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  Spring/Summer 2012
  Vol. 17 • No. 2
Please photocopy for  
all your youth workers  


God Is @ Work

Wow, when I consider what God has done over the last decade, it makes me sit back and just say, Yeah God! The return of IYC to Denver this year has caused me to reflect on our time in Denver in 2002 and my time here at the North American office the last ten years.

God has done some incredible work as we have sought to raise up a new generation of Christ-centered leaders together by Reaching, Discipling, and Empowering.

Here is just a quick snapshot of some of the things God has done:

  • Spread the Word started with a $100,000 offering given at IYC2002 in Denver. Since that time, over $550,000 has been given to STW and God has used that money to provide tools for evangelism on six continents and in more than thirty countries around the world. Visit www.chogy.org/stw.

  • In 2008, the 5 Principle Training system was started to train youth leaders all around the world. Since that time, it has been translated into Spanish, Russian, and two languages in India. It has been taught and handed off in Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe, and, of course, North America. Read some of the stories in this issue of what God is doing. You can find more information at www.chogy.org/5-principle-training.

  • Intern Academy was developed and has helped train numerous leaders for service in God’s kingdom. Visit www.internacademy.net.

  • STW internships were developed and now provide opportunities for students to intern around the world. Visit www.emergingleaders101.com/stw-internships and www.chogy.org/stw-international-internships.

  • The 360 revolution has helped students pray and reach their friends around them. God has done some incredible things through 360. Visit www.chogy.org/node/8.

  • Emerging leaders 101 was developed to help train young leaders monthly who feel a call to be used by God. Visit www.emergingleaders101.com.

  • The Ultimate Adventure Series was redone (Ultimate Adventure Remix) to help disciple students, as was the spiritual gifts curriculum, which is free. Visit www.chogy.org/node/7.

  • Numerous other resources were created, such as Help, I’m a Youth Leader, Hiring and Keeping a Youth Leader, and many more. Visit www.chogy.org/curriculum.

God is at work as we work together to raise up a new generation of Christ-centered leaders, Yeah God!

God is at work as we work together to raise up a new generation of Christ-centered leaders,

Yeah God!

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


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  God Stories: 5 Principle and STW at Work in India  

In January, some members of our Youth Network and Youth Ministry Teams went to India to teach and pass off the 5 Principle Training System to youth leaders and emerging leaders in India. While there, we also had the chance to see Spread the Word (STW) in action, visiting and encouraging pastors who have received tools for evangelism through STW. It is incredible to see God at work in India! Lives are being changed!

Richard Fields, Rob Ringwald, Sudipta Nanda, Eric Reeder, and Adam Rentas at the National Fellowship in IndiaDuring one of the training days in Kolkata, I met a young man named Richard. He was studying to be a doctor, a brilliant guy. As we talked, I became incredibly inspired by his humble spirit, love for God, and passion to reach his friends for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He told me that in the last month, he had reached and led thirty-two of his friends to Christ! I was amazed at his potent desire to share God’s love with others. Then he said, “Oh no, that is not enough. I need to do everything I can in every opportunity to share God’s love with the people of India and the world.” Wow, that’s awesome!

Participants at the National Fellowship in IndiaMost of the youth and leaders we were with are first- and second-generation Christians. They have found the truth and the truth has set them free. It’s awesome to see that those who know Jesus as Lord in India are very passionate and intentional in sharing their faith and reaching the lost. There is no doubt that God is at work in India!

For more information about the 5 Principle Training System and Spread the Word, go to www.chogy.org.

 Eric ReederEric Reeder is a member of the Youth Ministry Team. He has served as the senior-high youth pastor at Madison Park Church of God in Anderson, Indiana since 2009. He came on the YMT while he was serving in West Virginia. Since he came on the YMT representing the Northeast region, this region will continue to be his primary focus. He can be reached at ereeder@madisonparkchurch.org.

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  Because God Works at IYC  

I was recently asked in a parent info meeting about why we were traveling all the way to Denver for IYC when there are so many great youth conventions that come to our own local area. Wouldn’t it be cheaper? Isn’t every youth convention basically the same? What makes it so special anyways?

My answer was easy—because God works at IYC! IYC Denver will be my fourteenth consecutive IYC, spanning twenty-six years. I haven’t missed one since I was twelve years old. Since my first one in Long Beach, California, I have seen the fingerprints of God in my life and in the lives of others. Each city, each year, each time has a story, several stories, many stories. At IYC over the years I rededicated my life to Christ countless times, found a mentor, accepted a call to ministry, prayed with dozens of other teens in my youth group at life-altering moments, received training for ministry, and invested in lifelong friendships. And these chapters in my life are continuing to be written every two years at IYC. I just can’t imagine not being there!

