On Thursday, February 25th, Ian Cron will be our guest speaker for our third 2015-2016 Youth Worker Training. From 9a to 4p at Christ Community Church Brookside Campus, Ian will be sharing about "An Enneagram Experience for Ministry Leaders." Don't miss it!
Argentine has a lot going for it with new efforts at revitalization, but like many under-resourced, urban neighborhoods, it has familiar problems. Connect with young people who are joining God's mission to restore beauty in Argentine. Hands-on work during a Youthfront Missional Journey in Argentine will include painting, clean up and minor home repair.
Our after-school program in Croc has more than 14 years, and is currently run by a local team. It provides kids with activities and classroom time where they can learn their place within God's mission. On a Youthfront Missional Journey in Croc, your will host a summer camp for local kids, prepare games, workshops, and classes. You'll work alongside a local team to give kids a quality education in subjects like math and Spanish, and also to better understand themselves, one another, and the world around them.
I WAS HUNGRY & YOU GAVE ME SOMETHING TO EAT
Something to Eat is a learning experience where we equip youth to discover the systems that produce hunger. A pulsating spirit sweeps over our events where youth package meals to help families both locally and globally. As they draw closer to the struggle that is faced by nearly 1 out of 6 kids in the US, they also draw closer to God and to one another.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of the most beloved Christian pastors and theologians of the 20th century, often being listed on the top of everyone’s most influential Christians. Yet, there has been a major oversight when it has come to exploring his life and thought, this omission has been the centrality of Bonhoeffer youth work and children’s ministry. Between 1925 and 1939 all of Bonhoeffer’s direct ministry practice was with children and youth, leading the experience of children and youth into his well known theological works, as well inspiring him to write much less known pieces and sermons about and for young people. This presentation will look to right this biographical wrong, by exploring Bonhoeffer’s work with young people, seeing how he might inspire our own ministry, giving us new perspectives on our own work with young people.
Andrew Root, PhD (Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Olson Baalson Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary. He is most recently the author of Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross (Fortress, 2014) and Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker (Baker, 2014). He has also written The Relational Pastor (IVP, 2013) as well as a four book series with Zondervan called A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry (titles include Taking Theology to Youth Ministry, Taking the Cross to Youth Ministry, Unpacking Scripture in Youth Ministry, and Unlocking Mission and Eschatology in Youth Ministry). In 2012 his book The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry (with Kenda Creasy Dean, IVP, 2011) was Christianity Today Book of Merit. He has written a number of other books on ministry and theology such as The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being (Baker Academic, 2010), The Promise of Despair (Abingdon, 2010), Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation (IVP, 2007) and Relationships Unfiltered (Zondervan/YS, 2009). Andy has worked in congregations, parachurch ministries, and social service programs. He lives in St. Paul with his wife Kara, two children, Owen and Maisy, and their two dogs. When not reading, writing, or teaching, Andy spends far too much time watching TV and movies.
My friend Jeremy Affeldt, a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, just celebrated his 35th birthday, which coincided with back to back wins on consecutive days. Jeremy has won two World Series Championships with the Giants and factored significantly in the titles. He was his team's 2011 nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award and was voted MLB Setup Man of the Year in 2009. Affeldt was also recognized for his anti-slavery efforts with a nomination for the Jefferson Award for Public Service. So far this year Jeremy is once again showing that he is one of the premiere relievers in the major leagues, pitching in 24 games with 19 strikeouts, 9 holds and a 1.71 ERA. And, I might add, the Giants are the hottest team in baseball with a 41-21 record.
All that to say, Jeremy is a better human being than he is a baseball player. Baseball player doesn't define Jeremy, his faith in Jesus Christ does.
That is the introduction to say, if your father hasn't read Jeremy's book To Stir aMovement,do something special for your father on Father's Day and give him this book. Then you can read it after he is done. It is interesting, inspiring and informative. Act now, and you will have it in time.
My friend, associate and Youthfront board member, Dr. Dean Blevins recently posted a wonderful summary of the Youth Ministry and Race Relations Dialogue we held at NTS.
"Every once in a while you realize you are in the middle of something really, really special. I have over thirty-five years experience listening to presentations in varying contexts, first in broadcast television news and later in academic settings. November 12th was special, as I sat in a pew and was drawn into a panel discussion over the issues of youth ministry and race." Read rest of the post here.
Dr. Dean G. Blevins currently serves as Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Discipleship at Nazarene Theological Seminary. An ordained elder, Dean has ministered in diverse settings and currently also serves at the USA Regional Education Coordinator for the Church of the Nazarene. A prolific author, Dr. Blevins recently co-wrote the textbook Discovering Discipleship and edits Didache: Faithful Teaching, a journal for Wesleyan Education.
