Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click on this link to view it online: http://www.jesusisthesubject.org/youth-ministry-informer

  Winter 2014
  Vol. 19 • No. 1
Please photocopy or email  
to all your youth workers  

Campus Ministry

Where will we interact and be in community with more non-Christians on a day-to-day basis in our lives? The answer for most who attend public schools is middle and high school. Some may argue college could be included. Yet, the day-to-day of seeing the same people over and over, often happens in secondary schools. In the United States, there are more than 67,000 middle and high schools, with more than twenty-five million students (everyschool.com).

What does that mean for us as youth leaders? One, it means that we have to go where students are. If I want to catch fish, I go to a pond that has fish. If I fish in a pond that has no fish, what do I catch? Nothing. We have for too long seen our church buildings as the place to connect with students. I firmly believe that church buildings are critical in the formation of students in their faith and in community, but we can't see them as our only connection point. We may even need to analyze whether it should be our main strategy for connection.

We know that the majority of unchurched students attend a school, many who will never come to our church building. Maybe we should start thinking creatively how we can influence students in those arenas? Maybe it could be as simple as volunteering our ministry staff toward helping clean up after an event or help chaperone a school event. Maybe we should consider substitute teaching once a week. This Youth Ministry Informer is geared toward helping us think about campus ministry and examine our ministries to see if we are fishing in the right pond.

Check out www.everyschool.com for incredible resources and how to cover your schools in prayer.

Andy StephensonAndy Stephenson, PhD
Leader of Youth and Family Ministries
Andy can be reached at


^ Top of Page

  Taking Steps toward Campus Ministry: Connecting with School Administrators  

Every youth leader hopes to do campus ministry and do it well. Getting onto campus can be an awesome opportunity if the right steps are taken. Many youth leaders choose not to take steps toward campus ministry for fear of experiencing closed doors. One of the best ways to open those doors is to create a partnership and a trust with the school administrators.

Taking steps to build a trust and partnership with school counselors, principals, athletic directors, and superintendents is key if you want to build a successful campus ministry and have influence on the school campuses in your area. Here are some ideas to help you take next steps:

1. Pray. Reach out. Set up a meeting. Pursue the partnership.
2. Express your heart to partner with the school and encourage a positive influence on campus.
3. Ask about current ways to partner: Is there an FCA group? YFC group? Bible club that meets on campus?
4. Know and honor the law. Make sure they know you will not cross boundaries.
5. Be consistent and follow through when doors open. Build trust.

As God opens doors for campus ministry... take the step.

 Eric ReederEric Reeder is a member of the Youth Ministry Team. He serves as the senior-high youth pastor at Madison Park Church of God in Anderson, Indiana. He can be reached at ereeder@madisonparkchurch.org.

^ Top of Page

  Empowering Teachers in Public Schools  

"Mrs. Miller, do you believe in Jesus?" For many teachers in our public schools, this question results in instantaneous sweaty palms and elevated heart rates. What rights do our Christian teachers have in their positions within the educational system? Actually, more than you might think. Today's teachers are allowed to answer the above question "with a brief statement of personal belief, but may not turn the question into an opportunity to proselytize," according to "A Teacher's Guide to Religion in the Public Schools." This document, which is published by the First Amendment Center and can be found at www.freedomforum.org, contains some great information about both teacher and student rights.

As youth workers, there are several things we can do to help empower our Christian teachers. First, pray for them, of course! Second, encourage them, and let them know how much you appreciate their role as Christian adults in our schools. Finally, make them aware of their rights and point them to reliable sources of information. Christian teachers have a huge impact on our students, and we as youth workers can serve as a great source of support for them, as we strive toward the common goal of reaching students for Jesus Christ.

Tami ByrdTami Byrd is a member of the Youth Ministry Team and the youth pastor at South Memorial Drive Church of God in New Castle, Indiana. She can be reached at tami@smdcog.org. She helps facilitate communication between STW and those on the field.

^ Top of Page

  Campus Impact  

How can we get outside the church walls to touch the lives of students in our communities? How can we reach out and make a better connection with area schools? How can we empower students to influence their friends and spread their faith? The answers to these questions are critical for us if we are to truly help our students reach their generation for Christ and do great things in this world. And these are the questions our Campus Ministry Team has been wrestling with for months.

At IYC2014 in Nashville, we will unveil a project called Campus Impact! Church of God student ministries will be given the opportunity to begin an exciting journey. What will the results be? Youth pastors and volunteer leaders will be empowered with effective resources. Students will be equipped and motivated to make a difference. And together we will catch a vision to be a generation that has an impact on this world! Wait for it—July 2014!

Chris SpittersChris Spitters is a Youth Ministry Team member and the youth pastor at First Church of God in St. Joseph Michigan. He can be reached at chris.s@myfirstchurch.com.

^ Top of Page

  Empowering Students to Reach Their Campus  

As youth leaders, it is critical that we understand the importance of empowering students not only to lead but to serve as missionaries on their school campuses. When our students realize that they are not students who are Christians but rather Christians who are students, it helps them to comprehend the awesome opportunity that awaits them on their school campuses.

