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  Spring 2016
  Vol. 21 • No. 2
Please photocopy or email  
to all your youth workers  
  IYC=Life Change  

This year was the 50th Super Bowl in the NFL, and guess what?! This year is also the 50th International Youth Convention of the Church of God! Starting in 1924, and running every year until the move to a biennial convention, IYC has been creating moments for life change for almost 100 years and 50 conventions.

It has been incredible to see the thousands of students experience God's work in their lives over the years. From commitments to purity, to deliverance from addictions, to decisions to follow God's plan for their lives, IYC has been a spiritual marker for thousands of students and leaders.

In the Old Testament, we often read about spiritual markers or stones of remembrance that God asked the Israelites to set up to remember a moment, a commitment, or a word from God. IYC is that incredible place where many remember God speaking clearly to them. If you are already registered, we can't wait to see you and the see the life change God brings about in your life and in the lives of your students.

If you aren't registered, we encourage you to get on board. It is worth the effort of fundraising and getting students to San Antonio. Just think—if one student experiences the life change that often happens at IYC, it is worth all the hours of whatever you had to do to get students to Texas. If you can't bring your whole group, bring your student leaders to experience God's voice and then take that back to your ministry.

Don't miss this moment of life change!

Working together to raise up Christ-centered disciples,


Check out all the info you need to know about IYC at www.iyc2016.org.

Andy StephensonAndy Stephenson, Ph. D, 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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  Change Happens at IYC  

For quite some time, IYC has been all about creating a moment for life change. There is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into creating these moments. Whether it be an experiential time during a worship service, a challenge to change a lifestyle pattern, or a call to salvation, IYC has been an instrument through which God has changed lives.

I have had the privilege of seeing this catalyst happen in many lives over my eighteen years of student ministry. I have witnessed students accepting Christ for the very first time, destructive habits being given over to the power of God's work, and even accepting the call to ministry. But the one life change that comes to mind happened in the life of my wife, Joy.

Prior to IYC2014 in Nashville, Joy had been hired to work as a music teacher at a local elementary school. She was wrestling with a lot of inadequacies about the job because of her lack of education. Even though she had a lot of training in music, she did not have a degree. On top of that, Joy was really trying to figure out how this all fit into her calling. On the first night, David Nasser was talking about purpose. She began to realize that this new job was indeed part of God's purpose in her life. It was a transformational moment.

Since that night, Joy has used this avenue as a way to worship God in the public school setting. She gets to do what God created her to do. It indeed was a moment of life change!

Come to IYC 2016. Ask God to change lives. And don't be surprised if the change is in yours!

Praying for change!

R.W. Moody Jr.

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

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  Hearing God's Voice at IYC  

IYC has been a big part of my spiritual journey. I went to IYC2010 in Orlando the summer before my sophomore year of high school, mostly because my friends were going and it was in Florida. I mean, why not? But God had a plan. God spoke to me through that convention, and he showed me what it meant to be loved by a big God and how it looked to live my life for him. That really sent me down the path of intentionally and passionately pursuing a relationship with God.

But many adults working with young people today are younger, full of life and fresh ideas, ready to take on the world with a storm of energy and activity! If that’s you, then my words are for you; a bit of advice from an older guy about how to tap in to a great source of wisdom and inspiration.

In 2011, I attended Leadership Summit and was introduced to the idea of a call to ministry. I didn't think it was for me because I was planning on going into architecture. The summer before my senior year of high school was IYC2012. I wanted to be there because I knew God would show up, and I was ready to hear what he had to say. I went looking for direction for my life after high school, and God didn't disappoint me. During the response time of the "Live Awakened" service, I felt God call me to church ministry. Immediately, I felt excited and nervous and slightly nauseous. I remember sitting with my head between my knees, just soaking up the magnitude of this calling. I was and am so humbled by such a calling. I remember the story of Moses really resonating with me: "Are you sure, God? Me, really?" And God has never left my side through the whole journey. He continues to remind me of his guiding hand and his plan for my life. It was definitely a full-circle moment to be at IYC2014 in Nashville as a youth ministry intern, and I know God will reveal more of his truth this summer at IYC2016 in San Antonio.

