Next year at General Conference, we are bringing something brand-new that we think you’ll be as pumped about as we are. The FM:Infuse team is proud to announce for the very first time, the General Conference 2019 Youth Summit. This next summer, we will be bringing an experience for students in junior high and high school where they will be challenged to grow, learn and have an amazing time while doing it.
As we all know, growing in Jesus Christ is a lifelong process. It’s a journey filled with moments, both good and bad, that if we allow them to will lead us more and more into His presence. So we want students to have the opportunity to choose their own adventure at the Youth Summit. We will have breakout tracks offered to students that range from topics like leadership to spiritual disciplines, to even looking into the ordination process in the Free Methodist Church if students are already sensing a calling to full-time ministry.
We on the FM:Infuse team have realized that the next generation is the future of our denomination and, really, of bringing God’s kingdom to earth. The students currently sitting in our youth groups are the same students who one day will carry the Free Methodist Church forward to continue our effort to reach the world. So we want every student to consider what God might be leading them to do.
The biggest lie students have bought into is that their lives don’t matter. Having worked as youth pastors for many years, we have had student after student come to us wondering how their life could fit into this beautiful kingdom that Jesus brought to earth. It has always been our highest privilege and honor to see students find their place in the kingdom of God. With the Youth Summit, we want to gather students together and train and equip them to step into their role bringing that kingdom to earth.
But we also realize that, for a long time, the church has not done a great job at creating a sustainable plan to disciple students. Hearing statistics about the alarming rate of students dropping off after graduation has become far too common. This issue is something about which countless books have been written, and youth pastors worldwide have spent their lives trying to figure out. If we truly believe these students are the future of our church, then we cannot accept this trend. We won’t accept this trend.
It’s time for the church to start pouring into the future generation. It’s time for us to not only reference the importance of raising up young leaders as shown to us by Timothy, Paul and any other early church leader, but to actually follow their lead in doing so. Anywhere you turn in the Scriptures with any quality leaders you see, they are pouring into someone younger and preparing them to continue the work of God’s kingdom. It’s for us to commit not only to preaching the Good News to these students, but to disciple and mentor them, and help them to learn that God has so much more in store for them than they could ever dream or hope.
We hope these students will come to the GC19 Youth Summit and then leave it having a stronger passion to know Christ more. We hope they will get excited, have fun and party with us, but, much more than that, we hope they will leave with a sense of God’s calling on their lives.
They will learn, they will be mentored, they will be discipled, and hopefully they will be primed and ready to return to their home churches and be mentored by leaders there.
Along with the tracks we will offer, we will also have worship gatherings led by Pursuit from Greenville University under the leadership of Marc Anderson. Pursuit has a passion for bringing people into the presence of God through worship music, and we saw at FMYC 2017 that they absolutely are gifted in doing so. Our main sessions will also feature teachings from James Fransz, the author of “Faith in the Middle” and youth pastor at Centerpoint Church in Murrieta, California.
Oh, and the GC19 Youth Summit will have games, prizes and giveaways too! Did we mention we will be spending one day of the conference at Typhoon Lagoon? You know it’ll be a party, so come hang out with us. Learn, grow and have a blast while doing it.
Youth pastors, consider bringing your groups. The Youth Summit will get a conversation going, and our hope is that we will set you up to win with your students.
We won’t let this generation go. God never gives up on us, so absolutely we will never give up on our students.
Jeremy Lefler serves as the director of FM:Infuse and the General Conference 2019 Youth Summit while also serving as the lead pastor of Go Church, a new church-planting movement in Indianapolis. He has been in youth ministry for eight years and has been married to his amazing wife, Sara, for nine years. He loves spending time playing tennis and basketball.
Mark Ordus serves as the FM:Infuse director of events while also serving as the student ministries pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Ottawa Lake, Michigan. He is a youth ministry veteran of about 14 years. He’s been married to his amazing wife, Lisa, for 11 years, and he loves spending time with her and their four children, Micah, Cozy, Eli and Ezra.