In honor of those who have given the highest price in defending our country, CE National will be closed Friday, May 27 through Monday May 30. We’ll reopen Tuesday, May 31.
A special financial gift was given to the ministry of Operation Barnabas by Pastor Ron and Linda Rosner in memory of Bessie D. Ferree who went to be with the Lord on April 7, 2016. Bessie served faithfully at her home church in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, telling young and old about Jesus. A godly servant who loved the Lord, Bessie will be missed by many. Thanks Pastor Ron and Linda for remembering Bessie in this special way!
Would you like to honor or remember someone who has made a significant difference for Christ? CE National and/or the Urban Hope Training Center are willing to accept donations in honor or memory of an individual and apply those funds towards people hearing about Jesus and being trained and equipped to be like Christ. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cenational.org/givenow.
It always seems like the summer is such a busy time and the options of how students can be spending their summer break are endless. With the importance of summer jobs, family vacations, and other camps, we asked why parents, youth workers, and students should prioritize attending Momentum Youth Conference. These three youth pastors weighed in on their experiences with taking their youth groups to Momentum and the importance of making it a part of your summer:
What are you looking forward to at Momentum Youth Conference this coming July?
Eric Miller: I always look forward to having specific time with our youth group at the end of the day. For me as a youth pastor, I love getting to process on a deeper level what God is doing in our students’ hearts and minds during the day as they hear from God. It’s our time to wrestle with what we’re learning and begin applying it to our lives in preparation for returning home.
Peter Littrell: This year at Momentum I am looking forward to what the Lord has for us through the speakers. Each year the speakers do an excellent job bringing God’s Word to the entire audience at Momentum, not just the youth. The challenges that they leave us with are always a blessing and they encourage us to go out into the world and be courageous for God in every aspect of our lives.
Not only are the main services amazing, but the Power Trax as well. Having that extra hour of lessons that focus on specific issues that leaders and students face is just amazing. It allows for smaller groups to focus together on a specific topic and get personal with the teacher.
Cody Ray: I look forward to focused time I get to have with my students and adult leaders. I get to spend a lot of time with them throughout the year, but when we have the opportunity to be together for an entire week and not have a lot of the distractions we have at home we have been able to have very good conversations and I can take my relationship with them to the next level. I also look forward to being with some of my youth pastor friends who I don’t get to see a whole lot otherwise.
How have you seen last summer’s conference, Momentum 2015, impact your ministry and students?
Eric Miller: Momentum 2015 had an excellent theme – “Relentless.” Our students have been able to carry it out in how they have “passionately pursued Christ and pointed people to Him.” (Our youth group mission statement). We have seen God continue to use our students to lead our youth ministry in new and fresh ways because of what they learned at Momentum.
For example, one of our students gained a passion for those entrapped in human trafficking and has brought that back to our youth group in a powerful way. We have an upcoming event dedicated to raising awareness of human trafficking because of her leadership and partnership with Destiny Rescue.
Peter Littrell: Momentum has impacted the lives of my students by giving them something to look forward to each summer and by giving them the knowledge to work for God on a regular basis in their school and home. It encouraged them to step up in the church in ways that they didn’t think they could. Most importantly, Momentum showed my youth group that they do not know everything there is. It taught them humility and with that gave them the thirst to want to learn more.
Cody Ray: We brought a lot of students home from Momentum 2015 on fire. We had some incredible breakthroughs with some students that were partially committed, but are now leading others to become more like Christ.
Anders, a student of mine, was someone who knew God, went to church some, but was about to give up on everything. He told me Momentum 2015 was the last opportunity he was giving to the idea of Christianity. During that week he was hit with the Holy Spirit so hard that he has been a completely changed person ever since. I have had the opportunity to disciple him this past year and a half and still continue to see amazing growth that is now spilling over to his family.
What is the most important part of Momentum for you? For your students?
Eric Miller: The most important part of Momentum for me is getting our students away from their comfort zones and to a place where they can wrestle with their sin, hear from God and immediately apply what they are learning to their lives in a number of ways. I love that Momentum isn’t just a youth conference but an opportunity for students to do missions, outreach, and evangelism! For our students, the most important thing is an opportunity to hear powerful speakers be vulnerable, honest and challenging on topics they need to hear from God’s word about.
Peter Littrell: The most important part for me is the amount of Bible that is involved in the conference. I don’t believe that I have ever been to a conference that has had so much Scripture involved every day in the students’ and leaders’ schedule. It is just awesome how much they push God’s Word and love on the students.