Paige Brooks

Paige BrooksPaige Brooks is a student at Anderson University and an IYC Intern for IYC2016. She can be reached at PBrooks@chog.org.

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  Learning About Christ-Centered Leadership at IYC  

At IYC2012 in Denver, I went to the Emerging Leaders gathering, not knowing what to expect. At the gathering, I had my eyes opened to what being in ministry and being a Christ-centered leader really looked like. After the gathering, I was excited to become more involved in leadership. It was God's way of moving me in the direction and calling he has placed on my life.

In February 2015, I began serving as part of the IYC staff in the position of IYC Intern. I am excited to be a part of planning IYC2016, and am looking forward to seeing how he will continue to bring life change through this great event!

Philip Falke

Philip FalkePhilip Falke is a student at Anderson University and an IYC Intern for IYC2016. She can be reached at PFalke@chog.org.

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  IYC Life Change Story  

When I was in eleventh grade, my youth group made the drive from Lakeland, Florida, all the way to Denver, Colorado, for IYC. And yes, I said we drove from Florida to Colorado. In order for the fifteen of us to make the more than 1,800-mile journey, our church purchased a decommissioned airport shuttle van, which (at the time) seemed like a great idea. Then, everything went horribly, horribly wrong. Here's what happened:

Twenty minutes into the trip, the air conditioning on the bus stopped working.

Over the course of the trip, four of the eight tires were blown out, causing us to spend a total of about ten hours stranded on the side of the highway.

At one point in Kansas, a gust of wind caught the passenger door as it was being closed and caused it to slam so hard that the window shattered (we ultimately replaced it with a piece of corrugated steel).

Then, as we approached Denver, we started to realize the main reason that the bus had been decommissioned in the first place; apparently, it didn't handle driving uphill very well. Now, in Florida this might not be such a big deal, but since we were trying to get to the Mile-High City, we had a big problem. We spent the last few hours of our trip to Denver driving at a maximum speed of 30 miles-per-hour, much to the dismay of everyone else trying to get into Denver that day.

After all of that, you’d think that I'd tell you that our trip to IYC2002 was a huge disappointment, but that's simply not true. In fact, despite the trouble that we had getting there, that trip was a pivotal moment in my life.

You see, it was at the final service that I first answered God’s call to ministry. Our trip might not have gone exactly as planned, but I can definitely say that it went according to God's plan. I am so grateful for my experience at IYC that year, and I can definitely say that it's a summer that I will never forget.

Josh Boldman

Josh BoldmanJosh Boldman is a Youth Ministry Team member and the student ministries pastor at White Chapel Church of God, and campus pastor at Warner Christian Academy. He can be reached at josh@whitechapelchurch.com.

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  Life-Changing Decision at IYC  

I have attended many IYC events in different roles—student, youth pastor, YMT member—and now am serving as part of the IYC staff in the role of youth ministries project coordinator. While each IYC has been a unique experience with profound impact, the one that I would say was most life-changing was IYC1998 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

I attended that convention as a student, and one of the key speakers was Josh McDowell. Josh is well known for his "Why Wait?" campaign for sexual purity, and that's what he spoke about at that convention. After his message, Josh asked the students in the auditorium to stand if we were willing to pledge to remain sexually pure until marriage. I stood that day, and in that sea of hundreds standing, I felt very much like I was standing alone. I wasn't, of course, but in that moment I was so keenly aware of God's presence, and I felt like I was making a solemn vow to him. I remember that moment very vividly, and have thought about it many times over the years since. I have kept that vow, and have often thought about how my life would have been different if I had not done so. I can only imagine the heartache and regret that I have been spared as a result of that important decision.

