IYC=LIFE CHANGE FOR LEADERS
For years, we’ve been saying that “IYC is about life change,” and if you ever talk to a student who’s attended, they’ll undoubtedly be able to tell you about when they experienced God’s goodness through acts of service, when they forged lifelong friendships with other brothers and sisters in Christ from around the country, or maybe even when they made a life-changing decision to follow Christ for the first time…but what about LEADERS?
It’s easy to understand the tendency to overlook the impact that IYC has on the lives of the leaders that attend (it is called the International YOUTH Convention after all), but IYC is actually designed on purpose to give the opportunity for life change among leaders, as well. Here are just a few ways that you might see this lived out at IYC2018:
- Receiving intentional training—At each IYC, youth leaders are given the opportunity to learn from student ministry pioneers, as well as some of our best and brightest young leaders. In my own experience, this training becomes most transformative in the untold number of conversations that take place between leaders in the hours, days, and even years that follow.
- Seeing your own leadership multiplied—One of the most rewarding things any leader can experience is seeing your own teaching modeled in the life of a student. Literally every time I have taken a group to IYC, God has given me the gift of being able see at least one of the students from our group step up in a way that none of our group was expecting. Be on the lookout for these moments at IYC2018, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
- Being reminded that God is at work in younger generations—Every adult leader that attends IYC is given a gift that very few within our congregations get to experience: we get to see what it looks like when literally THOUSANDS of teenage students come together to learn about, grow closer to, and ultimately glorify Jesus Christ. Honestly, at each IYC that I’ve attended as an adult leader, it’s this image that I treasure the most. It’s a reminder for me that our teenagers are not a lost generation at all. They aren’t just the future of the church; they are the very church itself. My prayer for you at IYC2018 is that this realization will recharge you and your ministry for years to come!
Josh Boldman is a Youth Ministry Team member and the former student ministries pastor at White Chapel Church of God in Florida. He recently transitioned to Willow Creek Community Church at the Crystal Lake campus and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.