The International Youth Convention of the Church of God, better known as IYC, was launched in 1924 as a youth day. In 1930, the first three-day, biennial youth convention was held. Over the eighty-eight years that have followed, International Youth Conventions have been held in all regions of the United States—as well as in three Canadian provinces.
In the late 1990s, the Youth Ministry Team developed an overall purpose statement for IYC: to create a moment for life change. This purpose drives everything that happens at the convention. Because of IYC, thousands of young men and women have made life-changing decisions. Hundreds have decided to go into full-time vocational ministry or missions, and hundreds more have indicated they are serious about living as Christ-centered leaders.
Since 1992, participants have given back to each host city with an estimated $500,000 worth of volunteer service hours in total. More than 63,000 pounds of garbage was picked up in one city alone. Still, the giving goes beyond the IYC host cities. Since 1998, nearly 4,200 attendees have participated in IYC-related mission experiences in eleven countries. Over 40,000 students and leaders have attended IYC since 2002. IYC wants to make a lasting difference. Since 2006, IYC has partnered with churches in communities where the event has been held to help plant churches and serve in various ways with existing churches.
IYC also helps to nurture a giving heart and a lifetime focus on others. Collectively, students have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Spread the Word, allowing young people to purchase practical tools and resources for evangelism worldwide.
IYC welcomes all churches and leaders from any Bible-believing church group or denomination.
Planning begins four to five years in advance. The IYC director and Church of God event planner visit the convention city to contract with the convention center and the hotels.
Several years ago, the Youth Ministry Team (YMT) and the Youth Network Team (YNT) decided on a sequence of four rotating cities (San Antonio, Texas; Orlando, Florida; Denver, Colorado; and Nashville, Tennessee)* with the option of a fifth wildcard city. These cities provide different types of experiences for students from all areas of the country.
Once the city is confirmed, the Student Leadership Team (SLT) meets with the YMT in the convention city around eighteen months before the upcoming convention. Together, through much prayer and discussion, they set the theme, schedule, and decide on artists and speakers. They come back together around one year prior to the convention to complete the student conference schedule and select the leaders of those conferences.
The IYC director, event planners, and other key staff members make numerous trips during the two-year period between conventions to make sure that things are in order for you to experience a moment of life change. Everything we do is driven by one question: “Does this create a moment for life change?” We never seek to do anything at IYC that doesn’t set attendees up for that powerful connection to God and his Holy Spirit.
Additionally, we believe that prayer unleashes God’s power; therefore, hundreds of prayer partners start to pray for the convention months before it starts; a prayer guide goes out to all churches in the early months of the convention year; the name of every preregistered attendee is sent to a prayer counselor to pray over before the convention; the pre-convention prayer walk service allows students and leaders to walk the convention area through guided prayer the day before the event; and, our on-site staff and team of prayer intercessors are praying for IYC participants.
As IYC2018 approaches, begin to pray with us for that moment of life change for all who attend.
Seventh-grade graduates to seniors in high school and adult leaders.
Can I bring my child to the convention? All individuals attending IYC2018 must be registered in order to participate. This is a high school event; therefore, we discourage you from bringing younger children. If it is absolutely necessary to bring a younger child to the convention, the child must be registered, regardless of age. Anyone five years old or older must pay the full registration fee.
Do I bring the kids in my group who are not very committed to the Lord?
By all means. Bring the whole group! You will find that this experience is all about life change.
I don’t have a youth leader. Can I still come?
You must be a part of a youth group to come to IYC. If you do not have a youth leader, contact the Churches of God in your area to see if you can connect with one of their youth groups. We have found that groups are usually very willing to accept others as long as you follow their guidelines, meet their deadlines for getting money in, and attend meetings with them as part of their group in preparation for IYC.
The 51st International Youth Convention of the Church of God Ministries to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana
Dates for this year: July 2–5, 2018
Why do the dates for IYC change from year to year? Rates of hotels and city availability play into what dates we choose. Often, we find that the week of July 4 offers some of the best hotel rates, which is why we have had IYC over the holiday in recent years. IYC2018 is July 2–5, 2018, and IYC2020 will be held July 3–6, 2020.
IYC is a proven opportunity for life change. Groups have found over and over again that the Lord works in miraculous ways through times set aside for community fellowship. Check out some life change stories by CLICKING HERE
International Youth Convention (IYC) is a four-day biennial gathering of high school students and adult leaders for a moment of life change.
Is there a dress code for IYC? Yes, these are the Modesty Suggestions we have for IYC:
Many of your youth may not understand the reason behind dressing modestly. Be sure to walk with them through the biblical truths behind these suggestions prior to the convention. Here are some examples of dress that we ask your students to avoid:
Everyone (things to avoid)
Girls (things to avoid)
Guys (things to avoid)
Is there a mission experience before or after IYC that I can be involved with? Yes, we have partnered with Lead222 to offer a mission experience in Indianapolis, June 24–30. To register, click on the Pre-IYC missions tab on the IYC home page.
