Do you have a coach or mentor? Have you ever been asked that, or heard someone talk about having a coach or mentor? What is the big deal anyway? Isn’t a coach something you had in little league or in your high school musical?

I can say with strong clarity that having mentors and coaches in my life has helped me move forward in areas of my life where I would otherwise have stayed stagnant or fallen off a cliff. I am the first to say I have a lot of development left to do, and have coaches and mentors who are currently helping me to move forward. Everyone should have a coach/mentor in his/her life.


Why should you have a mentor or coach? First, it is modeled often in the Bible. Moses and Joshua, Paul and Timothy, Jesus and his disciples, Ruth and Naomi and the list goes on. We need others in our lives to help us stay on track and sharpen us. Second, it keeps us moving forward. I have found as I age that, without truth-tellers around me, I can easily stay stagnant. I remember reading a study years ago that interviewed leaders who had a major crash morally, and almost 100 percent didn’t have accountability or truth-tellers in their lives. We need someone to help probe areas that we need to develop. Third, it helps us sharpen and develop to be the best we can be for God. God uses people to help grow us.

We want to encourage you to find a mentor or coach. No matter how long or how short a time we have been in ministry, we need someone pouring into us so we can pour into others.

Check out our coaching partners from LEAD222. This is an incredible coaching organization that has poured into my life for years. You can have a coach and be trained to coach others. Check out www.lead222.com for more information.

On the journey—growing, falling, and getting up with you,


Andy Stephenson

Andy Stephenson, PhD, is the associate director of North American Ministries at Church of God Ministries. He can be reached at AStephenson@chog.org.

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Held April 21–22, 2017, at Church at the Crossing

(Indianapolis, IN)

“We are one, we are one, we are ONE.” Who knew that 233 teenage students and their leaders could come together from all over, with different backgrounds, to worship our ONE God in perfect unison?

The event started out with a wonderful group of students from Anderson University leading a great evening of worship. Adam Rentas spoke on ONE mission for God. He showed us what that looks like from the Bible and how it applies to our lives today. The huge group then merged together into the gym for late-night group discussion and games. If you haven’t experienced over 200 rowdy students/adults playing one big group game, then you have missed out on some excitement! Running on little to no sleep, the energy again was high as the Hispanic Council (Concilio Hispano) led worship on Saturday morning. This was something I have never experienced before, and I was absolutely blown away! Humberto Mena spoke on how our unity together glorifies God. What a perfect message for a send-off to Gleaners Food Bank, where we served together, packing and sorting food. After two hours of hard work, we were treated with a wonderful lunch of Chick-fil-A. Tired, but still energized, we all made our way back to the church for the last session of the event. NIYC led us in an upbeat time of worship. The Lord was ever-so present. Tim Quainoo spoke on 1 Peter 4, with the theme of One Love, and how love enables us to live a life for God.

My favorite part of the weekend was serving at Gleaners Food Bank. We all were split up into different groups doing different tasks, but we were all serving towards one goal: serving God. My group specifically sifted through huge tubs of packaged food, fixing the broken packages and sending them on to get sorted into the appropriate tub the package belonged in. This simple act had such a greater meaning to me. We are all broken in some way, shape or form, but God fixes the broken and places them exactly where they need to be. It was a wonderful time laughing, working, and meeting new people.

The One Event was very successful indeed. I talked with many students as they were heading home, and they said it was no doubt their favorite event so far. It was for me as well. It was such a humbling experience to get to worship in different styles, yet still praising the same God.


Sierra Ratzlaff

Sierra Ratzlaff is an Anderson University student and staff intern serving at Church of God Ministries in preparation for IYC2018. Sierra can be reached during the school year at SRatzlaff@chog.org.

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Proverbs 27:17 states that, just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other. I have had the opportunity to serve as a coach for a number of years. It is one of those things that brings me a great amount of joy. It is great to invest in the lives of leaders, and to speak into persons who are trying to stretch their leadership capabilities. It’s exciting to get those being coached to think outside the box of what they are already doing in ministry. Being coach is an adventure for sure.

Here is what I have discovered while serving as a coach: being a coach helps me to be a better leader, too. I find myself processing my own ministry as I am helping the leader that I am coaching. When I ask questions of that leader, I begin to evaluate my own leadership tank. Helping others has literally helped me. Being a coach has helped stretch me as a leader. It has helped me to discover weaknesses in my own leadership that needed to be improved. I am blessed to be able to coach leaders.

