READ THE MAIN ARTICLE: “The Phone Keeps Ringing”
By Andy Hansen
The heart of Christ In Youth is to partner with the local church to affect the lives of students and youth workers. But some are challenging us to do more. Lately local church leaders have started asking CIY to issue a strong vision and provide national leadership for the future of youth ministry.
Their desire is for Christ In Youth to be a gathering voice—a rallying point—to call students to live as kingdom workers, and to call youth ministries to focus on preparing students for lives of service. They’ve asked CIY to champion a call that thousands of other churches, Bible colleges, campus ministries, and missionaries can echo and repeat and extend with one mighty, unified voice.
CIY’s role would not be to call young people to anything the Holy Spirit is not already calling them to. Our role would be to remind them of the commission given in Scripture. Our challenge to this generation would be to get in line with that commission.
CIY would not replace the church’s role in building kingdom workers, but rather supply the emphasis, focus, resources, and ideas that will call students to the work at hand. As we weave this call into all of our programming and resource fabric, the local church would then expand on it and implement it.
Presenting this concept to several youth ministers and Bible college presidents has resulted in a whirlwind of enthusiasm and a desire to “get on board.” We’re hearing comments like, “This is what I’ve been looking for,” “This is something I could come alongside and partner with,” and “This is exactly what is needed.”
We’re developing a way to use the Web to build a community of those who respond to the call that will be implemented at this summer’s MOVE conferences.
Lord willing, Christ In Youth—in partnership with thousands of churches, ministry staff, parents, campus ministers, Bible colleges, and Christian institutions—will amplify the call to 1 million students to live as kingdom workers in the next decade! From that, we anticipate thousands will respond to the call of vocational ministry.
Andy Hansen is executive director with Christ In Youth, Joplin, Missouri.