What is Impact Indianapolis? Impact Indianapolis is a one afternoon event where each group can go out and serve the city around IYC for a few hours. On the IYC website, there is a link for you to go and check out the different organizations that have opened work for us to do. When finding an organization to work with, read the description, and pray about whether it is a good fit for you and your youth group. Then, sign up for the experience that most interests you!
What type of seating will there be for the main sessions at IYC2018? We will all be in one arena at IYC2018. There will be staggered admission by geographical region, based on the color of attendee wristbands.
I am a counselor. Do I need to sign a waiver/liability form? Yes. Everyone attending IYC must submit a completed waiver/liability form.
Will there be a Spread the Word offering time at IYC2018? Yes. We are asking everyone to set a goal to bring $20 for the STW offering. One of our projects this year is to work to help save an entire village in Asia from human trafficking.
How can I get more informational flyers? You may download flyers by CLICKING HERE
What is the pre-convention prayer service?
The pre-convention prayer service is a focused time of prayer and worship on Monday, July 2, from 10 am until noon at the Downtown Marriott. Anyone can attend. You do not have to have checked in with us or wear your wristbands to get in. You can check in and pick up your wristbands after this service.
Is tipping important? As you and your youth group plan your trip to the International Youth Convention, do not forget to figure in money for tips. Did you know that it is said that TIP means “to insure promptness?” Whether or not this definition is true, a tip certainly shows our appreciation. Christians sometimes get a bad rap for not being great tippers. This IYC, let’s show others the generosity that Christ has shown to us. Youth of the Church of God, let’s be a blessing to the people of Indianapolis!
Here are some general guidelines that may be helpful as you and your youth group considers the costs.
Early Bird Bonus $130 per person (postmarked by January 25, 2018)
Early Bird $145 per person (postmarked by March 22, 2018)
Convention Registration $160 per person (postmarked by May 11, 2018)
At the door Registration $175 per person
Cancellations: There is a $50 non-refundable fee for each person whose registration is canceled ON or BEFORE May 11, 2018. After May 11, there will be no refunds. You may, however, make a substitution at no charge by contacting us at email@example.com or by calling 1-800-848-2464.
If I send in my registration money without filling out the registration, am I considered registered? Your registration is not considered complete until your registration information is submitted, and payment is received. The amount due is determined by the date you get BOTH of these items submitted. In other words, if you do your registration in time for the early-bird rate, but your payment is not postmarked by that deadline, you will owe the amount for the regular registration price. Also, if you send in a check, but we don’t get your registration information until after the next price increase, you will need to pay the rate based on when your registration AND payment were both submitted. Again, the amount due is determined by the date you have BOTH your registration information and payment submitted. That is when your registration is considered complete.
Do I need to sign up for conferences or YMI? No, the cost is included in your registration, and you just have to show up. Keep in mind that some student conferences fill up fast, so be there early to make sure you get a seat at the conference of your choice!
Please note that pre-payment of registrations is not an option. In order to get the current rate, complete information for all registrants must be submitted along with the appropriate payment by the deadline listed. Payments submitted without registrant information will be returned to the sender.
Once your group has submitted at least one paid registration for IYC2018, a link to the housing packet will be sent to your main youth group leader in the confirmation e-mail. This will include a code which will allow rooms to be booked at our reduced rates. When you receive it, please read through your housing packet carefully and follow the provided instructions to make your reservations through the online system.
Remember: We have worked very hard to lower room costs for you and your group. In order to honor our contracts, we must meet our minimum guarantee. If an IYC attendee chooses to stay at a non-contracted hotel, an additional fee of $75/person will be added to his/her registration fee. Thank you for your understanding.
Seventh grade graduates are now allowed to come to IYC.
Description: Usually ten top leadership students are chosen to plan IYC. Pastors and youth leaders, nominate your top leadership student for the planning team for IYC2020 by filling out this short form https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SLT2020
All attendees are responsible for arranging their own transportation. For those flying to Indianapolis, we recommend Indianapolis International Airport (IND), 7800 Col H Weir Cook Memorial Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46241.The airport is about 20 minutes from the convention center. There is a shuttle that can shuttle you to and from the airport for $12 one way by CLICKING HERE. Taxis will cost around $25–35 one way and Uber is similar in price. For more limousine, van, car, and shuttle rentals, CLICK HERE to go to the Indy website.