God wants to stretch your leadership. The question is this: are you ready to be coached?

Still being sharpened,

R.W. Moody Jr. is a Youth Ministry Team member and the pastor of student and missional ministries at Parkgate Community Church in Pasadena, Texas. He can be reached at rwmoody@parkgate.org.


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Returning to Anderson University this July, the biennial Leadership Summit is designed to challenge, encourage, and equip students as they discover more of God’s unique calling on their lives. This event allows students to learn more about their individual gifts and passions, as well as how to embrace them to make a monumental impact for the kingdom of God. This gathering truly believes in the importance of investing in the next generation as Scripture speaks of youth in this way:

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”            —1 Timothy 4:12 niv

I was able to attend Leadership Summit 2013 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I vividly remember my experience: making the eleven-hour journey on a bus with students I had never met before (who eventually became great friends), tearing down houses that had been destroyed by an EF5 tornado in May of that year, and encountering Jesus in ways I would have never expected. I was truly impacted at Leadership Summit, and the long-term friendships and memories made there will forever be a part of my story.

Leadership Summit 2017 was held July 19–22, and at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. Speakers included John Pistole, Steve Southards, Ann Smith, Jim Lyon, and Richard Mansfield, and worship was led by the IYC High School Band. This was an incredible time of growth in attendees’ relationship with Jesus Christ, and all involved experienced a great opportunity for life change!



Connor Sorrell is an Anderson University student and staff intern serving at Church of God Ministries in preparation for IYC2018. Connor can be reached during the school year at CSorrell@chog.org.

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Have you ever been to a little league baseball game? If not, you might be surprised to know that there are really two games going on. The first is between two teams of adorable eight-year-olds. The second is much more sinister, and if you’re not paying attention, you might even miss it:

“Why didn’t you play my kid more?”

“I can’t believe you made so-and-so sit the bench!”

“Did you really tell my kid to bunt? Don’t you know that she’s a power-hitter?!?”

Yep. It’s between the parents and the coach, and it can be BRUTAL!

So, then, why would anyone want to be a coach, especially if it means constantly being scrutinized for every decision that they make? Interestingly, that’s the exact reason why I love having the opportunity to coach others in ministry.

When you agree to coach someone, you’re not just agreeing to help them. You’re also committing to making sure that you’re at the top of your game. You are offering to allow someone else to put your ministry, your decisions, and even your entire life under a microscope…and while that might not sound pleasant at first, trust me, you and your ministry can only benefit.

When I compare my own leadership to what it looked like when I first started in ministry, I can say the following:

  • I now work a lot harder at making sure I’m actually practicing what I preach.
  • I now make decisions much more purposefully.
  • And I now have a lot more respect for men and women who are first starting out in ministry and those who have been serving twice as long as I have.

And I owe a lot of that growth to letting others put my leadership under a microscope, or as I like to call it…coaching.



Josh Boldman

Josh Boldman is a Youth Ministry Team member and the student
ministries pastor at White Chapel Church of God and campus

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Do you know a student who would love to help lead worship at IYC2018?  High School Band applications are being accepted until August 15, 2017.

This band will help lead worship at the International Youth Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana during the summer of 2018. If you know a high school student interested in trying out on guitar, drums, bass, keys, or voice who meets the following requirements, have them fill out the application at IYC BAND APPLICATION

  1. Student must regularly attend a Church of God congregation.
  2. Student must be in 8th – 12th grade for the 2017-2018 school year
  3. Student must be highly skilled musician/singer. Not just good, but extremely incredible.
  4.  Student must have previous experience playing or singing in a worship band.
  5.  Student must have a deep faith in Christ that is obvious in his/her lifestyle and treatment of others.
  6. Student must be available for a 5 day rehearsal week in June of 2018 (specific date to be determined). Expenses are covered while on site, but student is responsible to ask his/her church and/or parents to help with the travel expense for the rehearsal week trip.
  7.  Student must register with local church youth group for IYC2018 in Indianapolis.

