Working with teenagers for over two decades, I know that ministry can have its high points and low points, but all of us stay involved because we know the life change Jesus can bring about in a teenager that affects generations to come.
I have been a youth pastor in small and large settings—from a small town of 2,000 to a large metro area around 4 million—and understand that each brings with it opportunities and challenges. As a youth leader, I know that I am trying to find experiences and moments that will be catalytic in creating key moments for life change in teenagers.
I have been to numerous conferences, mission trips, retreats, service projects, and other youth events. Some have been pivotal life change moments and others haven’t produced much fruit. There are many options for us as youth leaders and I was always trying to figure out what would bear the most fruit.
IYC—the International Youth Convention—is based on helping create a pivotal moment in a student’s life to bring about life change. Everything that happens is run through a grid: does this help create a moment of life change? The ten student leaders chosen from around the country and the youth ministry team pray and take seriously the four days of IYC to make sure it is a key moment in students and leaders lives.
We know it takes effort and funds to bring students to IYC. In some areas, it is more difficult than other areas to pull it together, but one thing I do know, a changed life is worth all the planning and effort to get a student to experience God’s amazing power at IYC.
There are many options to take your students to, but one thing I know, God changes lives at IYC. There are hundreds of stories of how God shows up in this pivotal moment with thousands of students and speaks to someone’s heart that changes the course of their history and generations that follow. Here are just a few examples: http://www.jesusisthesubject.org/iyc-videos/ (scroll down to the life change videos).
Don’t miss this IYC, July 2–5, 2018, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I really sense this could be one of the most powerful life change IYCs we have ever experienced. Register today at www.iyc2018.org.
Together raising up a new generation of Christ-centered disciples,
Andy Stephenson, PhD, is the associate director of North American Ministries at Church of God Ministries and director of IYC. He can be reached at AStephenson@chog.org.