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the center of emphasis for this General helping them engage in ministry. YCE across the United States with unmatched
Assembly period. These leaders are deter- hopes to better prepare them to reach determination. The church flourished and
mined to use their influence and ministry the harvest and make it easy for them to grew because men and women were res-
placement to harness the energy and get into the field. STEP trips, The Mis- olute to penetrate the culture with the
vision of an emerging group of young sion Urban Discipleship Training Cen- hope found only in Christ.
leaders who are willing to give of them- ters, and Alpha Omega Campus Ministry Now, the call goes out for a new genera-
selves for the sake of the Gospel. are excellent opportunities for young tion of ministry pioneers—cultural pioneers.
adults and students to begin to change Cultural pioneers will bring a variety of
God-Sized Dreams Happen
the world. Now, the America Ablaze and models and ministry approaches based on
Few people would have ever guessed Cultural Pioneering efforts provide easy the individual city, culture, and target
that a youth group retreat that began entrance ramps for students and young group with whom they intend to share
with a few local churches would be raised adults to help infiltrate a community, Christ. These new models may look differ-
up by God to become Church of God sow seeds of friendship and compassion, ent than the old ones and include church-
Winterfest. What started as about 200 and plant a culturally responsive, life- planting teams, church restarts, house
students in the Smoky Mountains intend- giving church! churches, and coffee shop churches—a new
ing to draw closer to God for a weekend wave of leaders who are gathering the har-
getaway has blossomed into a “God-
Pioneering Happens
vest through a pioneering spirit.
sized” youth revival that has touched The early days of the Church of God The dream is to put a church-planting
hundreds of thousands of teenagers and were marked by pioneers—people who team together where young adults serve a
young adults. Tom Madden now believes were compelled by the Holy Spirit to go year or two, using their gifts and talents
that God is calling the Youth and Christ- and “dig out a new work.” They took the to do ministry and build the church.
ian Education Department to focus on message of Pentecost to places that had Young adults would assist a prepared
mentoring and discipling these students never heard about it. They sacrificed, church-planting pastor in a strategically
and young adults through every medium endured challenges, and penetrated the chosen city and help that young church
available (including technology) and culture in rural towns and large cities launch youth ministry, children’s min-
istry, worship leading, and other min-
istries. These could be classified as cultural
Alpha Omega Campus Ministry
pioneer missionaries.
Together, Church of God Youth and
Alpha Omega, the university and college campus outreach sponsored by the
Christian Education and the Department
International Youth and Christian Education Department and the Chaplains Commis-
of World Evangelization can birth young
sion, is growing. There are now 30 campuses in 17 states that are influenced by
laborers to begin a missional way of
Alpha Omega groups with several new works in the making. Training seminars are
thinking, a missional way of life, an evan-
being held in several states to prepare others to reach students. The campus harvest is
gelism movement that will eventually
ready and waiting.
sweep across our desperate nation. This is
Alpha Omega groups are reaching students through . . .
their heart and, undoubtedly, it is the
1. Bible study groups on campus and in dorms that confront students with the truth
heart of Jesus himself!
for campus-life issues
For more information about becoming
2. Prayer groups with spiritual results
a cultural pioneer, visit www.cultural
3. Evangelism through campus worship services and personal one-on-one relational
pioneering.net, or to learn of more ways
witnessing
students and young adults can engage in
4. Benevolent services to the campus and community
real ministry, visit www.ycenowwhat.org.
5. Cross-cultural evangelism to the unique needs of the international students
6. Integrating students into local Church of God congregations for discipleship and
B. Randall Parris is a veteran
service.
of local and State Youth and
To learn how to influence the campus in your city, please contact Dr. Randall Parris,
Christian Education leadership.
YCE urban ministry/leadership development coordinator, at 423-478-7883 or at
He currently serves as the Urban
rparris@churchofgod.org, or contact Field Coordinator John Unthank at revjeu@yahoo.com
Ministry/Leadership Develop-
or 865-803-5038.
ment Coordinator of the International Depart-
ment of Youth and Christian Education.
EVANGEL • APR 2009 13
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