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God did some incredible work at IYC2016 in San Antonio. The Holy Spirit was at work from start to finish through the speakers, artists, community service projects, conferences, worship services, and all who served IYC. Report after report shows that God is doing and did an incredible work.
From the main group leader surveys taken, 75 percent reported that someone in their group made at least some type of spiritual commitment. Almost half of these leaders said 50 to 100 percent of their group made some type of spiritual commitment at IYC. This is what IYC is and has been about for years, helping to create a moment for students to experience life change. The Youth Ministry Team has seen IYC as not just an event, but a launching pad to help send students back into their communities to make a difference.
In this YMI you will find life change stories, and you can watch eight short life change videos at www.iyc2016.org/life-change-videos/.
I am overwhelmed with what God is doing. He is at work among this generation!
Working together to raise up Christ-centered disciples,
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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| || IYC Life Change: Putting the Pieces Together || |
I've been Carter's youth pastor since he started coming to youth group in sixth grade. I've been to countless camps and retreats with him. We've had conversations about God over the years. He is a kind, good kid whom I have enjoyed hanging out with. When he signed up for IYC2016, I was happy, and figured it would be a great time for him to grow stronger in his faith. I didn't know at the time that Carter secretly struggled to have faith at all.
Carter came to me on day three of IYC, trying to hold back tears. "I have a confession to make." It was so hard for him to say it. "I've been lying to you for a long time. I told you I believed in Jesus, but I didn't. I didn't believe the Bible was true. I got baptized just to make my mom happy. I have never really been convinced about God...until now."
It was Sean McDowell's teaching on "ONE TRUTH" that finally got through to him. There were so many questions that Sean answered for Carter in his teaching about Scripture. All the talks I had given over the years were possibly part of preparing the soil of Carter's heart, and our friendship over the years certainly gave him a clear picture of what a follower of Jesus looks like. But the pieces never came together for Carter until he came to IYC and sat with thousands of teens listening to one of the top communicators in the country.
I have to think that there are many other students like Carter in our churches. His story reminds me that IYC is a unique experience that comes at a critically important time for teenagers. Life change happens at IYC! IYC2018 in Indianapolis is two years away, and I am already looking forward to it!
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 email@example.com.
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| || IYC: Change Close to Home || |
As a youth pastor who firmly believes in the International Youth Convention, our ministry makes the effort to attend IYC every time it comes around. We get our students all excited about what is going to happen at the event. We pray that God will produce some life change in our students. We raise money so that students from all walks of life get the opportunity to participate. We believe in the life change that happens at IYC.
This year at IYC2016, the life change happened a little close to home. Actually, it happened right within the walls of my own home. My son, Caleb, who was attending his first IYC, was blown away by what took place at IYC. Everything from the worship, speakers and conference leaders—everything pointed him right to Christ. Things that he had heard his whole life were heard in a way that connected really well with him. It has been great to hear him talk about it.
But there was a moment that changed his life the most, and it was at the Emerging Leaders Gathering. Before I tell you about that moment, let me tell you about Caleb. He has been a leader for a good portion of his life. It is a quality that he has always had, but he is just now starting to discover how to best utilize that gift. At the EL Gathering, Caleb was in a circle with other young men. He soon discovered through the sharing times that those young men had similar struggles in both life and leadership. It gave him a new perspective on being a leader. It helped him to understand that leadership is a gift that God has placed in his life. Now, Caleb is fired up to lead other students to discover the purpose God has for their lives.
IYC is all about life change. May the happenings that took place at IYC2016 in San Antonio continue to change lives, churches, communities and the world.
Change is good!
R.W. Moody Jr.
R.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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| || IYC Life Change - One Crayon at a Time || |
This year, at IYC, many of us took the opportunity to participate in the Experiential Worship Time that took place on Saturday from 4 to 5 PM. During this time, students and adults were both challenged to prayerfully respond to a number of questions. Rather than trying to tell you about the impact that this event had on the lives of our students, I'd like to simply share a small portion of the responses that were written for the following prompts
"What core belief(s) provide the foundation for your faith in Jesus Christ?"
- "I believe we are stronger together."
- "Jesus loves everyone."
- "Because of Christ, I have a purpose."
