Friday, March 24, 2006

Back to Indiana

This coming week I will be traveling back to the Hoosier State where I will have the privilege of speaking for CE National as part of Youth Emphasis Week at Grace College. If you are new to our church, you may not be familiar with CE National which is the educational arm of our Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. It was my privilege to serve on CE National’s Board of Director’s when I pastored in Indiana. CE National, in my opinion, is one of the best things our Fellowship of churches has going. It would be well worth your time to check out their website to see all the ministries which they sponsor ( Some of these ministries include:

Brethren National Youth Conference (BNYC). This is an annual Youth Conference attended by well over 2,000 teenagers from Grace Brethren Churches all across our country. This is actually the largest Grace Brethren event every year and it results in great spiritual impact. This year’s BNYC will be held at BIOLA University in La Mirada, California, July 22-28. There will be a large group of youth and youth staff from our church that will attend BNYC this summer. I will also have the privilege of being one of the main session speakers later in that week.

Operation Barnabas: This is a summer youth ministry training program that consists of several teams that criss-cross America and even travel internationally. These teams are developed to give growing Christian senior high youth such a thirst for ministry, that upon their return, they will have a greater desire to serve Christ in their lives. This summer we will have six teenagers from Grace Church that will be part of this program including my very own daughter, Joy. You may remember that last summer we hosted the Operation Barnabas orientation here at Grace and raised enough money in just one Sunday for them to purchase a new bus for their travels.

The National Institute: The full name is “The National Institute for the Development of Ministries to Youth.” This is a college major through Grace College that is run by CE National. The National Institute teaches students how to run a youth program in a local church, para-church, organization or camp setting. I had the joy of teaching two classes each year in this program while I lived in Indiana. I also taught these classes through module settings when the program was also at Washington Bible College near D.C.

4:12 Commission: CE National has also started a new intensive Bible and ministry training for High School graduates called “The 4:12 Commission.” It is our hope that Grace Church will become one of the 4 campuses for 4:12 as early as this Fall.

I will leave this Sunday after the morning service to fly from Harrisburg to South Bend. I will be teaching a 3-hour youth class on Monday evening and then speaking in chapel at Grace College on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. I will also be speaking at a large youth rally on Wednesday evening. I will then head back to South Bend after chapel on Thursday in time to catch my flight back to Harrisburg and home to Lititz.

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