Why Youth Ministries Should Never Take Summers Off

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Why youth ministries should never take the summer off

A good portion of youth ministries take off and don’t meet for a few months during the summer. Other than maybe a youth camp or conference their rationale goes that they won’t have a regular sized attendance and therefore it’s not worth it to meet.

If I may be so bold, this thinking is entirely false! Read more on Dan’s blog.

By Dan Cosentino, student pastor at Grace Community Church in Goshen, Ind.

Resources in the CE National Lending Library

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Ten Keys for Unlocking the Bible: Treasures That Will Change Your Life
By Colin Smith

The 10 keys are condensed from Unlocking the Bible Story, a series of four books that cover the story in greater detail. If you enjoy the high-altitude flyover and want to get closer to the ground, Unlocking the Bible Story will give you a map and a compass. But for those who are new to the Bible or want a quick overview of the Christian faith, this is the place to begin.

Unafraid: A Lineage of Grace Series
By Francine Rivers

In her fifth and final Lineage of Grace novella, renowned Christian writer Rivers tackles the most celebrated woman in Christian history, Mary, the mother of Jesus. Using the biblical account of Jesus’ life as a framework, Rivers adds such imaginative scenes as Mary watching the young Jesus healing his little sister, Anne, or Mary pondering Jesus’ ability to see that there is always enough bread and oil in the larder to keep the family afloat. There are warm mother-son exchanges (“You’re so thin!”) and personal details (“Jesus had Mary’s chin… but no one ever said Jesus had her eyes…”).

The Uniqueness of Man
A DVD by Prof. Stuart Burgess

In this powerful presentation, British engineer Stuart Burgess describes some of the many unique design features of man, including arched feet, facial expressions, skillful hands, fine skin, intricate language, and an amazingly powerful brain. We are designed to perform skillful tasks so that we can be creative stewards of God’s creation.

Visit cenational.org/library for these and other titles.

Nominate Someone For The 2015 CE National Faithfulness Awards

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Each year, CE National provides an opportunity to encourage and honor faithful servants in ministry. The CE National Faithfulness Award is an opportunity to nominate those within your church family deserving of honor. Are there names that come immediately to mind? Maybe the faithful staff member, the long-serving Sunday School teacher, those who have undertaken an event that was helpful in reaching, teaching, and releasing people for God’s glory? The deadline for submitting a nomination for a CE National Faithfulness Award is Friday, March 6th.

You play a vital role in the giving of these awards! Will you help us honor individuals who have served so well? You can find the Faithfulness form on our website at cenational.org/churchawards. Please take time to consider one or more nominations from your church family.

Thank you for joining with us as we honor individuals who are faithfully serving the Lord.

Learn How to be a World Changer at CELS Youth 2015

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The group that attended the 2014 CELS

The world is changing at a rapid pace. Students are different each year. How can we challenge this generation to follow Christ when they are following the broad way that leads to destruction? We must be both biblically accurate AND culturally relevant.  We must lead youth to follow Jesus not the world. We need to be WORLD CHANGERS.

Speakers will be Kurt Johnston, Keith Minier, Knute Larson, Steve Timmis, and more…

Join us Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, 2015, at CE National for the annual CELS event (CE Leadership Summit for youth workers). Visit celsyouth.cenational.org to find out what’s in store for you.

Urban Hope’s Kingdom Kids at Camp Conquest

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2015_feb_13_urban_hope_camp_conquestUrban Hope is preparing for their sixth annual camp experience for urban children ages 8-12. Urban Hope Community Church is thrilled and blessed to have the opportunity, through a partnership with Camp Conquest, to bring children from the church for an amazing week of camp.

Each year, the staff at Urban Hope looks forward to the times of spiritual growth, outdoor recreation, and strengthened relationships that take place during our week at Camp Conquest.

This week has been simply unforgettable for manykids.  Camp Conquest is an invaluable experience for campers as many of them come from unbelieving, broken homes. Not only do they have lots of fun in nature, but they have the opportunity to be discipled around the clock for a week.  The campers have the chance to leave the distractions and temptations of their neighborhood and be challenged with the truth of God’s Word for five days.  Each day, campers have counselors reading the Bible with them, praying for them, and loving them with the love of Jesus.

Last year, 10 children made first-time decisions to remain connected to Jesus by following Him for the rest of their lives.  28 campers made re-commitment decisions to grow in or share their faith with others.  The campers memorized 728 Bible verses to take home with them.  The Sunday after the Camp Conquest trip, Urban Hope Community Church saw a church attendance of 319 people, many of which were campers with their families. Urban Hope is already in the planning stages for Camp Conquest 2015, and the staff is praying for all 72 campers to experience the love of Jesus and choose to follow Him.

Urban Hope needs your help!
Would your Vacation Bible School, Backyard Bible Club, or other children’s ministry consider collecting an offering that would go directly to  kids who need to know Jesus at Urban Hope? How amazing would it be to see children from your area giving enough money to sponsor a day of camp for the children from the Urban Hope Community?  Any money that is given will go directly to helping a child from Urban Hope learn about the good news of Jesus through their experience at Camp Conquest.  They are all precious in His sight!

