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

  Fall 2015
  Vol. 20 • No. 3
Please photocopy or email  
to all your youth workers  
  Faith That Sticks—The Importance of Mentoring

Mentoring—The Key Ingredient

My good friend Mark says, "If you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you should ask how he got there." As I think about leadership and life, I think about those who really make a difference and experience life to the fullest. They almost always have strong positive mentor figures in their lives. All of us have mentors, whether we want them or not. Parents often set the tone of how we view life and how we react to situations. Our peers, teachers, and coaches growing up are types of mentors. Some of these models are positive and some of these move us to unhealthy patterns. Yet, research shows that most teenagers (and I believe adults, also), who stick with their faith, have strong positive mentors in their lives.

The last few issues of YMI have been dealing with key findings, the critical components to students sticking with their faith after high school. Mentoring is a key component. Creating a mentoring culture in your youth ministry where students are being intentionally mentored by older leaders, having peer-to-peer accountability, and also mentoring someone younger than they are, is vitally important. This should also apply to us as leaders. It is critical to find this same design, above (older/wiser), peer-to-peer, and younger.

We often spend a lot of time on programming, but not a lot of time matching up mentors with our students or teaching them how to mentor. Students often won't remember the details about your programs when they leave your ministry, but they will remember someone who cared and poured into them.

Often it is hard to find our own mentors for our lives as youth leaders. Check out www.lead222.com for help on free coaching, and also check out our Houston trip with Lead222 before IYC2016 to get your students trained: www.iyc2016.org/lead-222-missions-experience

Mentoring should be a key focus in your life and your ministry. It makes a difference.

Together raising up a new generation of Christ-centered disciples,

Andy StephensonAndy Stephenson, Ph.D., is the associate director of US and Canada Ministries at Church of God Ministries. He can be reached at AStephenson@chog.org


^ Top of Page

  Spread the Word Update  

According to the 2014 STW Annual Report, over $787,000 has been given to Spread the Word since it started in 2002. Recently, a request was granted for the country of Cuba, which brings the total number of countries served to 37. As knowledge about STW continues to grow, more and more local youth ministries and state youth conventions are “adopting” special projects to help fund tools for evangelism around the world. Church of God students are making a difference! Go to www.chogy.org/spread-the-word for more information about Spread the Word.

Tami ByrdTami Byrd is the director of Spread the Word, and also serves as the North American Youth Ministries project coordinator at Church of God Ministries. She can be reached at tbyrd@chog.org.

^ Top of Page

  Parents are THE First Line  

It is true that building relationships is a major part of ministering to students. As youth leaders, we pour ourselves into the lives of students each week. We gain their trust. We help give guidance to their lives. We love on them unconditionally. That is all well and good. But it is really important that parents take the lead when it comes to mentoring their children.

My wife and I are privileged to have a couple of youth-aged students in our home. We made the decision a long time ago that when it comes to life lessons, we would rather have our children learn about those experiences from us than from somewhere else. So, we have been intentional about being involved in their lives when it comes to those life issues.

A few months back, I took my son on a "man retreat." The whole idea of this time together was to give us the opportunity to talk to each other about life. We talked about a lot of stuff, but the primary hot-button issue was sex. The truth is that a lot of dads are uncomfortable talking with their child about sex. I would rather address the issue than have my son seek information from other sources. The same is true of other hot-button issues of the day.

As youth pastors and leaders, we need to encourage parents to lead the way in mentoring their children. They really are the first line!

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.

Check out www.parentministry.net for resources to help parents.

^ Top of Page

  Creating a Mentoring Culture for Your Students  

We all have issues that we know are critically important, and yet they continually slip to the back burner. Mentoring has been one of those issues for me. Deep down I know it is critical to the spiritual growth of our students. But I get so caught up in keeping present programs going to the point that it keeps me from implementing a mentoring ministry. Others are more qualified than I am to write an article on starting a mentoring ministry. But, if you are like me, you desire to bring an element of mentoring into ministries that already exist.

Each person needs to understand that mentoring starts with yourself. Who are you pouring into? Lately I have arranged more one-on-one times with our leaders. We have specific elements of discipleship to focus on; scripture, prayer, witnessing, serving, and relationships. We have conversations and accountability on these topics. I pour into these leaders, and encourage them to do the same with a student. Our small group leaders are challenged to choose one student from their group to mentor. This fall we are also inviting older folks in our church to adopt a discipleship group. The senior adult is given a "baseball card" on each student in their group, and their commitment is to pray for the students and join them once a month. This way, we can tap into our senior adults to offer vital intergenerational mentoring opportunities. I hope you find these ideas helpful!

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.

Check out www.lead222.com/be-with-resources for some helps on mentoring students.

^ Top of Page

  Importance of Being Mentored as a Leader  

Having the right mentor, whether this is someone who is a part of your same local congregation or not, can serve to strengthen your ministry and leadership in an untold number of ways. Here are just a few ways to hopefully convince you that finding a mentor is one of the best decisions you can make for your ministry (and your sanity):

1. A mentor will stretch you on purpose—Ministry is challenging, and most of the time those challenges come in the form of unexpected emergencies that cause us to have to adapt and react on-the-fly. Being purposefully challenged by a mentor can give you the opportunity to grow as a leader on purpose, rather than waiting for the next emergency to pop up.

2. A mentor will help remind you of why you do what you do—It usually doesn't take very long before even the most passionate leader looks in the mirror and asks, "Why am I even doing this?" It's in those times that a mentor can remind you of your calling and of all the positive things about ministry.