Rachel is a student in our ministry who realized this and knew that there were many students in her school who needed a relationship with Jesus. She felt a call from God to reach out to students on her public school campus. She set out, not to change the whole campus, but to reach out to individuals through conversations and relationships.

In the past year, Rachel has invited nearly thirty students to our youth ministry. So far, three of those students have accepted her invitation and have started attending. While three out of thirty may not sound good statistically (only 10%), for the three who have accepted the invitation and have come to experience Christ, their lives have changed drastically.

Rachel admits that at times it was tough to be obedient to what God had called her to do. The fear of rejection is something that was constantly in the back of her mind, but she understood that what God had called her to was worth the risk of being rejected by her peers.

Rachel is just one student. Imagine the impact our students would have if each one took the approach of being a missionary on their school campus. If ten students had the results that Rachel has had, that would be three hundred invited, but more importantly, that would be thirty whose lives have been transformed by the gospel.

Are you empowering your students to lead? Consider commissioning your students and releasing them as missionaries to their schools. Check out our 360 evangelism tools to help your students make a difference on their campus; tools are available at www.chogy.org/360-revolution.

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 pastoradam12@hotmail.com.

^ Top of Page



July 5–8, 2014
Nashville, TN
Gaylord Opryland Hotel


   YMT Members
Tami Byrd Eric Reeder Chris Spitters Andy Stephenson Adam Rentas






Youth Network Team 

  Youth Network Team

            Harold Bradshaw (WY)
            Mark Shaner (IN)
            Brian Seidel (ID)
            Josh Boldman (FL)

      R. W. Moody (TX)
      Rob Ringwald (WV)
      Kati Davis (WV)
      Brandon Holbrook (KS)
      Kim Schuessler (IN)


Click here for more information about Emerging Leaders 101

Internships for 2014: Check out www.emergingleaders101.com,
for information on U.S. internships

Deadline is March 1, 2014.

^ Top of Page


Click here to register

Don't miss IYC2014!
Our new website is up. Register today at www.iyc2014.org. Hotel rooms are limited; get yours early!

Lower Prices—NEW improved schedule—Same powerful experience!

Creating a moment for life change—IYC2014—July 5–8, 2014—Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville skyline

^ Top of Page


Check out
Smooth Hand Offs
for a practical way to hand off the baton of faith to the next generations.

Available through Warner Press

^ Top of Page


Click here for more information about Emerging Leaders 101

Help your students grow as leaders.

Check out

^ Top of Page


Leadership Summit 2015

We are excited to announce Leadership Summit 2015! Leadership Summit is an incredible training ground for emerging leaders in high school and college. We encourage youth and state pastors to bring their student leadership teams. Leadership Summit will be held July 7–11, 2015 in Lake Wales, Florida, at Warner University.

Regular pricing is $240 before December 31, 2014, and $280 for registrations received by April 29, 2015.

Special pricing for those who sign up with a $50 nonrefundable deposit at IYC2014.

$200 for churches or state student leadership teams that have never gone, with up to five registrations per church or team.

$220 for alumni churches or state student leadership teams, with up to five registrations per church or team.

www.emergingleaders101.com or

^ Top of Page



Mike Fackler: We want to thank Mike for his service to the Youth Network Team. Mike has taken the role of senior pastor at Highland Community Church in Casper, Wyoming. We are looking forward to hearing how God works in his new ministry.

Josh Deeter: We thank Josh for his service to the Youth Network Team. Josh has taken a senior pastorate in Tallmadge, Ohio, at the First Church of God. We are excited to see what God is going to do through him.

Ryan Chaisson: We want to thank Ryan for his service to the Youth Network Team. Ryan has moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and is expanding his college education.

^ Top of Page



Don't Miss It!

Church of God Convention: "Be Bold," in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. June 23-26, 2014. This is the first time this convention has been held outside of Anderson in more than one hundred years! The format has totally changed. You will want to attend this historic event. Yes, it is close to IYC, but we promise you, it will be worth the effort to put this on your schedule. Trust us on this one. You can find info at www.chogconvention.org.


^ Top of Page


You have received this e-mail because 1) you are a credentialed minister of the Church of God; or 2) you are serving in an advisory role; or 3) you have previously requested information from Church of God Ministries or subscribed to CGM publications; or 4) you are another legitimate interested party.

If you prefer not to receive general e-mail communications from Church of God Ministries, please e-mail webmanager@jesusisthesubject.org. Church of God Ministries (CGM) has determined email to be a vital, timely and cost effective means for communication. Because of their special relationship within the Church of God, it is imperative CGM maintains the ability to communicate with ministers, congregations and other selected individuals/organizations using the most effective and efficient means. Therefore, those in the above mentioned categories are ineligible to “opt out” of email correspondence.

Please do not reply to this message. Send changes of address or contact information to DataServices@jesusisthesubject.org.

Questions and comments regarding this publication can be addressed to Andy Stephenson, Ph.D., Church of God Ministries, by e-mail at AStephenson@jesusisthesubject.org or by calling 1-800-848-2464, ext 2153.

Copyright © 2014 Church of God Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

PO Box 2420 Anderson, IN 46018
Phone: 800-848-2464 Fax: 765-642-5652
Member—Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability