The Youth and Family Service Team has served to advance healthy teen and family-based ministries in our churches. At its inception in 2006, the committee planned the first Youth and Family Conference in Boston in 2007. John Porter, evangelist in the South Florida Church of Christ, chaired the service team. He and its twelve members coordinated the Boston conference and the 2009 ICYFM (International Conference of Youth and Family Ministry) in Chicago, began a resource website at www.liveit2giveit.org, and worked with leaders from other service teams to facilitate healthy communication.
In the fall of 2009, Dave Pocta was asked to serve as the chairman for the service team for the next three year term. Dave served as an evangelist in the Chicago Church of Christ and has now relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa to help the youth and family ministry there for the next two years. The service team is now working to develop sub-committees and is expanding to include more international representation.
The current service team members and the areas they represent:
- Africa: Southern – Dave Pocta
- British Isles – Adrian Hill
- Canada – Kevin Hoecke
- India – Roger Mathew
- Mexico – Roberto Arroyo
- U.S.: ACR – Doug Lambert
- U.S.: Florida – Marcus Overstreet
- U.S.: Heartland – Maurice Hooks
- U.S.: Los Angeles – John Mannel
- U.S.: Midwest – Curt Ammons
- U.S.: New England – Phil Arsenault
- U.S.: New York – Damon Curtis
- U.S.: Northwest – Darin Ford
- U.S.: Southwest – Shane Engel
- Ukraine – Ura Kovtoniuk
We have an international conference every odd numbered year (Boston in 2007 and Chicago in 2009). During the even numbered years, we encouraged the geographic regions to host conferences that worked to facilitate the development of youth and family ministry in their respective areas. For example, in July 2010, the Johannesburg Church hosted a Youth & Family Conference for church leaders and families, having over 700 in attendance! In 2010, youth and family conferences and training events happened in multiple places around the globe. Los Angeles will host the 2011 ICYFM in April. Of course in 2012 we will be all together at the jubilee in San Antonio. We are starting discussions about the 2013 ICYFM as well.
Five sub-committees have been formed to facilitate and advance specific areas pertinent to youth and family ministry. Following is the list of the five sub-committees and their charge and/or the questions they are attempting to answer.
Youth & Family Ministry Health
chaired by Doug Lambert, evangelist in Baltimore!
What does healthy youth and family ministry look like? What tangible ways can we measure success and what intangible qualities should we look for? We all agree that by the time our children leave home, we want them to be disciples of Jesus. What other qualities are critical?
In addressing these areas, the Youth & Family Service Team has written “Guidelines for Healthy Youth & Family Ministry” that we will be proposing be adopted by our churches at the next delegates meeting in 2011. We believe this document helps to define Youth & Family ministry and set parameters that we can all strive to meet for healthy youth and family ministry.
Needs in Our Churches
chaired by Adrian Hill, evangelist in London
How can we serve churches by providing teaching and inspirational materials? Many resources and articles have been published and uploaded to our website (www.liveit2giveit.org). Our churches share a common mission but their sizes and cultures vary. We want to be able to provide help for our various needs and situations.
Culture & Development
chaired by Maurice Hooks, evangelist in Kansas City
Our churches are incredibly diverse culturally. We have a growing need to develop our diversity generationally. As we see in scripture, the message has never changed but the method has. God continued to redefine how he reached mankind over time. The growing millennial generation in our churches needs to be reached and they need to feel an equal part of our churches. How do we facilitate this?
HOPE Youth/Volunteer Corps
chaired by Darin Ford, evangelist
HOPE Youth Corps and Volunteer Corps have made an incredible impact on the relationship and leadership development of our young men and women in our churches. We want to continue to develop a strong partnership with HOPE to advance this vital ministry.
chaired by Phil Arsenault, evangelist in Boston
This subcommittee serves to plan the next youth and family conference. In 2011 the conference will be held on April 7th to 10th in Los Angeles. The theme for all of our conferences is “Live It 2 Give It.” Disciples make disciples. Our best hope for our children to become disciples is helping the parents to live it. The 2011 subtitle will be “Generation to Generation.”
Youth & Family Ministry Survey
The Youth & Family Service Team is also beginning a survey. We are asking the churches to help us collect some basic information that will help us understand how things are going around the world with our ministries. The survey reads as !follows:
The International Youth & Family Service strives to assist in building healthy Youth & Family ministries around the globe.
To help us with this mission, we need your help with a baseline of information that is universal to all of our churches. We know that there are many measurements of strength and development, but most likely agree that seeing our children become disciples is a good tangible measure of progress in our youth and family ministries. We will only publish the total results, not individual church responses.
Please help us with the following information by October 30, 2010.
Thank you and may God continue to bless our youth and family as we reach others for Him.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Youth & Family Service Team Chairman
1) Number of Teens Grade 9-12 (Ages 15-18)
2) Number of them that are disciples
3) Number of teens that graduated from teen ministry in 2009
4) Number of them that were disciples (still are disciples)
Kingdom Kids Curriculum Survey
The Youth & Family Service Team along with the Shepherding Service Team and the Teaching Service Team are partnering to address the potential needs for our Kingdom Kids Curriculum as well. We are beginning with a survey to identify any potential needs that may need to be addressed. This survey reads:
The spiritual education of our children is critical to the development of their faith. We all desire to see them eager to come to church services for the fellowship, relationships, and to learn the Bible.
About 15 years ago, a movement-wide project was undertaken to develop a curriculum for our kids. It included a systematic approach to make sure our children were exposed to critical biblical material in the whole of their maturing process from infancy through grade six. Those with expertise in curriculum development based on solid educational principles were the ones responsible for designing of that curriculum.
With many of our kingdom kids teachers serving year after year, some have wanted fresh material. Others have expressed reservations about our old curriculum, based on certain material that is now out-of-date in our movement. The possible need for using more modern teaching techniques may be another issue that would have to be considered in developing an updated version of our older curriculum.
With these things considered, it is our intention to understand the desires of our teachers and the needs of our children going forward. We would like to remain relevant and thorough in helping with our childrenʼs spiritual development. The Teaching, Shepherding, and Youth & Family Service Teams are working together to address these issues. We would like to begin with a brief questionnaire to survey what is happening in our churches. Please take a few moments to answer the following questions.
1) Does your church use our old DPI published curriculum?
2) If yes, what are the changes that you would suggest be made to it?
3) If no, what curriculum are you using?
4) What do you like better about what you are presently using?
Please respond to this survey by November 30, 2010.
Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your
participation in this brief survey.
Chairman, Shepherding Service Team
Chairman, Teaching Service Team
Chairman, Youth & Family Service Team
We are honored to serve on this service team. We welcome input, suggestions, and ideas. Please feel free to contact any of us and we can bring your questions and concerns to the group.
May God bless our families!