For my students, they love that they are able to get away from their everyday lives in Florida and make new friends as well as learn more about God. They also look forward to all of the speakers and what they have for us each day. They always look forward to Momentum and the fun that we will have that week.
Cody Ray: Similar to my first answer, the most important part of Momentum for me is spending intentional time with my students and adult leaders. Something that we have made very important within our team and I know others have done as well, is praying for our students and leaders.
About a month before Momentum we create a calendar and put a couple students’ names on that date and pray for them each day. When we get to Momentum we encourage our students to be part of the morning prayer ministry. Because of that we, as the leaders, want to model the importance of the morning prayer. We meet together every morning before the breakfast meeting to discuss how we and our students are doing and we pray together as a team.
Another very important part of Momentum for us and the students is the time together each night after the main session. Continuing the discussion from the sermons is so crucial and everyone in our group looks forward to that time so much each night.
Why would you encourage parents, youth pastors, and students to consider Momentum Youth Conference?
Eric Miller: I would encourage anyone to consider attending Momentum because it can be a powerful youth conference experience and mission trip all rolled up into one amazing week. As a youth pastor, I have the option to challenge my students to take the next step in their faith regardless of what spiritual stage of life they are in and I love that Momentum helps me to challenge our students with that.
Peter Littrell: I would encourage anyone to go to Momentum Youth Conference because of what the Lord does in the lives of those who attend. Momentum allows for a week of life away from life’s busyness and allows for a week of time closer with God. It is refreshing, fun, and all around exciting to go to Momentum. It’s the best week of summer, and one could make an amazing argument that it is the best week of the year.
Cody Ray: Momentum is the kind of week that will thrust you, your ministry, and your students into a faith-filled year. Whether your students are in middle school, high school, or about to leave for college, Momentum is the kind of experience that will stick with you for the rest of your life.
Eric Miller pastors the youth group at Grace Community Church in Frederick, Maryland. Peter Littrell is the youth pastor of Iglesia la Esparanza in Valrico, Florida. Cody Ray is youth pastor at Connection Christian Church in York, Pennsylvania.
To find out more about Momentum Youth Conference, visit buildmomentum.org.
“What an honor it was for the CE National Board of Directors to be in Akron, Ohio, for our meetings,” said Ed Lewis, executive director of CE National. The group went to Akron not only to do business but to say thanks to a great church team. CE National again honored Grace Church as Church of the Year!! That honor is based on their growth, vision, teamwork, strategic planning, cultural relevance, commitment to the Scriptures and leadership development.
Some things that make them an incredible church:
- They have over 8000 people who call Grace Church their own.
- They have seen 5000 public decisions for Christ since their beginning 16 years ago.
- They have a strategy of Know it. Live it. Give it Away.
- They have four campuses in Akron pastored by godly Bible teachers and they have one satellite campus (video) plus a new campus plan starting in a neighboring city soon and a plan for starting churches in Atlanta, Georgia. They presently have 13 weekend services.
- They have strong small group ministries and mentoring.
- They hope to plant 30 churches in 30 years.
- There are 40 students in their Moody Bible Institute Extension that is a part of their church.
- They around 100 students to Momentum and they have sent hundreds to various places in short-term ministries.
- They have numerous ministries to the poor or overlooked in their communities and elsewhere.
We could go on and on. Check out their website at www.graceohio.org.
The church continues to grow and God is building his church in Akron. Jeff Bogue is the senior pastor and leads the Bath Campus, but there are other teaching pastors at the various campuses. Dan Gregory is in Norton, Tony Livigni is in Medina, and Jeff Martell is in Barberton.
Ed say, “It was several years ago that we named the Grace Church of Greater Akron as Church of the Year, but it is obvious that this church again deserves this highest honor that we give to churches. We are excited to see Grace Church continue to be used of God so well!!”
Each year CE National honors faithful servants for the cause of Christ. Thanks to these who have served others so faithfully in the name of Jesus!
Jay Oliver is the recipient of a CE National Faithfulness Award. Jay has attended the First Brethren Church in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, since 1936 and has faithfully served as head trustee, deacon, usher coordinator, board of stewards, VBS helper, and more.
Watch Jay’s video here.
GooseChase is a fun scavenger hunt platform for the masses. For competitive people, in-app leader-boards and photo feeds heat up the competition quickly. It’s bold, crazy and highly addictive.
Momentum is excited to feature the GooseChase scavenger hunt during an afternoon of conference. Groups can form teams of up to 10 people and will be given a list of “missions” through the app to complete for points. With the town of Cedarville easily accessible off campus and plenty to find on the university property, expect many missions to be able to join in on.
