Freudenthal, Rev. Chip Hunter, and Rev. Rickey Wade. Their personal stories of calling and leadership provided a source of inspiration and encouragement to the attendees.

Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive, signaling its success in resonating with the youth and aligning with the TWK’s values. This enthusiasm is a promising indicator for the future, particularly as plans are underway for another event in the fall.

The Youth Leadership Event at Lakeshore represents a significant step in nurturing this emerging generation of church leaders here in the TWK Conference.