City in Youth, a non-denominational youth organization, will sponsor Priority 22, a Leader Intensive Training Retreat, on May 8 at Central Christian Church in Lawrenceville, Ga. The event will address modern-day topics to equip youth leaders with an understanding of today’s generation.
“This program helps youth leaders and youth sponsors understand kids better.,” said Lori Hancock, administrative assistant of resources, who is the spokesperson for the event. “Youth ministers need to know what they are doing to change lives.”
She said there are many situations kids encounter today such as divorce or homosexuality that youth ministers need to be aware of in order to effectively minister.
The keynote speaker will be CIY’s Director of Resources Gary Zustiak, who will also teach 2 of the event’s eight workshops, Successful Youth Mentoring and Creative Teaching Methods.
CIY invited youth ministers from local churches to teach the remaining workshops offered in two sessions. The first session will offer workshops on topics such as: Evangelism In A Post-Modern Setting, Fighting Spiritual Fatigue, The Seven Checkpoints: The Irreducible Minimum For All Youth Ministries. During the second session, attendees can choose between Counseling Within Your Limits, Reaching Lost Kids In Your Community, and Developing Student Leaders.
The range of topics covered during the training event is intended for all youth leaders regardless of their level of experience.
“We have tracts for the youth minister who has no idea what they are doing and youth ministers to train youth sponsors,” said Hancock, who said a lot of college-age youth workers attend.
The Lawrenceville gathering will be the only training retreat CIY will offer in the spring. However, nine retreats are scheduled to run in the fall. Hancock said the organization tries to arrange the retreat in various locations so that people won’t have to travel too far. On average, people still travel from 4-6 hours in distance, according to Hancock.
Christ in Youth was founded in 1968 by Ozark Bible College Professor Bob Stacy who had a desire to present a contemporary gospel message to youth. Initially, CIY was led student volunteers who conducted rallies and high school assemblies. The first conference was held in 1969, and today, CIY’s Summer Conferences reach more than 20,000 young people nationwide.
During 2004, an estimated 50,000 youth and youth workers will attend a CIY event. Of these, more than one-third will make a life-changing decision about their relationship with Christ.
The motto of Priority 22 is taken from 2 Timothy 2:22, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, pass on to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others."
“The idea is to train people who train other people to change kids’ lives,” said Hancock.