This scavenger hunt is fun for your whole youth group and only one team member needs to have a smartphone in order to participate. Watch the leader-boards as other teams score points by uploading their photos and see who can complete the most missions before time is up! GooseChase works on iPhone and Android.
Teams can sign up for GooseChase and many other afternoon events through their youth pastor/worker who can sign up for afternoon opportunities online after June 1.
Want to join the GooseChase scavenger hunt? Make sure you’re registered for Momentum Youth Conference! Save your spot now by registering now!
Momentum 2016 will feature many fun afternoon options, ministry opportunities, dorm life experiences, incredible learning opportunities and so much more. Don’t miss it! Find out more about the conference including speakers, theme, cost and more at buildmomentum.org.
Connection Christian Church visited the Urban Hope Training Center in February and participated in several outreach activities including installing smoke detectors in homes. Valerie, a student on the trip, told her dad, who lives in a different state due to a position with the army, about the smoke detector outreach. Valerie’s dad was so impressed that he told his pastor about the outreach. The pastor went to the local fire department, shared the story, and the fire department donated smoke detectors for the church to do the very same ministry in some of the poorer neighborhoods in their town.
The desire of the staff at Urban Hope is for everyone who visits to use what they’ve learned back home. Valerie’s story is a great example of that.
If you want to know more about bringing your group to Urban Hope, visit urbanhope.net.
Ed Short, CE National’s primary ministry consultant and coach, will be leading a coaching clinic for pastors and ministry leaders. The clinic will be May 23-25 at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
“As a pastor who loves football, I have come to believe that if we are to effectively lead our churches we will need to develop the mindset of a coach,” says Ed Short. “Most of us are not superstars and fortunately for us, that plays to our advantage in coaching those within our influence to own and carry out the ministry.
“We have designed The Coaching Clinic to help you see ministry as a team sport. The cost is very reasonable and the benefits of attending will be extremely high. I get so many invites to various seminars and conferences that it is difficult to determine what is worthy of my time and financial investment. So here is an overview of The Coaching Clinic.” Read more at cenational.org/coachingclinic.
Tom Julien will share a two-fold discussion of the discipleship model. First will be the focus on the four-part process of discipleship, applicable in every discipleship situation.
Tom has studied the concept and outworking of the discipleship model for many years and has seen the positive results of following biblical principles. His years of missionary, evangelism, and church-planting efforts have reinforced the model he uses.
The second aspect of the discussion will focus on the church, the body of Christ, as providing the essential framework for effective discipleship, using Ephesians 4:11-16.
Following each discussion by Tom, Pastor Knute Larson and others will give additional perspective and practical examples to make this a well-rounded discussion time for each leader in attendance. Participants are encouraged to bring discipleship questions. If the questions aren’t answered in the sessions there will be a panel for questions/answers in the afternoon.
Tom will lead the group in:
- understanding the four-part process of discipleship.
- discovering the comparison of the seed-planting concepts to discipleship.
- how to plant the seeds, not merely transplant information.
- understanding the intentionality of discipleship.
- how God intended for the disciple to be equipped to do the work of the ministry.
- how to make sure the disciple is not just getting the information but connecting them to ministry and in turn equipping others.
Tom serves as the pastor of equipping at the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church and is a member of the Leadership Training Team for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. After graduating from Grace Theological Seminary and planting a church in Fort Wayne, he and his wife, Doris, left the United States in 1958 to become missionaries to France.
In 1964 the Chateau de Saint Albain was acquired. It became a center for evangelism, training and church-planting. Tom became the executive director of Grace Brethren International Missions (now Encompass World Partners) in 1986 and served in that position until April of 2000. He has authored several books including The Three Princes, a biblical treatment of the unseen world.
Tom’s wife, Doris, was called to be with the Lord in 2009. Their children are Becky, a missionary in England with her husband, David; Terry a free-lance artist; and Jacqueline, a professor and associate dean at Grace College.
Dr. Randall Smith and his wife Dottie raised their three children in Jerusalem, as he developed travel study programs in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Italy. With extensive study connecting the Bible with ancient culture, Dr. Smith teaches in Bible lands – from the back of a camel to the deck of a cruise ship – and has done so for more than three decades.
Randy continues to offer acclaimed travel experiences for students of the Bible through Christian Travel Study Programs, Inc. He has carefully developed a comprehensive Bible curriculum and teaches through the Bible each year with students from the Great Commission Bible Institute in Sebring, Florida, while maintaining a robust travel schedule with study groups to Bible lands.
