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Youth Emphasis Week allows students to learn from seasoned ministers
February 12, 2007
By Ashley Andrews
Youth and family ministry takes center stage at Boyce College during the International Center for Youth and Family Ministry's ninth annual Youth Emphasis Week, Feb 12-16.
Featuring 14 speakers from seven states and three countries, Youth Emphasis Week allows students to learn from and connect with successful youth ministers, said David Adams, executive director of the International Center for Youth Ministry (ICYM).
"This conference is designed for students," he said. "We want to bring the professionals to them. We want them to sit in class together and develop relationships so students can later contact them and ask for help. We give students a person they should emulate."
Adams defined a successful youth minister as one who takes a holistic approach to ministry.
"A successful youth minister does not see youth ministry as a stepping stone to the pastorate," he said. "He does not see himself as a recreation director or counselor. He has a biblical philosophy. Ministry is his life. He demonstrates discipleship. He ministers to parents."
Youth Emphasis Week combines plenary lectures with a host of presentations on specific topics in all youth ministry classes at Boyce and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
David Livermore, executive director of the Global Learning Center at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, is the featured plenary speaker for this year's event. Livermore will speak on the implications of short-term missions for local church ministry at 7 p.m., Feb. 12, in Boyce chapel. In addition to Livermore, Gene Dodson, minister to students at First Baptist Concord in Knoxville, Tenn., will speak at 10 a.m., Feb. 14, as part of a Boyce chapel service.
Missions becomes the focus later in the week as a youth missions forum will be held on Feb. 15. Adams noted that as of the year 2000 more than half the world's population was under age 25, making youth missions a critical field of ministry. Frank Mills, with Youth Ministry International in Paris, France, is the featured guest at a youth missions reception at 7 p.m., Feb. 15, in the Legacy Center, Room 310.
Topics for the guest lectures in youth ministry classes include "Ministering to parents with teenagers," "Building trust with parents of teenagers," "Recruiting and developing lay staff" and "Next generation ministry."
The guest lectures are open to all students, and schedules are available in the ad on this page, Norton 127 and Rankin 204.
Behind the scenes, ICYM will hold an executive board meeting and an advisory board meeting to discuss five key components youth and family ministry should include: theological grounding, missions orientation, structuring within local churches, pastoral leadership and a focus on families.
Adams said Youth Emphasis Week is one way ICYM accomplishes its goal of preparing students for youth ministry.
"The ICYM serves as the comprehensive training and networking arm of the college for those called into youth ministry as a lifetime career," he said. "The goal [of ICYM] is to recruit, train and network local church leaders globally."