Tag Archives: teens

Canadian Church Invests in Kids, Seeks Community’s Welfare

Pastor Kevin (far right) hosts the dedication of the children/youth area.

By Carl Stagner

Compared to some of the major metropolitan destinations across Canada, the isolated city of Swift Current, Saskatchewan—population 18,000—may seem insignificant. But there’s really nothing insignificant about the community, home to Eastside Church of God, a thriving congregation actively making Swift Current a better place to live, work, and raise a family. Under the visionary leadership of Pastor Kevin Snyder, and without compromising their Jesus-centered message, the church has dealt a serious blow to the forces of darkness as they’ve reclaimed territory—including actual property—from the clutches of hell. Continue reading

Daughters of the King: Missouri Church Leads Effort to Reach Girls for Christ

High-energy worship experience at Jesus Girls 2019.

By Carl Stagner

Four years ago, the children’s pastor at First Church of God in East Prairie, Missouri, was in the middle of a conversation with a group of moms about issues their daughters were facing. It seemed that a common problem among the church girls was the presentation of an image at church on Sundays that didn’t match the one they lived out during the week. Dawn Walters recounts how she and this group of moms envisioned an evening experience designed especially for girls where the gospel would be presented clearly, where such topics would be addressed from a biblical perspective, and where the girls would make wonderful memories. Considering prevalent bullying, stressful relationship dynamics, social media craziness, and more, it was clear something needed to be done, particularly before those trying teenage years, to instill in the hearts of girls the love, acceptance, and security found in Jesus alone. Continue reading

Church Steps Out in Faith for the Children, Teens of Atwater, California

Some of the youth group of First Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

Take a look at 2100 Fruitland Ave, Atwater, California, on Google Maps. What you’ll find is that First Church of God is literally a stone’s throw away from Atwater High School. The front-row seat the California congregation has to roughly 1,800 students and their families is certainly incredible, but the church hasn’t sat down to enjoy the scenery. They’ve seized a number of opportunities God has presented them to minister to these teens and their families. What’s more, through their preschool established in 1964, they minister to children who one day accept their diplomas right across the street. Recently the church stepped out in faith to expand the preschool facility, as teachers reap the benefits of a Fruitland Christian School early education, and as parents on a waiting list eagerly knock on the door. Continue reading

IYC High School Band Goes ‘On Tour’

Photo: Liberation sporting their IYC2016 T-shirts.

By Carl Stagner

Just a few weeks remained until the big event. Though it was the first time these seven high school students had met, the responsibility to lead worship for thousands of teenagers in San Antonio, Texas, was on their shoulders. Whether they liked it or not, they had to learn to work together quickly. But almost immediately, it was clear that these once-strangers would become forever friends. After fulfilling their second and final obligation this July—leading worship for Leadership Summit in Anderson—they knew it wasn’t the end. God was calling the IYC2016 High School Band to keep it going, under a new name. Liberation has created quite the spiritual stir, exemplifying the rise of young leadership in the Church of God, and catching the attention of churches and state youth conventions across the country. Continue reading

ONE Gives Students Glimpse of Heaven, Desire to Change the World Together

By Carl Stagner

Some had likely never worshiped in Spanish before. Others had probably never experienced firsthand the high-octane energy of urban gospel. History suggests that few had likely ever been in a setting where three cultures converged in the name of Christ. But that’s exactly what happened at the first-ever ONE event, which took place at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 21 and 22. The result was a glimpse of heaven and a renewed desire to change the world together. Continue reading

IYC Students Underwrite Christian Camp Costs for Muslim Refugees

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Photo: Refugee teen having a blast at camp.

By Carl Stagner

“You accepted us like family. Here we weren’t the foreigners—the refugees. We were part of the group. Thank you.” When the Church of God is willing to work together to advance the kingdom, people notice. Lives are touched. Hearts are softened. Seeds are planted. History tells us many of these seeds not only germinate, but bear fruit and spread more seeds. This summer, moved by the refugee crisis in our world today, Church of God leaders in Germany committed to invest in six refugees from Afghanistan. Each one separated from family and friends after fleeing dangerous living conditions, these refugee youth with a background in Islam would not only hear the gospel, but feel sincere love and grace from peers who humbly bear the name of Christ. IYC students helped make it all possible. Continue reading

IYC2016: A Generation Rising

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Photo: Worship with thousands of students at IYC2016.