- "I believe that I am a child of the One True King, who loves and adores me for who I am today!"
- "I believe God gives us free will to believe in him, even if we may be scared to."
- "I believe there is nothing I can do to make God love me any less."
- "I believe God knows me better than I know myself."
- "The grace of God covers ALL sin."
- "I believe you'll never let me go."
- "God has a plan for everyone and no one is a mistake."
- "I believe in God's everlasting love and grace."
- "I believe that even though my life situation isn't the best right now, that God still loves me and will continue to do so, and be with me on my walk."
I hope that through these responses (which only represent a small sample of the hundreds of responses given), you can see that God is at work in the hearts, minds, and lives of our students. IYC2016 shows us that there is a wisdom and a grace that is present when God's people are gathered. It's in these moments that lives are truly changed.
Josh 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 email@example.com.
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| || Life Change for Students and Adults || |
IYC2016 was a "final exam" of sorts for Matt Hale, a student ministries intern in Vero Beach, Florida. Matt was tasked with planning and leading the trip for the student ministry that he had been serving in for the past two years. This was his first trip to IYC. Here are his thoughts about the life change that he witnessed in San Antonio:
I had never been to an IYC, but what I experienced in San Antonio was definitely life change. I was impacted in several ways. As a leader, I experienced the Holy Spirit in the pre-service prayer time. I believe this is why IYC makes such a huge impact on so many. The convention is bathed in prayer by students and leaders alike. It is incredibly powerful to walk into an event and have the Holy Spirit already present there.
I experienced personal life change during Jefferson Bethke's message. I was taken back by the words that God wants to be intimate with me. I had to really examine my life and ask myself, "Am I being intimate with my God, my Creator, my Savior? Am I holding God first in my life? Am I putting him above my ministry, my marriage, and my career? Am I trying to hide from him?" I felt strong conviction that I was not getting close enough with God. I was withholding from him. I recommitted to living out a more intimate relationship with my God.
Our students experienced life change after communion on Monday. Students poured out their brokenness. They poured out their self-doubt. They poured out their struggles of self-worth. What I witnessed were students who were responding to the Holy Spirit. I saw students surround each other in their brokenness. It was a huge blessing to see the outpouring of love that our students had for each other. This is why IYC equals life change.
Adam 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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September 27–29, 2016–CHOG Regional Convention/Table in Philadelphia, PA—www.jesusisthesubject.org
April 21–22, 2017—ONE Unity Event in Indianapolis, IN—www.chogy.org
June 20–23, 2017—CHOG Convention in Wichita, KS—www.jesusisthesubject.org
July 19–22, 2017—Leadership Summit in Anderson, IN—www.el101.org
July 2–5, 2018—International Youth Convention in Indianapolis, IN
| YMT Members|
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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)
DON'T LET YOUR STUDENTS MISS LEADERSHIP SUMMIT IN JULY 2017. 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. Visitwww.el101.org or www.chogy.org/leadership-summit for more information.
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BE A PART OF THE 360 MOVEMENT THIS FALL. We want to challenge all student ministries to teach the 360 remix in partnership with I Am Second this fall.
360 Remix is a collaborative effort with I Am Second to help you equip and prepare your students to reach those around them and share Christ in their communities. A free set of lessons is now available at www.chogy.org/360-remix-resources. Download this free material now, and implement it into your ministry as the new school year begins!
360 is a very simple evangelism strategy built on looking 360 degrees around you to see where God is at work, praying for three people who don’t know Christ, six days a week, and missing zero opportunities.
A.One.8 is an internship opportunity through Global Strategy and Spread the Word for students who are juniors in high school through college-age. This three-week discipleship training is designed to connect students with cross-cultural learning and ministry engagement. Optional fourth week includes an excursion to the Dominican Republic. Training will be held July 6–24, 2017, at Warner University and h.e.a.r.t. in Lake Wales, Florida. Dominican Republic excursion will be July 24–31, 2017.
Applications will be accepted through October 15, 2016, with interviews taking place in November 2016. Space is limited, and applying is NOT a commitment to attend. Apply at www.surveymonkey.com/r/aone8_applicationor contact Andrew Gale at AGale@chog.org for more information.
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