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The Meraki Fellowship

The Meraki Fellowship

by Rev. Sarah Are on November 25, 2020

Have you ever had an idea that feels so big it’s risky? 

That’s how the Meraki Fellowship began for me. 

It was an idea. It was a rumble in my head and my heart. 

It was a soapbox I could easily stand on, and it was a passion project that I couldn’t help but speak out loud. 

The idea began a few years ago. As my network of youth workers in the Presbyterian Church continues to grow, I began to notice some staffing trends.  Time and time again, churches were hiring young adults straight out of college to lead their youth programs. These young adults were often passionate and energetic but did not have the training or support they might need to do this job sustainably. As a result, most of these young adults would last a few years before leaving, feeling burnt out and discouraged about ministry. This pattern meant that churches and youth programs were cycling through a painful transition over and over again, and over and over again the church was losing qualified and brilliant candidates for ministry.

I care about young people.

That care exists in the particular for the youth of Preston Hollow, but it also exists in the abstract for every other teenager that finds themselves at a youth group around the country. 

If we hope to continue caring for and supporting our young people, then I believe we owe it to ourselves to invest in youth ministry as a field. Therefore, the idea for the Meraki Fellowship- a two-year youth director residency program, was born. 

At first, it was just an idea, but as of last Friday, it is now a reality. 

I am thrilled and honored to announce that we will be hiring a Meraki Fellow to join our team in the coming months. This person will serve as a member of the youth staff, just like Maggie and I, but with the expectation that we will love them into being who they are called to be and will launch them to go serve the church or the world after two years. During their two years on staff, they will receive all the care, support and training we can provide them, so that they will leave inspired and ready to serve. My hope is that this person will be yet another adult that our young people can turn to for support, advice and connection, benefiting not only the greater church but Preston Hollow in particular. 

To learn more about the Meraki Fellowship, check out our website! 

Some ideas feel risky, but I am learning, God is in the risk, just like God is in the passion. Here’s to a new beginning, to rumbling with the Holy Spirit, and to youth everywhere. We appreciate your support!

learn more here

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