The public outcry following the verdict of the Zimmerman trial last summer exposed anew the pain and reality of the highly
racialized society we live in. Our churches and our youth ministries
are not exempt from these patterns of racial isolation. Beginning at 8:30 am on November 12,
Dr. Brandon Winstead will address the historical, social and cultural
issues that have shaped the realities of youth ministry and race in the
US. In a second session, Dr. Winstead will lead a panel discussion with
other scholars and ministry leaders regarding the implications and
future this reality holds for ministry among youth. We will conclude at
Keynote: Dr. Brandon Winstead
Panelists: Rev. Montague Williams, Dr. Claire Smith, Rev. David Gilmore and our very own Youthfront staff member Kurt Rietema
One of the coolest parts about having been around the Youthfront
community for nearly ten years is that I get to see the impact that
growing up in this ministry has on youth. When I was a Cabin Leader at Youthfront LaCygne in 2005, I had a 7th grade girl in my cabin named Connor Spriggs.
I remember sitting with Connor outside the Snack Shack that week,
probably eating ice cream and just talking life, but I never thought our
relationship would continue beyond that. Several years later, I worked
on staff at West for the first time and reunited with Connor, who was
then on Teen Staff. Last summer, I had the privilege of spending a
whole summer with Connor as we both returned to West on Summer Staff,
and we will work together once again this summer.
Connor’s faith first became real for her as a camper, and her
experience on Teen Staff took her faith to the next level as she learned
what it meant to serve and be the hands and feet of Jesus. And as for
why she continues to be a part of this ministry, Connor said, “My desire
is to join with the Youthfront team in creating that same
Christ-centered environment I experienced years ago, so that students
may come to know the vast love of our Father and begin pursuing a
life-changing spiritual journey.”
We don’t always get to see where our campers go after they leave a
week of camp, so it’s been a blessing to get to see Connor grow through the ministry of Youthfront and want to now give back so that others can experience
Christ in the same way. It’s a reminder to me of why we do what we do.
We hosted around 100 Pastors, Youth Pastors and Ministry leaders yesterday at Youthfront for a focus on Immigration reform. The event was sponsored by CCDA and featured CCDA's President Noel Castellanos. Youthfront staff members Kurt Rietema and Amber Booth, along with Mission Adelante staff member Jason Schoff organized this informative event.
Here is a video of the media coverage of the event.
"When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do
him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the
native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were
strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God."
Next Tuesday, April 23, Youthfront is hosting an event sponsored by the Christian Community Development Association.
is providing an Oklahoma Joe’s
bbq lunch for pastors and ministry leaders. The special guest isNoel Castellanos, CEO of CCDA. He will be addressing the current issue of Immigration Reform. Many churches in the KC metro support ministry initiatives among
Hispanics which serve many whom are here without proper
documentation. Right now, immigration reform is at a critical juncture and many
Christians are unsure what they can or should do about it.
Join us from 11-1pm at Youthfront's auditorium
to hear from Noel about how you can navigate your church to think
differently about immigrants through Scripture and participate in making
historic changes for millions of families that have been torn apart by
poor immigration policy.
Feel free to invite other key leaders, but please RSVP with the number of people who will be attending with you by emailing Kurt Rietema - firstname.lastname@example.org
On Baseball's Opening Day, Youthfront supporter, friend and associate Jeremy Affeldt
releases his first book taking readers off the field and into his life
story. The story of Jeremy’s relationship with our President Mike
and his involvement in our ministry, as well as details of his active
participation with Youthfront’s Something to Eat™ initiative are
featured prominently in the book. Expected to make multiple
best-seller lists, this book offers a compelling, page-turning story for
all readers. Another fan of Youthfront and five time Major League All
Star, Mike Sweeney says, “Jeremy Affeldt may be a two-time World Series
champion and one of the greatest left-handed relievers in major league
baseball but that is just the tip of the iceberg as to the man that he
is. As you will read in this book, Jeremy Affeldt is not defined by
baseball. He is defined and validated as a child and follower of the
most high God.”
Affeldt, pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, tells of the ups and
downs of his life and major league career beginning with his childhood
spent in a military family, the impact his parents had on his life, and
his tumultuous high school years. Affeldt admits that he was often an
uncaring, self-centered athlete who was difficult for his parents and
teachers. So much so, that his dad kicked him out of the home on more
than one occasion. Although he attended a Christian school, Jeremy
wasn’t buying any of it until a series of events led him to see his need
After being kicked out of games and sitting the bench because of his
behaviors and his attitude, one of his coaches gave him books on
attitude and anger control as well as scriptures that Jeremy read mainly
so he wouldn’t have to watch the games from the stands. As the Bible
began to come alive for him, he was also influenced by God’s
transforming work in the life of another student who had been Jeremy’s
archenemy. That was the beginning of Jeremy’s close walk with Christ.
Jeremy Affeldt tells of his opportunities in baseball, his marriage
to his high school sweetheart and, of course, his success including two
World Series Championships – after many setbacks and injuries – in the
The book includes Jeremy Affedlt’s passion for social justice and his
humanitarian endeavors as he continues to use his time and finances to
do God’s work throughout the world. Available now, discover the side
of Jeremy that thrives off the field; the side that is passionate about
freeing the slave, feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty and
seeking justice for the oppressed.