IYC has seen God work in us as a people too. From the beginning of citywide service projects in San Antonio in 1992, to Spread the Word in 2002, the launch of the 360 Revolution in 2004, to whatever God is up to in Denver in 2012, one thing remains the same—God works at IYC!

We are planning, preparing, and praying for God to do what he does! We are trusting that some young people will get saved, others will accept a call to ministry, others will be freed from bondage, others will abandon the mediocre, apathetic place where they are and trade it in to truly LIVE!

July 4–7…Denver, Colorado…IYC…God at Work…Can’t wait!

Chip TaylorChip Taylor is a Youth Ministry Team member and the youth pastor at Bayside Community Church in Safety Harbor, Florida. He can be reached at Chip@baysidechurch.net.

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  Life Change Story  

I was twenty years old and attending IYC2002 in Denver as a part of the Michigan Singers state choir. This was to be my first IYC, as I came from a youth group of only six people and we had never even attempted a trip to such a big function. I knew that God had something in store for me, but I had no idea.

The way we got out to Denver was by touring; we would stop each night and do a concert, spend the night, and continue on our way to Denver. When we arrived, we were all amazed at the large scale of the venue and were excited for things to come. My first night was incredible; it was the first time I had been to something so life-changing. I remember a few things about the entire weekend: (1) we took up the first-ever STW offering and I was so excited about the possibilities; (2) I saw leaders God was using; and (3) GOD WAS IN THAT PLACE!

I don’t remember who the speaker was on the night I accepted my call to ministry, but I do remember that they specifically gave a call to anyone God was speaking to about ministry; we were to go back behind a wall and pray and seek God. Four people from our group of about fifty went back to pray about ministry. You could feel the thickness of the presence of the Holy Spirit, and I remember looking at them and saying, “We are going to do something big.” When we got done praying, the four of us walked back to our group shoulder to shoulder. We must have looked like a crazy group of teens, but deep down in our hearts, we all knew we were going to change the world!

Since then, I have completed a four-year degree in youth ministry at Mid-America Christian University and have been a youth pastor since 2007. Both of the guys who prayed with me have graduated from Christian colleges with youth ministry degrees (Anderson University and Spring Hill), and the other young lady serves in her church as a youth leader.

Kati Gillett Davis

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  God Stories: 5 Principle Training and STW at Work in Russia  

The Russia story is crazy awesome. Who would have thought that what started with a trip to Chelyabinsk twenty years ago when I took six high school students to this city would have become what it is today! Only God could have done all of this (1 Cor 1:27–29).

Photo: Cody Bracy, Zach Shaner, William (Chip) Taylor, Tami Byrd, Mark Shaner, Eric Reeder, Brandon Mott (partly hidden), Kim Schuessler, Kevin SchuesslerDuring the English camp on one of the three thousand beautiful lakes in the Chelyabinsk region, we shared meals with attendees of the Slavic Pastor’s Speaking Conference. They were meeting at a camp five minutes away from ours. Pastor Walentin Schule, a Russian-speaking pastor in Germany, brought two ladies, Nellie (73) and Gertrude(77), to this conference in Chelyabinsk. These two women had lived in this city from 1939–56 as young children while their fathers were imprisoned in this city. Every Sunday, they gathered in a home for a house church because they could not worship openly and freely. In 1956, their families left for Uzbekistan and then later for Germany so they could enjoy religious freedom. From 1956 to 1991, they prayed that God would birth a Church of God congregation in this city. When I arrived in 1991, I was riding on their prayers of thirty-five years and did not know it! We got to meet together with this young church of twenty years and celebrate together what God has done.

We had perfect weather, except for one night when the skies opened up and dumped rain on our camp, which caused sixty Russians, thirty-three Americans, and some Germans to gather in a former Soviet military tent to celebrate with passion the God who had brought us all together. God is so faithful. His faithfulness has allowed me the privilege of seeing and participating in God’s activity all over the world.

On Thursday night, nine of our new Russian friends trusted Christ as their Savior, and on Friday, we baptized two of these Russian students and two Americans. God was so alive and present. In fifteen days with this very large team, we did not have any conflict issues, only a very strong sense that we were about his business.

Mark ShanerMark Shaner is a member of the Youth Network Team and the youth pastor at Eastside Church of God in Anderson, Indiana. He can be reached at mshaner@esjesusisthesubject.org. Mark's youth ministry in the 1990s was a key part of starting the Church of God in Russia.

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For me, the most memorable time of the STW Russia trip was when our group visited the future site of the youth cafe in Chelyabinsk. Spread the Word has pledged $30,000 to help complete this project. The three-story building was mostly finished, but it still had the feel of a project in the midst of construction.

