Youth Ministry Connection

Hello! For Hoosier United Methodists who I haven’t met (which is most of you, at this point), I’m the Rev. Brian Durand, new Associate Director of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministries. I’m honored and delighted to serve the Indiana Conference and excited about the ministry that lies ahead. In the past several weeks I’ve found myself all over the state, beginning to connect with local and campus ministries. As I’ve been making the rounds, I’ve encountered the same questions about me and my new position, so here are some quick answers:

Where are you from?

I grew up in a small town called Palmyra in the northeast corner of Missouri, where my family attended Palmyra UMC, a small county seat church. My first job out of college brought me to Indianapolis in 1995, and five years later, I began seminary at Christian Theological Seminary, where I earned a Master of Divinity degree. I served as Pastor for Youth Ministries at St. Luke’s UMC in Indianapolis for nine years prior to my current position.

Do you have a family?

I’m married to the love of my life, Cheryl, whom I met while we both served as youth ministry volunteers in the church. We have two children: Noah, 4, and Ella, 8 months.

What do you do?

My personal mission is to support our congregations and campus ministries in recruiting, equipping, connecting and inspiring young, Spirit-filled church leaders who will revitalize our congregations. My role is to build ministry connections, helping congregation and campus ministry leaders to know they are not alone in trying to minister to young people, and to share resources to improve our ministry with youth, young adults and college-university students throughout the state.

So you’re the youth guy?

Actually, no! While I love ministry with young people and I like to think of myself as youthful (37 if you want to know), I am not the youth guy. Raising young leaders and passionately sharing the Gospel with young people is the responsibility of all of us. The danger of naming a “youth guy” or “youth gal” is we may fail to fulfill our role in making disciples – assuming someone else (the “youth person”) will do it. Whether you are a lay leader, pastor, church member without children, parent, volunteer, one who attends worship, or just someone who happened to pick up this paper and started reading it, you are a vital part of encouraging and supporting young leadership and sharing your faith with young people. It’s your responsibility, and mine, and all of us who belong to the UMC in Indiana.

What advice can you give us for reaching out to young people?

For the answer to this question, visit www.inumc.org, click on Connectional Ministries at the top of the Home page and click on Youth Ministries in the left column. I’ll see you there.

Contact information

You can contact Brian at bldurand@gmail.com or by phone at 317-331-3404,

Check out Brian’s blog for youth workers and pastors at www.youthministryconnection.wordpress.com.

The Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry pages are located on the new conference Web site at www.inumc.org under Connectional Ministries. As we seek to share resources and connect with each other, let us know how we can help you and best serve your needs in ministry.

Geography fun

Take out an Indiana map and connect Bloomfield and South Whitley with a line. Now do the same between New Castle and Battleground. What did you draw?