Just a few weeks ago we completed the second “Called 2:” youth event. It was once again held at the campus of Grand View University and was led by pastors, leaders and teachers from our association.
This is unlike any other youth event with which people may be familiar. We are not trying to gather thousands, entertain them, wow them, or make them question everything they may have learned in Sunday School. This is discipleship, leadership development, and a commitment to strengthen the mission and ministry of the local church!
When this idea was first presented it was about ministry, not so much at the event, but after. We wanted to challenge the students to consider God’s call on their life and how they might be useful to God as His ambassadors for the ministry given to God’s people—the ministry of reconciliation (see II Corinthians 5: 16-21). We had to do more than just tell them they are ministers though, we needed to find ways to equip them for ministry. Everything we intended to do was to help them to be effective as Jesus’ ambassadors in their own school, church, community, and family.
There was also a second priority. We wanted to challenge these students to consider the vocation of ministry as well. In my experience, pastors come out of the mission and ministry of the local church. That’s what happened to me. As I participated in the ministry of my local church, I just knew there had to be a better way to draw people into a relationship with Jesus. I have dedicated the past 40+ years to that idea, including being a charter member of this association.
Would there be a way to help students see that the vocation of ministry can be meaningful, exciting, encouraging, miraculous and worth giving a life to doing? We invited pastors to share their stories of both the good days and bad. But always pointing to Jesus who is the Lord of the church and Lord of our lives. There is no greater life than following Jesus, and for some of us to follow him into the vocation of ministry.
Did we accomplish the goal? I don’t know, we’ll see in the years to come. What I do know is this. We had such a tremendous response to this summer’s event, that we are going to do it again.
The next “Called 2:___” national youth event will be held on the campus of Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa from July 21-24, 2020!
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Photos by Laura Gardner.Log in to add a comment
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