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At a conference this week, Andy Stanley reflected on a conversation he had with his father Charles Stanley, now 84 years old, a few years ago. His father said this: “I’d like to find someone who is a little bit ahead of me who I could talk to and learn from.” When asked what it was he would ask that person, he quickly replied, “I just want to know if it gets any easier.”

Maybe you can relate to that question. I know I can. After fourteen years of full-time ministry, I still experience moments of discouragement, disappointment, etc. The best way that I have found to combat these feelings of inadequacy or failure has been to have someone in my life who not only believes in me, but who really wants me to win.

I have found that having a coach in my life has helped me to experience exponential growth. Whether through a monthly phone call or a weekly face-to-face interaction, I have benefitted greatly from having someone who really sees and knows me and who genuinely cares more about me (and not just my ministry).

Who is it that you are asking to intentionally pour in to you? Finding that person may not be as difficult as you may think. Who is someone that you look up to and that you have some level of access to? Consider reaching out to that person and asking them to coach you for a season!



Adam Rentas

Adam Rentas is a Youth Ministry Team member and serves as lead youth pastor at First Church of God in St. Joseph, Michigan.

He can be reached at adam.r@myfirstchurch.com.

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Just before sitting down to write these words, I sat in on a workshop with about two hundred pastors who sat in silence, stunned by the vulnerability of the married couple leading the session. They shared their story of the husband’s moral failure, and what led to his downfall. He loved his wife, and Jesus, and the church. And yet he fell into sin that destroyed his ministry and almost ruined his marriage. How could he let this happen?

That is a long answer, but one issue that fed his failure was a sense of isolation. How does a pastor find a person to be real with? Who does a pastor go to for confession, or accountability, or advice in a time of struggle? Pastors are great at caring for others, but often feel alone in their own struggles. It’s not the way God intended for us to live. God does not want us to feel isolated!

“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.’” —Genesis 2:18 nlt

As a pastor, I have made it a priority to mentor people. But what about me? Who is mentoring me? I must confess, until recently, I went for many years without a mentor myself. It can be a challenge to find the right person. In fact, the older you get, the more challenging this can become. I am thankful, and feel so blessed, now that I have an older friend in ministry who is pouring into me. I need the wisdom and teaching and perspective that his life experience brings.

Paul makes it clear that we ought to be intentional about investing in relationships with those who are older and younger in the faith. Paul was a mentor to Timothy, and wrote in a letter to him, “You have heard me teach in front of many witnesses. Pass on to people you can trust the things you’ve heard me say. Then they will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2 nlt

Paul outlines four spiritual generations for Timothy. Paul is mentoring Timothy, and then Timothy is challenged to be a mentor to others. But not just anyone; Timothy is instructed to invest in people who will then pour into yet another generation of believers. In this way, one generation passes on the faith to the next, through mentoring relationships where faith is taught and caught.

Do you see the pattern that Paul lays out here being lived out in your life? Before you even begin mentoring a younger believer, I would suggest taking the critical step of finding your own mentor. How? Pray, asking God for guidance. Then just ask that person to grab coffee, and see how it goes. If it feels right, meet again sometime. Consider meeting a few times before asking that person to mentor you. If he or she agrees, then meet once a month, or whatever works for the two of you. Give your mentor questions or issues for discussion before you meet, so they can be prepared.

I have been blessed by being mentored! I hope you will be too!




Chris Spitters

Chris Spitters is a Youth Ministry Team member and a teaching pastor at First Church of God in St. Joseph, Michigan.

He can be reached at chris.s@myfirstchurch.com.

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Josh Boldman
Andy Stephenson
R. W.
Adam Rentas
Chris Spitters

Youth Network Team


Harold Bradshaw (WY)
John Maloa-Taulealo (CA)
Tyler Williams (OH)
Jessica Sellers (VA)

Nathanael Lyon (OH)
Rob Ringwald (WV)
Kyle Cooper (VA)



We welcome Mickey Taylor (Bayside Church in Safety Harbor, Florida) and Chris Leon (North Modesto Church of God in Modesto, California) to the YNT. Both have at least fifteen years of ministry experience, and we are thrilled to have them on the team!

If you would like to be coached, we have partnered with Lead222 to give you access to this quality organization. Get coached and become a coach in training for only a $25 registration fee. Don’t delay, sign up and grow today at www.lead222.com (become a coach in training on the home page).

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