3. A mentor will be on your side (even when you aren't)—One of the greatest advantages to having a mentor is that you can trust that he or she is always working for your benefit. Sometimes this happens through encouragement, but other times it might come by providing honest feedback about aspects of your leadership that may have the potential to hurt your ministry in the long run. Remember, the Bible tells us that "iron sharpens iron," but it never promised that this would be a painless process.

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.

^ Top of Page

  360 Cross Model  

Have you ever had moments in your ministry when you have felt all alone? My guess is that the answer to this question for almost (if not all) youth leaders is, "yes". Ministry can be a lonely place, especially youth ministry. We need to remember, however, that we were not created to be alone. I'm not talking about husband and wife; I'm talking about the fact that we were created to be in relationship with others; created to DO life with others.

As we focus on the importance of mentoring, I want to share with you a very simple, yet powerful illustration of how to maintain a balanced and effective mentoring culture within your own life and ministry. In the Leadership Principle of the 5 Principle Training (free downloadable training at www.chogy.org under Featured Resources) there is a great illustration called the "Cross Coaching Tree." The illustration is that just as there are three areas of the cross, there are three areas of leadership and coaching.

Cross Coaching TreeThe first is having a mentor/coach in your life; that is, someone older and with more wisdom. This is represented by the top of the cross. Second, it is important to have an encourager/partner, someone to cheer you on and support you. This is represented by the horizontal bar of the cross. The third area of leadership is mentoring someone else, having someone that you are intentionally pouring into on a regular basis. This is represented by the lower portion of the cross.

Mentor. Encourager. Mentee. These three relationships are important, biblical, and necessary in order to live out discipleship as Christian leaders. I encourage you to ask yourself the following three questions as you strive to grow as a Christ-centered disciple:

  • Who is intentionally pouring into you?
  • Who are your encouragers and partners in ministry?
  • Who are you intentionally pouring into?

For more information, download the 5 Principle Training, offered for FREE at www.chogy.org/5-principle-training. It has been taught in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and North America and is available in four different languages.

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.

^ Top of Page


Calendar of Events

IYC2016, San Antonio, Texas
July 2–5, 2016
Watch your mailbox for information coming soon. Also, the IYC website, www.iyc2016.org, is live, and registration begins September 1, 2015. Don't miss this incredible life change experience!


   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
            Tyler Williams (OH)

      Eric Reeder (IN)
      Rob Ringwald (WV)
      Kyle Cooper (VA)


Special Thanks to Departing Youth Network Team Members

Brian Seidel—We want to thank Brian for his service to the YNT over the years. Brian has accepted a position as lead pastor at Oregon Trail Church of God in Caldwell, Idaho. Thanks, Brian, for all you have done for youth ministry across the country!

Kati Davis—Kati and her family have recently moved to Moore, Oklahoma, where her husband serves as children's pastor. Kati is working in customer service for a Christian company, while also supporting her husband in ministry. Thank you, Kati, for your service to the YNT the past few years, and for the way you love students and invest in their lives!

Brandon Holbrook—Brandon is now serving as spiritual development pastor at Eastside Community Church in Wichita, Kansas. We appreciate you, Brandon, and your faithful service to the YNT. Thank you for investing in students over the years!

^ Top of Page



Leadership Summit 2015
A Challenge to Remain

In John 15, Jesus compared himself to the vine. He is the source of life. We are the branches. Our connection to the vine is critical if we are to bear fruit. As Christ-followers, if we want to grow, we must remain in him. This is the lesson that more than two hundred student and adult leaders learned at this year's Leadership Summit.

Leadership Summit serves as a launching pad for student leaders. Since its inception, hundreds of students have attended and received clarification about God's call upon their lives. Some have stepped into vocational ministry roles while others have taken roles of leadership in other capacities. This event is intentional about training students for a lifetime of Christian service.

This year's event took place on the campus of Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida. Special thanks to Eric Reeder and the Leadership Summit team for all of their hard work in preparation for Leadership Summit 2015. A job well done!

Be watching for Leadership Summit info for 2017. Make sure you start planning now to bring your student leaders!

^ Top of Page


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



Interlinc Special Promotion

Interlinc logoOur partners at Interlinc who have been instrumental in serving hundreds of our CHOG youth ministries and IYC for the past twenty years are celebrating the 100th edition of Youth Leaders Only. YLO is youth ministry's original low-cost music and media service. They are offering the “Andy Says” special deal for all CHOG youth workers. Join YLO, type in “Andy Says” and they will give you the YLO 100 T-Shirt, start you with the brand new YLO Box with all the great new Christian music and worship music, plus a FOR KING & COUNTRY goodie bag (their new CD, live video, and their last two music videos).

"I depended on Interlinc and YLO to keep me up on new music when I was a youth pastor. And I have trusted the Interlinc team to help us get the best bands for IYC. I know we all were grateful for their help in getting FOR KING & COUNTRY to IYC last summer. They will keep you up on all the great music each quarter as a YLO Member. Make sure you tell them you want the 'Andy Says' Deal"—Andy Stephenson

Allen Weed
President, Interlinc

^ Top of Page





National Evangelism Week-Life Book

Check out this great opportunity in connection with the Life Book and See You At The Pole:

N.E.W. gives you an opportunity to challenge your students to be intentional about sharing the gospel during one specific week, September 20–26. Honestly, we just made it up to get people to share the gospel and we chose this week specifically because it's the same week as See You At The Pole. Imagine one week intensely focused on evangelism and prayer. For our part at The Life Book, we are challenging youth leaders across the U.S. to get free Life Books for their students to give the gift of the gospel to 1 Million teens during this one week. Go to www.nationalevangelismweek.com for more information, or follow this link to request Life Books right away with a special page and video just for CHOG churches: www.thelifebook.com/dev/requestform.



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@chog.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@chog.org.

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

Copyright © 2015 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