Christ In Youth (CIY) is an organization that is very close to my heart. I attended my first CIY MOVE at Milligan College in 2008. That week hooked me forever. I was challenged in my faith unlike anything I had ever experienced before and grew together with other believers and friends. Year after year I continued to attend MOVE at Anderson. In 2009, my life had fallen apart and at MOVE I was able to heal and experience a peace that I still carry with me to this day. My final year at MOVE, in 2010, my life changed. At that conference in Anderson, Indiana God called me into ministry. This meant that iI had to leave my scholarship at Ohio State and my career as a lawyer. God even confirmed this calling through a Kingdom Worker card.
Flash forward two years later…Summer 2012. I was now interning for the very company that God had used to change my life. I was humbled and in awe. All the different emotions came back form my years as a High School student, while I worked for them as a Backstage Manager. Needless to say, it was one of the best summers of my life from a whole different perspective. Now, I was in a position to see how my life was changed and God allowed me to be part of a program that was changing lives that whole summer. Serving speakers, Production Managers, Worship Leaders, Youth Ministers, and Directors allowed me to meet people who directly influenced my walk with God. I was giving back. After many weeks on tour, God blessed me with an opportunity to share my story with 800 High School students from stage as part of the Forgiveness Panel.
One summer later…now a Youth Minister at Centerpointe Christian Church. I was able to take my first youth group of six along with my wife to their first CIY MOVE at Johnson University. This experience was unlike the other two, nevertheless it was incredible! Being a student you feel all the emotion and soak everything in. As an Intern/Event Staff, you are constantly pouring out and serving. As a Youth Leader my mindset was totally different. Small group and youth group time were now a priority. You were now responsible to spiritually leading and guiding after the emotional experiences, that the programming orchestrated. When a student didn’t respond, you noticed. When a student needed that extra push, you were the one to do it. The responsibility was magnified immensely.
The theme for the week was RISE UP. All week students dove into the life and story of Joseph. They were encouraged to see the story that God was mapping out and enter into that story. When going through life, many trials and hardships come. Some are so painful and dark that it seems like you are in a pit with no way out, with no hope of escaping. But, there is one person who can get you out of that pit, of that dark place, and that person is Jesus. No matter if you are in a pit, a prison, or just in the midst life, we are all called to be kingdom workers. When an opportunity presents itself to be different, to help someone else, to share who helped you out of that pit, students were challenged to Rise Up. Leaving a legacy is something we all want to do, but we all do it for different reasons. Will you leave a legacy behind that points to Jesus?
The story of Joseph is about a type of Jesus. Students learned and engaged in this story all week, while being goofy, having fun, staying up late, and worshipping the Most High God. It was a powerful week as a Youth Leader and someone who cares deeply for the students I minister too.
What was even better, was that two weeks later I was able to go through the story again with four Junior High boys at CIY MIX. All the fun of MOVE packed in FOUR days. I got even less sleep. MIX does a great job at characterizing. I mean that literally. They tell the story through characters. This year they used a 1930s Medicine Man road show telling the story of Joseph. What made Joseph so special? He never took the quick fix. I was nervous for this week. I never attended MIX or even thought that Jr. High boys could even be engaged or in touch with emotions and deep concepts. Guess what? I was wrong. They loved the week! They were able to take concepts and ideas and were able to connect them to situations at home and then actually talk about them! Wow! The illustrations all week of filling up their potion bottles really sealed the deal for them. Joseph never filled his potion bottle with the quick fix or the easy way out. He Remembered that God had a plan. He Remained faithful. He allowed God to Heal him and his deep wounds. Joseph rose up and left a Legacy that always pointed to God.
Both weeks were incredible! I loved that my students were able to experience something that changed my life. I hope that it leaves a lasting impact in theirs. The challenge moving forward for them…
Leave a Legacy
Be a Kingdom Worker
Raise $2000 to plant a church in India