What is the financial need?
Camp Conquest generously donates their facilities and specialized staff to Urban Hope for one week each summer.  However, there is still a major cost involved to fund the food, transportation, activity supplies, sleeping bags, backpacks, and Bibles for Kingdom Kids @ Camp Conquest.

How can we sponsor a camper?
You and the children involved in your children’s ministry can change the life of a child from Urban Hope forever by sending them to Camp Conquest.

$14 to sponsor one day of camp for a child
$70 to sponsor one week of camp for a child

Visit urbanhope.net/camp to give.

2014 Camp Conquest Highlight Video:
2014 Camp Conquest Pictures:

Who do we contact with questions?
If you have any questions about any of this information please contact Amber Mallow, children’s ministry director at Urban Hope, at ambermallow@urbanhope.net.

Jim Brown to Speak During Momentum Youth Conference

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Jim Brown

Jim Brown, lead pastor of Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana, will be a main session speaker for Momentum 2015. Jim is a Grace College and Seminary graduate and, more importantly, this is where he met his wife, Anne. If you were to cut Jim open and see his heart you would soon find out that he is passionate about loving his family, investing in men, and bringing lost people to Jesus!

He is the founder of the national men’s ministry called Fight Club. Jim desires to see children, youth, and adults live to their redemptive potential. He is a firm believer that leadership is influence and influence begins by going in first and doing it with his people.

Visit buildmomentum.org/speakers to find out more about the Momentum main session lineup.

Shoot Close to the Basket

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2015_feb_19_shoot_close_to_the_basketJunior and senior high school ministry comes with an eclectic mix of personalities. Students, with changing identities and growing independence, bring joys and challenges alike to the table. So how do we reach them?

As a lead youth worker, I have often succumbed to the pressure of reaching the lost sheep. Don’t get me wrong—this is vital and important. But if I am only spending my time on the run after the one who doesn’t want to be at youth group, am I really being a good steward? Read more…

5 Keys to Working With Difficult People in Small Groups

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A common problem in the boardroom and in the Bible study is the—shall we say, “overly generous”—contribution of certain individuals. You can probably think right now of someone who speaks so much in group discussions that others can’t even squeeze a word out. This is awkward as a team member. For group leaders, it’s downright frustrating.

If you lead a group with such a member, whether it’s an action team in a corporation or a small group, know that there is no silver bullet to the problem. However, a few practices can help you lead well and engage the contributions of all members of the group. Read more…

Momentum’s Got Talent Returns to Momentum 2015

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A Momentum's Got Talent 2014 participant

A Momentum’s Got Talent 2014 participant

CE National is excited to offer Momentum’s Got Talent (MGT) again this year at Momentum Youth Conference.

Students are encouraged to practice their skills such as vocal solos, teen challenges, creative writing, musical instruments, piano solos, and much more. Even art pieces can be brought to Momentum and entered. Students enter MGT by creating and uploading a video of themselves performing whatever they are planning to present or registering online that they are bringing a piece of artwork.

If you are a parent, youth worker, or pastor, we urge you to get your students involved in the process. It is never too early to start having students share what they will do for Momentum’s Got Talent in front of the youth group or the church, at a nursing home or retirement community, or at other places the youth group or church ministers.

One of the great advantages of a student’s involvement in Momentum’s Got Talent is the opportunity to be eligible for scholarships. Several colleges give renewable scholarships to winners and often to students who are part of the audition round at Momentum.

In addition, several Momentum’s Got Talent entries will be selected to present their talent in Momentum’s main sessions. Students may end up singing (for example) in front of 2,000+ people!

To find out more about Momentum’s Got Talent, visit buildmomentum.org/mgt or contact Lois at at 574-267-6622 or lois@cenational.org.

City Life is Two Weeks of Summer Ministry Training

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The 2014 City Life Team in Southern California

Applications are still being accepted for City Life 2015, our 15 day ministry experience for high school students. City Life was launched with the concept of “hands on” ministry in major, inner-city locations and has many of the ministry equipping aspects of our Operation Barnabas teams, but does not include programming and is a shorter time period. Some students find the two week length of time more doable with other summer activities, while still getting opportunities for ministry training. And, any high school student, including those just entering 9th grade, is eligible for City Life and welcome to apply.

The dates for City Life 2015 are June 23 – July 7. There will be two teams in separate locations; students may indicate a preference of location when applying for City Life.

The West Coast team begins with orientation is in Norwalk, California, and includes ministry opportunities in Los Angeles and Orange County. The East Coast team starts in Lititz, Pennsylvania, and includes ministry in New York City, Washington DC, and Philadelphia.

The cost for City Life 2015 is $1125. Students will also need to fund their transportation to the orientation location and back home after tour.

Applications for City Life are available on the City Life website.

Kondo Simfukwe to Speak at Momentum 2015

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Kondo Simfukwe to speak at Momentum Youth Conference

2015_feb_13_kondo_simfukwe_momentum_youth_conferenceKondo Simfukwe, lead pastor of Mission Point Community Church in Winona Lake, Indiana, will be one of the main session speakers during Momentum 2015.