By Carl Stagner

Words fail to adequately describe the total impact of the fiftieth International Youth Convention of the Church of God on students and leaders alike. Four consecutive days at the beginning of July 2016 proved to be transformational for untold numbers gathered in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio, Texas. Reports have already surfaced of first-time commitments to Christ, rededications, renewed hope, and calls to ministry. Though the previous forty-nine conventions were powerful and life-changing, even veteran leaders are citing something uniquely incredible about the move of the Holy Spirit at IYC2016. From the high-intensity worship, to the no-holds-barred messages of truth and grace, to the citywide service projects and the Silent Walk, IYC2016 offered the perfect conditions for life-changing encounters with the living God. Continue reading

Masterpieces: Exposing Lies, Offering Truth to Teen Girls

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By Carl Stagner

Somewhere there’s a teenage girl burying her head in her hands, exhausted by her quest for acceptance. There’s a young woman sliding a thin metal object across her wrist, attempting to dull the sharper pain resident in her soul. There’s a daughter of the Most High God sending a text to a man she met online, desperate for somebody to love that which she loathes. Two Church of God girls have said, Enough is enough! In the final semester of their senior year in high school, Abby Crump and Amanda Gifford of Mooresville Church of God in Indiana have started a ministry to help girls understand who they are in God’s eyes. Continue reading

Jamaica Church of God Hosts First National Youth Convention

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Photo: Spread the Word team with Jamaican students who are sporting their STW shirts.

By Tami Byrd

At the end of September, the Church of God in Jamaica held their first-ever national youth convention. Members of the Youth Ministry and Youth Network Teams of the Church of God participated in the leadership of the historic event. Continue reading

Five Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Sex Trafficking

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Prepared by Randee Doe

1. It could happen to your children. As many as 300,000 children are sex-trafficked annually in the United States, with the average age being 12–14 years old! Kids from every race, economic situation, background, and home life are vulnerable to falling prey to a trafficker or pimp.

2. Know who your children’s friends are! Stranger danger doesn’t look the same as it did when you were a kid. Your child may be making friends with someone who is involved in a sex-trafficking ring or with someone who appears to be a cute and charming boyfriend. Many pimps use the “boyfriend” or “lover-boy” tactic to woo and win a girls love, loyalty, and trust. Continue reading

IMPACT Materials Now Available: Reaching Your School for Christ

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It is here!

Impact is a six-week curriculum and campaign that challenges your ministry to be world changers and to show Jesus to their friends at school.

Months ago the campus ministry team caught a vision of empowering students to impact their school for Christ. What if a few students got serious about impacting their school? What could God do in that school, community, or city?

This month we begin a campaign to get students across North America to be missionaries in their schools. Continue reading

Church of God Teens Touch Paraguay through Spread the Word

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Ever wonder what happens to the offerings given to Spread the Word? This youth-funded ministry reaches around the world with a direct impact on evangelism and discipleship. Funds that were distributed in Paraguay went to directly support Christian radio and television ministries of the Church of God. Marcos Kurrle, of Radio Alternativa and Channel 20, shares the following story of God’s hand at work through these ministries funded by Spread the Word: Continue reading

IYC2014 Brings Lives InTUNE with Holy Spirit

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Photo: IYC2014 worship was full of energy and heart. Photo by Howard Megill.

By Carl Stagner

The Church of God knows IYC2014 is all about life change. Every time students gather together for the International Youth Convention, they encounter the Holy Spirit’s comforting, compelling, and convicting presence. This year was no different, as thousands of students made first-time commitments to Christ, renewed commitments to Christ, received calls to ministry, and experienced freedom from a variety of personal struggles. Students and leaders alike accepted the Galatians 5:25 challenge to live InTUNE with purpose, purity, power, and people. Continue reading

Theme, Guest Lineup Fuel IYC2014 Anticipation

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By Tina Lipps

The International Youth Convention, better known as IYC, has been creating a moment of life change for high school students and adult leaders alike since the early 1920s. Because of IYC, thousands of young men and women have encountered God in new and exciting ways while also making life-changing decisions. Hundreds have decided to go into full-time vocational ministry or missions. Over the last decade alone, thousands of youth have pledged to remain sexually pure. Since 1992, participants have given back to each host city with an estimated $500,000 worth of volunteer service hours in total. Without a doubt, Jesus Christ continues to remain at the center of every detail behind this convention as the kingdom of God continues to expand through its efforts. Continue reading

CHOG Youth Pastor, Lay Leader Fight Teen Suicide

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By Carl Stagner

You are not alone. That’s the chief emphasis of Teen Christian Ministries, an organization started by Larry Roy and Leslie Lamb. As today’s teens are struggling with a myriad of issues that threaten to tear their lives apart on a daily basis, TCM is pouring heart and soul into a ministry of hope and healing. Larry Roy is the youth pastor at Liberty Grove Church of God in West Monroe, Louisiana. Leslie Lamb attends North Crossings Church of God in Monroe. Together and, with the help of several young leaders, they form a team poised to prevent suicide and transform young lives with the love of Christ. Continue reading