Youthful Energy Unleashed

By Joni Sullivan Baker

How does the idea of “unleashing” teens and children sound to you? Scary, maybe!

But to those planning two dynamic conventions this summer, it’s an apt idea.

“Students want and need to be challenged, so they expect a convention that encourages them to be bold and ‘unleashed’ for Christ,” said Phyllis Fox, director of church relations and Youth in Ministry (YiM) at Milligan College. YiM produces the NACC Student Convention. “Through dynamic speakers, vibrant worship, and challenging workshops, students will discover how God is calling them to reach their friends, family, and communities for Christ,” Fox said.

“It is also important our young people learn about our network of Christian churches and churches of Christ,” she continued. “They need to connect with students from around the United States to realize they are part of the larger community of believers. And, honestly, youth groups will not find a better program for a better price . . . anywhere!”

Fox and her team are finalizing details for the convention-within-a-convention for middle school and high school students. Group registration for the week starts as low as $10 per student.

The program will also include special events like Late Night with Christian comedian Bob Stromberg, and the College Showcase inaugurated last year.

“College Showcase is an opportunity for students and their parents to see all of our Christian church colleges in one connecting place—the NACC! The goal is to expose our students to the value and affordability of Christian education,” Fox explained.

Mosteller, the popular worship band from Center Pointe Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, will return for its fourth year.

“They are an incredible worship band,” Fox said. “We love serving with Mosteller because of their sincere hearts for worship and their love for students. You’ll frequently find the band hanging out with the students.”

Student Convention details will be added to the NACC Web site as plans progress. Fox and her planning team are committed to making the most of the opportunity they have to challenge students to grow spiritually.

The 2011 NACC Student Convention planning team includes Steve Poston of Center Pointe Christian Church in Cincinnati; Mark Hancher, Kenwood Heights Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky; Brandon Perry, Boones Creek Christian Church, Gray, Tennessee; and Dan Ponchot of Loveland (Ohio) Christian Church.

“We sincerely want the students in the Christian churches/churches of Christ to deepen their relationship with Christ, to develop leadership skills to serve their churches, and to enjoy the NACC so they will serve in the convention in the future,” Fox said.

Meanwhile for the younger set, the NACC Children’s Convention offers an opportunity for children from birth through age 12 to experience their own age-appropriate worship, breakout groups, teaching, and service projects aimed at helping Christian kids grow in their faith.

“We look for something in a curriculum that goes a little deeper and speaks to church kids, especially kids from the families of church leaders, “ said Carie Schultz, Children’s Convention coordinator. “It is a little different dynamic because we know these kids are from Christian homes, but we can focus on service and deepening their relationship with God.”

Her team includes early childhood director Stacy Mullins of Connection Pointe Christian Church, Brownsburg, Indiana; elementary codirectors Brian Beck of Outlook Christian Church, McCordsville, Indiana, and Linda Hutchinson of Bright Christian Church, Lawrenceburg, Indiana; volunteer director Karen Lynch of White Oak Christian Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, and her ministry assistant Susan Stanley; and security team leader Jared Perkins of Plum Creek Christian Church, Alexandria, Kentucky.

The Children’s Convention is also planning a massive familywide project that will challenge the kids and impact Cincinnati.

Registered families will pay just $20 for all of their children (birth to 12) to attend all or part of the conventions.

While adult family members enjoy the NACC, they can be confident their kids and students will flourish under the care of the leaders of the Student and Children’s Conventions who are passionate about providing an experience that “unleashes” God’s love on their young charges.

Joni Sullivan Baker is the managing director of Buoyancy Public Relations in Loveland, Ohio.

Bible Bowl Is Back!

After being conducted separately the last few years, the 2011 NACC and the National Bible Bowl Tournament will return to taking place the same week, in the same city.

More than 100 teams of sixth- through 12th-graders from churches across the country have been preparing all year for this final competition on Bible knowledge, this year focusing on selections from Genesis.

Although on a separate schedule, students participating will compete during the day in Bible Bowl rounds, and then join the NACC Student Convention for the evening events.

“National Bible Bowl is looking forward to teaming up with the NACC,” said national director Bret Talley. “We hope everyone will come and join us.”

More information on Bible Bowl is available at www.biblebowl.net.

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