Before coming to the United States for college, Kondo spent time in London, Zambia, and Australia. He attended Grace College in Winona Lake where he met his wife, Melissa. Kondo and Melissa have two children, Judah and Jael.  Kondo loves music, and in his spare time he enjoys watching and playing tennis, as well as stalking sunsets and trail running.

Visit buildmomentum.org/speakers to find out more about the Momentum main session lineup.

Would You Help a Student Experience Momentum Youth Conference?

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2015_feb_13_momentum_youth_conferenceThe LIFE scholarship fund allows for Momentum to give discounted rates to churches in economically depressed areas. These scholarships are not given on a student by student basis. Giving to the fund allows for churches to bring a group to Momentum who would never be able to experience the conference otherwise.

A gift to the LIFE scholarship fund is an investment in the lives of students to be challenged in the Bible, equipped to share the gospel, and sewn into by their youth staff. We’ve seen many lives changed by what happens at Momentum Youth Conference through speakers, worship, youth group time, ministry and so much more.

Visit the Momentum LIFE page to give.

New Family Groups Begin At Urban Hope

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This week, new Family Groups began at Urban Hope. Family Groups are the next step of growth for new believers and the ongoing discipleship ministry for growing believers.

Eleven new groups began this past Tuesday evening on the following topics:

  1. Basics of Following Jesus
  2. Disciplines of a Godly Person
  3. Study on Suffering From 1 & 2 Peter
  4. How to Study and Apply the Gospels
  5. Helping Friends Who are Addicted
  6. Helping Friends Who are Abused
  7. Questions about God and Life
  8. Youth Bible Foundations and Worldviews.

Groups meet together for two months and are led by two of the Shepherds. Some groups are coed and others are for men or women only. Urban Hope encourages 9-12th graders to participate in the adult groups or they can chose to attend the youth study for junior and senior high. Everyone stays with the same group for the two-month period to develop deeper accountability and relationships within the small group.

Dr. Walt Kaiser Encourages Expository Preaching During the Feb. 4 Pastorpedia Live

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Dr. Walt Kaiser speaks to a crowded room during the Feb. 4 Pastorpedia Live

Dr. Walt Kaiser encouraged pastors and other church leaders of the importance of expositional preaching. Dr. Kaiser feels that the modern trend in the Church has been to cater to topical preaching, but the real need is for solid exposition of the Word of God. Dr. Kaiser’s heart is to transfer his love of expositional preaching so that it can be used by the clergy and laity as well.

The next Pastorpedia Live features Jeff Bogue, lead pastor of Grace Church in Akron, Indiana. Jeff’s topic is Vision for the Church. Visit mypastorpedia.com to find out more and register.

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Momentum Youth Conference Registration is Open

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Momentum Youth Conference 2015 is July 14-19 at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind. You won’t want to miss this week’s sessions, worship, missions opportunities, sports, on campus fun, and so much more!

Registration is now open at buildmomentum.org/register. Register and pay your $75 deposit by March 31 to secure the best rate! The week will host speakers such as Sean McDowell, Clayton King, Jackie Hill Perry, Naghmeh Abedini and more with worship lead by the Jordan Howerton Band!

City Life is Two Weeks of Ministry Training

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The 2014 City Life Team

Are you aware of CE National’s 15 day ministry team for high school students, City Life? City Life was launched with the concept of “hands on” ministry in major inner-city locations and has many of the ministry-equipping aspects of our Operation Barnabas teams, but does not include programming and is a shorter time period. Some students find the two week length of time more doable with other summer activities, while still getting opportunities for ministry training. Any high school student, including those just entering 9th grade, is eligible for City Life and welcome to apply.

Tim Lansing, youth pastor at the Grace Brethren Church in Norwalk, California, hosted last year’s City Life team and had a student from his youth group participate on the 2014 West Coast team. Tim says, “While we have sent many students on Operation Barnabas over the years, this was our first year, as a church, sending a student on City Life. Since City Life was in our own backyard (Southern California) it was a neat way to expose our student to areas of ministry that they can continue to be a part of or incorporate into our existing ministries. It really opened the eyes of our student to the need to share Jesus with both the poor and the rich and exposed him to different types of ministry opportunities in the urban context. Since our church is surrounded by urban areas it was a great way to develop him as a leader and remind him of the importance of being ON MISSION, every day! Since returning home, this student is now plugged in and involved in a year-long internship with our student ministries. Thank you, CE National, for providing so many unique ways to teach and train our students to love Jesus and be ON MISSION for Him.”

The dates for City Life 2015 are June 23 – July 7, and there will be two teams in separate locations; students may indicate a preference of location when applying for City Life. The West Coast team begins with orientation in Norwalk, California, and includes ministry opportunities in Los Angeles and Orange County. The East Coast team starts in Lititz, Pennsylvania, and includes ministry in New York City, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. The cost for City Life 2015 is $1125. Students will also need to fund their transportation to the orientation location and back home after tour.

Applications for City Life are available here.