He is an author, pastor, Bible and archaeology professor and tour guide instructor who loves to show how standing on the ruins of an ancient place can enliven the text of Scripture.
Randy has appeared on CNN, Discovery Channel, History Channel and regularly hosts the TV show “Exploring the Lands of the Bible” on South African SABC-TV.
Find out more about Momentum 2016 speakers at buildmomentum.org.
Don’t miss hearing Randy Smith and other great speakers at Momentum 2016! Save your spot now and register for Momentum 2016.
Momentum 2016 will feature fun afternoon options, ministry opportunities, dorm life experiences, incredible learning opportunities and so much more, don’t miss it!
The Studies in Urban Ministries program had its official start last weekend at Urban Hope. Six students from Grace College arrived on Thursday to participate in the Foundations of Urban Ministry Module. The students received an overview of different models of urban ministry and got involved in ministry around Philadelphia and New York City. In the coming years these students and others will be part of a 9-month field experience at Urban Hope in which they will study and participate in ministry in order to be prepared to reach cities across the globe.
The 2016 Operation Barnabas team members are busy preparing for their ministry training tours, which begin June 20 with orientation in Winona Lake, Indiana. You can see the names of these students and their sending churches here. If you would like to follow the OB tours of the East Team and the Buckeye Team, you can sign up to receive the email updates here.
Three kids have been sponsored so far and 69 to go. There’s still time for you to help. Find out how here…
Urban Hope is preparing for their seventh 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.
The theme for the week is “We Are Family.” The Urban Hope staff will be talking to the kids about their families and challenging them to become a part of God’s family. Pray that campers would be sensitive to the gospel as the staff addresses one of the most difficult subjects for kids in the Urban Hope area.
Operation Barnabas tours don’t start until June 20, but it’s not too early to signup for the emails. Visit tours.operationbarnabas.net/2016 and receive emails when updates and pictures are posted to the blog.
By Amber Richardson
Awakened weekend was a blessing, encouragement, and challenge to many women! It was beautiful to have a group of women from different cultures and backgrounds come together to grow in their walk with Christ and have practical experiences in living for Christ. Ladies from churches in Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania joined women and teen girls from Urban Hope for the weekend. Meals, testimonies, laughter, tears, and prayers for one another as well as for many other individuals from the community in Kensington were shared.
We were challenged as women to be growing deeper in our love for Jesus and through that be delving into the messiness of other people’s lives and sharing Christ with them. Not only were we taught and challenged, but we had opportunities through a prayer walk, going to lunch in the neighborhood, having a spa outreach, and doing homeless ministry. Women grew more in relying on the Holy Spirit’s power as they were pushed out their comfort zones.
On Saturday evening the group did a spa outreach for women in our neighborhood. For the women there were manicures, glamour shots, and hand massages and then Angie Gonzalez, from Urban Hope, shared her story of Christ transforming her life. It was a beautiful picture of the body of Christ also as Angie, a Puerto Rican, shared her testimony in English and then Rebekah, a Caucasian, translated it into Spanish. Nearly every seat was full and every women heard the gospel clearly and heard how Christ can bring hope when there seems to be no way out.
One women shared how powerful it was to sit and paint a lady’s nails and pray with her, afterwards that woman told her she had never had anyone paint her nails before. While the women were enjoying themselves, men from Urban Hope offered free childcare which definitely included fun on the moon bounce for the kids.
We had an awesome dinner made by our very own chef and his helpers. There were also unsaved family members and friends of individuals from Urban Hope there. Please be praying for all of the women who attended the spa to know Christ in a real way.
As the women who came from other churches were debriefing Sunday, morning many of them were making commitments as a church and as individuals to something specific that God is calling them to do. Pray for these women as they desire to start spas in their own areas, reach out to other ladies around them, create a discipleship program, begin pouring into the lives of teens and children, make soup for people and pray with them, or go to a local park and talk with people there are a few of the commitments made.
Cherie Hoerr: I needed to get out of my comfort zone and the weekend I spent here being mentored by the Urban Hope people helped me to see how open people are when we are willing to be bold and show love to those around us.
Nicole Davis: My eyes and heart are open to seeking out hurting people and giving them hope.
Leola Nelson: I plan to reach out to the ones I have blatantly ignored, the ones I never want to look at or touch.
Cheryl Tankred: Awakened gave me the compassion and confidence to go out in my own community–out of my comfort zone and show God’s love.