The International Churches of Christ are congregations of disciples of Jesus who work together to glorify God, to know God and to make God known around the world. Over the past several years, various Service Teams have been appointed to address the global needs of our churches in specific areas. The Youth and Family Service Team is doing a wonderful job in redefining family and teen ministry. Here is their latest report. The Youth and Family Service Team has served to advance healthy teen and family-based ministries in our churches. After being established by the ICOC Delegates 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 elected by the Delegates to serve as the chairman for the service team for the next three year term. Dave has served as an evangelist in the Chicago Church of Christ and is now relocating 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 Matthew
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
U.S.: Texas Jeff Henderson
Ukraine Ura Kovtoniuk
We are continuing to add members from other worldwide geographic areas.
We have an international conference every odd numbered year (Boston in 2007 and Chicago in 2009). During the even numbered years, we are encouraging the geographic regions to host a conference that will facilitate the development of youth and family ministry in their respective areas. For example, in 2008, the midwest hosted a training workshop for youth and family leaders. In 2010 youth and family conferences are happening all over the world including SE Asia, South Africa and many areas across the United States. L.A. will host the 2011 ICYFM in April. Of course 2012 will be 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?
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 in Seattle
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 in April 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.
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!