If you are a football fan, at some time you have probably heard some stories about the legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. One of my favorite stories told is how he would pick up a football, hold it up and say to his professional athletes who had been playing football for years, “Men, this is a football.” He would go on to stress the fundamentals of the game and the importance of never forgetting them.
If you have been in youth ministry for a few years, you know that the fundamental for the CHOG national youth ministry for the last decade has been “to be a catalyst to raise up a new generation of Christ-centered leaders”—all of us together helping students passionately pursue and obey God, sacrificially serve others, intentionally share Christ, and experience Christian community.
Our strategy has been simple: REACH—DISCIPLE—EMPOWER.
Every two years the youth ministry and youth network teams take one of these strategy areas and focus concentrated effort to move to the next level. It doesn’t mean we ignore the other areas, but we have all hands on deck to help strengthen the area in focus.
We have just completed two years of focus on DISCIPLE and worked in the areas of discipleship, concentrating on the Intern Academy, Emerging Leaders 101.com, and providing the ELP-CD, the thirty-day devotional, and the overall direction for IYC2012, Focus 40 youth devotional, and a future “What we believe” for students.
We are transitioning our focus to the EMPOWER strategy and look forward to what God is going to do over the next two years.
In this issue, we want to start with one of our core foundational values: We value prayer. Prayer is essential to unleashing God’s power. Just as Coach Lombardi said, “This is a football.” Let’s remember our core value: prayer is our foundation.
Written by Andy Stephenson PhD who is the Leader of Youth and Family Ministries at Church of God Ministries.