IYC is having its first ever 5K at IYC2018! Spread the Word is partnering with Trafficklight to raise funds to fight human trafficking. Here’s what you need to know:
IYC 2018 Speakers
Danielle Strickland serves as an officer in the Salvation Army. She loves Jesus…and she loves people. She especially loves the more fragile in communities around the world. Over the years, this love has led her to
back alleys and streets late in the night to partner with Jesus in rescuing those caught up in drugs, homelessness, prostitution, and despair. It has also led her to the halls of government and corridors of commercial power to see laws changed and practices transformed so people aren’t trafficked and children aren’t enslaved.
The author of multiple books, including A Beautiful Mess: How God Recreates Our Lives and Boundless: Living Life in Overflow, Danielle has sought to cultivate authentic Christian community in deprived neighborhoods on the way to loving the last, the lost, and the least into God’s kingdom. Reclaimed from the clutches of the enemy, generational addiction, and violence, Danielle, alongside her husband, are bringing up three boys in the fear and friendship of the Lord.
Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez is the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. Rodriguez has spoken at a variety of locations, include the White House,
Princeton, Yale, Promise Keepers, and at the Martin Luther King, Jr. 40th Anniversary Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rodriguez is the author of several books, including Be Light: Shining God’s Beauty, Truth, and Hope in a Darkened World, which made Number 1 on the LA Times bestseller list. He serves as senior pastor of New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento, California, where he resides with his wife Eva and their three children.
Imagine getting through your busy day without hands or legs. Picture your life without the ability to walk, care for your basic needs, or even embrace those you love. Meet Nicholas Vujicic. Without any medical explanation or warning, Nick was born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia, without arms and legs.
Three sonograms failed to reveal complications. And yet, the Vujicic family was destined to cope with both the challenge and blessing of raising a son who refused to allow his physical condition to limit his lifestyle.
The early days were difficult. Throughout his childhood, Nick not only dealt with the typical challenges of school and adolescence, but he also struggled with depression and loneliness. Nick constantly wondered why he was different than all the other kids. He questioned the purpose of life, or even if he had a purpose. According to Nick, the victory over his struggles, as well as his strength and passion for life today, can be credited to his faith in God. His family, friends, and the many people he has encountered along the journey have inspired him to carry on, as well.
Since age nineteen, Nick has traveled around the world, sharing his story with millions, speaking to a wide range of diverse groups, such as students, teachers, young people, business professionals, and church congregations of all sizes. Today this dynamic young evangelist has accomplished more than most people achieve in a lifetime. He’s an author, musician, and actor, with hobbies that include fishing, painting, and swimming. In 2007, Nick made the long journey from Australia to southern California, where he is now the president of the international nonprofit ministry Life Without Limbs, which was established in 2005. According to Nick, “If God can use a man without arms and legs to be his hands and feet, then he will certainly use any willing heart!”
Jim Lyon grew up in Seattle, where he served as an associate and then senior pastor of the Fairview Church (1977–1991). In 1991, he moved to Anderson, Indiana (near Indianapolis), to become senior pastor of Madison Park Church of God.
After twenty-two years at Madison Park, he accepted the invitation to become general director of Church of God Ministries, providing leadership for the Church of God in the United States and Canada (and networking with the church in nearly ninety countries).
Lyon studied at Seattle Pacific University and the University of Washington Law School, before taking a post in Seattle with Northwest Airlines. Always fascinated by politics and the public interest, he has worked in many civic and church-related fields, including representing northwest Seattle as a member of the Washington State House of Representatives.
But, it is the Christian ministry that ultimately owned his heart. It is the conviction that Jesus is at work in the world, redeeming and transforming us, that has molded his life and vocation more than any other. Articulate pastor, teacher, and motivational speaker, he became the host of CBH ViewPoint, the English-language broadcast of Christians Broadcasting Hope, in 1996; the program is heard worldwide on air and online each week.
In 2011, Lyon released his first book, Go Ahead. Ask Anything, published by Stylos and distributed by Word. Based on a sermon series delivered at the Madison Park Church, the book addresses the top-ten questions posed in a community survey asking, “If you could ask anything at church, what would it be?” A second book, Jesus B was released by Warner Press in 2015.
Lyon and his wife, Maureen, married in 1978 and have four sons and five grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, jogging, traveling, and Haagen Dazs. He loves politics, current events, and biographies. When asked about his Achilles’ heel, he is certain to reply, “chocolate ice cream.”
Tim is the senior pastor of the multi-ethnic, multigenerational Embassy City Church in Irving, Texas. He speaks both nationally and internationally, strengthening believers with the good news of Jesus Christ.
Tim began preaching at the age of twenty and has already impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. His dynamic teaching style and uncanny ability to make people understand the gospel message is the reason why he has been such an asset to ministries across cultural and denominational lines.
Tim is happily married to Juliette, his bride since May 1, 1999, and they have two sons, Nathan and Noah.