I am thankful for the challenge that was extended that day. I am especially excited that Josh's son, Sean McDowell, will be one of our main speakers at IYC2016. His topic will be very different, but it will be interesting to see how God will use Sean to bring about life change in other students at this event. My prayer is that all who attend IYC2016 will keep their hearts open for whatever life-change moment God has in store for them. IYC=Life change!

Tami Byrd

Tami ByrdTami Byrd is a former youth pastor and serves as the North American Youth Ministries project coordinator at Church of God Ministries. She can be reached at TByrd@chog.org.

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  Life-Changing Decision at IYC  

I was told that IYC is a life-changing convention. Whoever told me that was 100-percent correct. I didn't think that life change was possible through a four-day youth convention, but God proved me wrong. God did an extraordinary work in my heart through this convention that increased my spiritual maturity tremendously. God broke down all the walls I built up and touched me with his intimate Spirit.

Through IYC, I felt more intimacy with the Holy Spirit than ever before. Before IYC, I never really felt in tune with the Holy Spirit. Worship was just a mundane task of singing lyrics. Worship and praising God was, in fact, something that I felt a little uncomfortable doing. I always wondered why I didn't feel the intimate touch and filling of God’s Spirit when I praised and worshiped his name. Then at IYC, God exposed my filthy and wretched sin that was prohibiting me from feeling his holy presence.

I was committing sin that was stopping me from experiencing the fullness of God. God was calling me to live a pure life, and at the time, my purity was in shambles. Instead of allowing the purity of the Holy Spirit to overflow in my heart, I was filling my heart with lust, selfishness, and pride. Through IYC, I was convicted of the junk that was in my heart, and then that's where my life change started. I was able to share the sin I was struggling with to my brothers and sisters in Christ, and after I did that, I felt so much freedom in the Holy Spirit's presence. I was able to worship our holy God with a pure heart at IYC, and I've been able to worship him with the same intimacy ever since. So when I say that life change occurred at IYC, I'm saying that God changed an impure Christian into a Spirit-filled disciple. Life change is available to anyone who goes to IYC.

James Flaming

—The story above is from one of my students, James Flaming. James is currently a senior in high school. I hope you will allow his story to encourage you to bring your students to IYC2016!

Adam Rentas

Adam RentasAdam Rentas is a Youth Ministry Team member and the youth pastor at First Church of God in Vero Beach, Florida. He can be reached at adamr@fcog.com.

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June 21–23, 2016—CHOG Regional Convention/Table in Anderson, IN

July 2–5, 2016—International Youth Convention, San Antonio, TX

September 27–29, 2016–CHOG Regional Convention/Table, Philadelphia, PA

April 21–22, 2017 – Make a Difference – Unity Event, Indianapolis, IN

June 20–23, 2017–CHOG Convention, Wichita, KS

July 19–22, 2017–Leadership Summit, Anderson, IN


   YMT Members
Tami Byrd RW Moody Chris Spitters Andy Stephenson Adam Rentas


R. W.




Youth Network Team 

  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)


Leadership Summit

Leadership Summit is an incredible training ground for emerging leaders in high school and college. LS is an Emerging Leaders event, but it’s more than just an event—it’s a launch pad that propels our student leaders forward in the journey of Christ-centered leadership.

This event is currently in a rotation of locations, being hosted by Church of God colleges and universities. LS2017 will be held July 19–22, 2017, at Anderson University. Special rates will be offered at IYC, so make plans to register early. Make a $50 deposit at IYC for up to four attendees at these reduced prices: $160 for first-time churches, $180 for veteran churches. Price includes meals, lodging, and program while on site!

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Check out www.beboldacademy.org for incredible resources, coaching, and discounts on top conferences as a member. Have your church sign up today!



IYC2016 logo

Are you registered to attend the 50th IYC, to be held July 2–6, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas? If not, you can still register at the door at a cost of $170 per person. The IYC website, www.iyc2016.org, contains a lot of valuable information, as well as instructions about our new online option for submitting waivers. Check it out, and make plans to bring your students to this life-changing event!

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