Our group spent most of our time on the top floor, which is designated to be the cafe. Students spread out and anointed the drywall and open beams with oil as they prayed over the room. One student, Caleb Rogers, had brought a guitar and a spontaneous time of worship began. God’s Spirit was evident, and after a time of singing, we gathered the Russians who were there into the center of the room and surrounded them. We prayed over them as they stood there representing the Russian students whose lives will be changed in the future as they come to that place and encounter Jesus Christ. It was a powerful reminder of the reason Spread the Word exists—to share the gospel around the world!

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 with STW and those on the field.

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  Live 8—Live...Free, Awakened, Empowered, and Connected  

Are you getting ready for a life-changing IYC trip to Denver this summer? Part of my preparation includes diving deep into Romans 8. Why? As our Student Leadership Team has invested time praying and seeking God, it has become clear that this chapter in Romans is God’s Word to our youth for IYC! It’s a message of life!

“The Spirit who gives life has set you free(8:2 NIV2011). We can discover a life of freedom from sin. Break every chain, and let the chains fall. In Jesus we are free to really live life to the fullest!

The Spirit gives life and awakens us from a mediocre, boring walk with God (8:10). IYC is going to be a huge wake up call to our youth! Set your alarm clock, and let the anticipation build!

“We are more than conquerors” (8:37)! We are meant to live a powerful life and to accomplish great God-given dreams and visions! Lets prepare and pray for our youth to be empowered!

“Who shall separate us?” No one! We are created to be connected—with Christ (8:39), with Abba Father (8:15), and with one another as brothers and sisters (8:29). Live free, live awakened, live empowered, and live connected!

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 spitters@myfirstchurch.com.


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God Is @ Work
God Stories: 5 principle and STW at
  Work in India

Because God Works at IYC
IYC Life Change Story
God Stories: 5 Principle Training and
  STW at Work in Russia

Live8—Live...Free, Awakened,
  Empowered, and Connected

Youth Events at North American

Featured Resource:
Ultimate Adventure Remix


May 14–15, 2012
Be With Conference
Dallas, TX


Logo: Be With Conference

June 22–27, 2012
North American Convention
Anderson, IN



July 4–7, 2012
Denver, CO


Logo: IYC2012


   YMT Members
Tami Byrd Eric Reeder Chris Spitters Andy Stephenson Chip Taylor







Youth Network Team

   Youth Network Team

            Austin Abney (FL)
            Harold Bradshaw (WY)
            Ryan Chaisson (AZ)
            Kyle Cooper (VA)
            Josh Deeter (AL)
            Mike Fackler (OK)

      R. W. Moody (TX)
      Adam Rentas (CA)
      Rob Ringwald (WV)
      Kim Schuessler (IN)
      Mark Shaner (IN)
      Michael Thigpen (IN)



Denver Skyline From City Park. Photo by Ron Ruhoff
Denver skyline from City Park. Photography by Ron Ruhoff

Don't miss IYC2012

"Creating a moment for life change"

July 4–7, 2012
Denver, Colorado

    Logo: IYC2012


Ultimate Adventure Remix

Click here for ordering information

Click here for ordering information

Click here for ordering information

Click here for ordering information

If you really want to help your students grow in their faith, check out the revised and updated Ultimate Adventure Remix series. This four-part series was written to help students grow experientially in their faith in the context of small groups and empower them to eventually teach it themselves. Check it out.




Check out
for information on



Check the
Ultimate Adventure Remix
series to
help your students grow




    Logo: IYC2012

July 4–7, 2012
Denver, Colorado



Mark your calendars for
July 2013 for
Leadership Summit
for your top students.
More info coming soon.






Youth Events at North American Convention
Anderson, Indiana
June 22–27, 2012

Saturday—Game Night
June 23 9:30–11:00 PM Kardatzke Wellness Center $3
Sunday—Concert Night
June 24 9:30–11:00 PM LIVE Tent $5
Monday—Student Conference
June 25 10:00 AM–NOON Mocha Joes
(IYC Band to lead worship—acoustic)
Monday—Adult Leader Conference
June 25 1:302:45 PM Smith Hall Free
June 25 2:153:30 PM Behind Hardacre Free
Monday—Movie Night
June 25 9:3011:00 PM Fine Arts/Valley $2
Tuesday—Student Conference
June 26 10:00 AM–NOON Mocha Joes
(IYC Band to lead worship—acoustic)
Tuesday—PK/MK Retreat
June 26 2:00–7:00 PM Laser-Flash $12-$15
Tuesday—Worship Night
June 26 9:3011:00 PM LIVE Tent Free (suggested) $5 STW
Wednesday—Service Project
June 27 9:30 AM–NOON TBA Free

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