By Phyllis Fox
Teens attending the 2006 North American Christian Convention in Louisville will be “Restored” as they worship and participate in an action-filled week, cosponsored by the NACC and Youth in Ministry.
Being restored, of course, comes only after a person is broken and then reunited with God. It is about understanding God’s extravagant love for us, our love for God, and how he loves others through us. It is this important message that the teens will focus on in their three-day conference, to be held at the Galt House June 27-29.
Who better to share these messages than nationally-known and gifted speakers such as Dr. Jim Burns, Dean Trune, and Jeff Walling. Burns is a three-time Gold Medallion Award winning author of books for youth, youth workers, and parents. As president of HomeWord (formerly YouthBuilders), he writes a regular column in Campus Life magazine, Family Life Journal, and is host of HomeWord’s 30-minute daily radio broadcasts, heard by nearly 2 million people each weekday.
Dean Trune is a nationally known campus minister and executive director of Impact Ministries, a nondenominational Christian campus ministry that seeks to impact university campuses and the world for Jesus Christ through prayer and God’s Word. He served as campus minister at Michigan State University for 11 years until 1995 when he shifted his ministry efforts toward planting campus ministries throughout the U.S. and the world.
Jeff Walling has spent the last 20 years speaking at youth rallies, Christian universities, and conferences worldwide. His experience as a former high school teacher, youth minister, husband, and father give his writings and lectures breadth and depth of uncommon character. He has written such books as Daring to Dance with God, Hugs for Grads, and Until I Return. Formerly the pulpit minister at the Mission Viejo Church of Christ in Laguna Niguel, California, Walling and his family have served at the Providence Road Church of Christ in Charlotte, North Carolina, since 1997.
In addition to these dynamic messages, evening sessions will include the Praise band, the Bean & Bailey comedy duo, drama by One Time Blind, and teen competition performers.
The teen program also will feature two exciting morning sessions. On Wednesday, John Thomas Oaks will present “Sunny,” a touching version of Jesus’ prodigal son parable, written by his father, preacher and storyteller Tommy Oaks. On Thursday morning, a theater group from Knoxville, Tennessee, will present “A Fairy Tale,” a one-act play about the love of God and the world of the Old Testament prophets.
Teens may choose from eight different workshops each day. Choices will include sessions by Youth in Ministry designed to help students understand God’s call to a life of servant-leadership and how to look at one’s vocational choice as an opportunity to minister.
Other sessions will be led by Jeff Shicks from The Bridge at First Christian Church in Fort Myers, Florida; True Lies Youth Talks; and several sessions on individual spiritual disciplines by area youth ministers.
Parents and youth leaders will also be blessed through two bonus sessions presented by Shicks and Burns. Shicks will talk with adults about the cultural pressures facing teens and Burns will conduct an adult workshop on “Understanding Your Teenager.”
“Hanging out” is still a favorite pastime for teens, and there will be ample time for that at the Teen Convention. The Hub is the central gathering place during the Teen Convention, featuring inflatable games, a coffeehouse with teen bands, and other fun activities throughout the three-day conference.
The Hub will also feature some of the top performers from the teen competitions, including drama, vocal solo, worship bands, video, and public speaking.
Youth ministers have been working hard to plan the Teen Convention, among them: Ron Bull of West Towne Christian Church, Knoxville; Luke Emmert of Jefferson City (Tennessee) Christian Church; Kit Dotson, Crossroads Christian Church, Gray, Tennessee; and Steve Poston, Fern Creek Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky.
Details and registration information for the teen competition and the Teen Convention are available at www.youthinministry.org.
Phyllis Fox is director of Youth in Ministry, a partnership of Milligan College and Emmanuel School of Religion that offers ministry resources to help teens determine their vocational calling and prepare for lives of servant-leadership.