The journey to Zealand has been a wild and adventurous one that no one anticipated. Led by Phil Joel, best known for his long-standing role as bass player and vocalist for the multi-platinum-selling band Newsboys,
and as a solo artist, the band has been faithfully traversing a road that has been as unscripted and unexpected as it has been ordained.
Regarding the band’s name, Phil explains, “My cousin Roger and I are from New Zealand but the name isn’t about a country; it’s about a state: a state of being zealous for the land God has for each one of us, starting with our relationship with him.”
Raucous, invigorating and deep, Zealand is taking the next step as authentically as it can, staying true to their sound and mission. Since signing with Word in May 2015, the band released an EP in 2016 and launched the release of their first full-length album “Liberated” in February 2018. They will be able to be heard and experienced live on the road opening for the Newsboys United Tour 2018.
John Hinton performs captivating illusions that make people doubt their senses, question their reality, and search for answers.
He fakes the supernatural to cause people to desire the Real Supernatural! In his words, “My goal is simply to be a tool that God can use to spread his incredible gospel. If my illusions earn me the right to be heard, awesome, but it’s the heart of God that I want you to truly walk away remembering.”
Jeff lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his three young children and his wife Nicky, who works as a family nurse practitioner and teaches online at two universities.
Together, he and his wife minister in the areas of marriage, dating, and relationships. He has been a high school, middle school, and college pastor. Along with working for the local church, Jeff was on staff at two West Coast Christian universities and, before that, involved in the entertainment industry for seven years doing stand-up comedy, acting, voiceover work, and production.
Today, Jeff serves as an associate campus pastor at Central Christian Church in Mesa AZ. Before that he served as the teaching pastor at North Hills Church of God in Phoenix and ministered at Pasadena Church of God in Southern California. He also makes time to coach and consult with Ministry Insights, Int’l. and travels, speaking the Word of God and emceeing at conferences.
In a barn in Louisville, Kentucky, Iron Bell Music’s primary songwriters – Stephen McWhirter, Joel Gerdis and Josh Glauber – and the rest of their team lead people during dedicated worship nights, most of all providing
safe haven of community. Held throughout the year, the songs that are birthed there are the work God is doing in and through the hearts and lives of these writers.
Authentic adoration and praise shapes every gathering led by Iron Bell Music, and this same spirit is captured in every song on their major label debut from Essential Worship. The full-length album, recorded live across a full night of worship at the barn, features original songs such as “Your Love Is A Fortress,” “My Confidence,” “Belong To You,” and their first radio single, “God That Saves.”
In addition to their worship nights, Iron Bell Music desires to pour into other worship leaders on a heart-level. “There’s not a lot of resources on a personal level for worship leaders,” Stephen observes. “There’s enough for helping them do the functional part of their job but not for helping them be good at just loving the Lord, because that’s actually the thing that is the most valuable tool they have—the overflow of intimacy with the Lord.”
Whether encouraging fellow believers or inviting radio listeners to sing along, Iron Bell Music hopes their songs facilitate moments of transformational discovery for all who encounter their music. “We want the songs to literally cause breakthrough for people in their relationship with the Lord,” Joel asserts. “Whatever God’s doing in us, we feel like it’s a very authentic expression that we can lead other people into.”
Rapper Kevin Burgess, now better known by his stage name KB, plays the trumpet. When hip hop is synonymous with devil-music in your household, the trumpet is a safer outlet for musical expression!
Fast-forward to the present, and Tampa, Florida-based artist KB has found redemption in what was once the forbidden music of his youth. After obtaining a theology degree, he dove into Christian hip hop, releasing a mixtape, a widely successful debut album, and a Dove award-winning EP (for Rap/Hip Hop Song of the Year, “100”). His second studio album, Tomorrow We Live, debuted on the Billboard charts at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums, No. 4 on Top Rap Albums, and in the Top 20 on the iconic Billboard 200. KB’s talent in the studio is matched by his high-octane live shows. He has toured with Lecrae, Tenth Avenue North, and is currently touring nationally in support of Tomorrow We Live.
For more than twenty years, David Crowder has been a leader in the worship industry. Crowder offers a unique blend of musical sounds and instruments that helps to engage his audiences in a worship experience like no other.
David Crowder was born in Texarkana, Texas, the son of an insurance salesman and a social worker. He says that he grew up listening to Elvis, Willie Nelson, Olivia Newton John, and Bill Gaither.
Crowder was a student at Baylor University when his musical career began. In his storied career, Crowder has won numerous awards, including a Grammy award and multiple Dove awards. His latest album, American Prodigal, was released September 23, 2016, and debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Christian albums chart. David and his wife currently reside in Atlanta.
Stay tuned – more to come
OTHER YOUTH MINISTRIES RESOURCES