I came to York College in the Fall of 1997 and had zero doubts about my major; I wanted to be a youth minister. As a child from a broken home, several youth leaders made a significant impact in my life. I declared myself a Youth Ministry major and I graduated 4 years later with that degree and then….never went into full-time ministry. Life took a different shape, and I ended up pursuing a career in higher education. In the positions I have held at York College I have seen first-hand the sacrificial, diligent and joyful lives of many incredible youth ministers.
It’s awesome to see people doing it for decades and encouraging to see our graduating students enter the field. I’d love to tell you about a couple right now. Each year we have some of the best students imaginable graduate and prepare to enter the field of full-time ministry. This year we have two very unique students I’d love to tell you about; Cameron Merrill and Melanie Wells. These two are viral believers who have taken a very unique path to and from York College and whose story itself went viral. Their engagement photo, posted to twitter went viral this summer tallying 109,000 likes (and counting.) https://twitter.com/melanieeee10/status/1125026915310604290?s=21
Cameron Merrill, is from the Britton Road Church of Christ in Edmond, OK and is finishing his Biblical Studies/Youth Ministry degree this coming spring. His immediate goal is to become a youth minister or Bible Teacher. Cameron calls York College his second home… “living here for four years with people I can truly call family, supporting me in everything I do. This place has given me so many opportunities for ministry as well as for finding myself in extracurricular on campus. I don’t think I’d be the person I am today without YC’s impact. It’s also blessed me with being so affordable. With the scholarships I’ve been afforded, my family has had a much easier time paying my way through school and giving me a good start in life.”
Melanie Wells is from Nashville, TN and grew up at the Madison Church of Christ and will also be finishing a degree in youth ministry this spring. She describes her dream job as …. “being able to work with Cameron in whatever ministry opportunity God brings them. I’ve learned through my two interning experiences that I have a passion for the marginalized of society. And that can be found in many different ways. Whether that be ministering to inner city teens, young girls who feel they can’t lead, or people who feel the church isn’t the place for them. It is very important to me and my future and current ministry that these people know that they are always welcomed at my table.”
She goes on to say, “The mission statement of York College talks about transformation. And without a doubt I have been transformed here at YC. York College has supported me, loved me, and pushed me to do more than I thought I was capable of. York College is statistically the most diverse school in Nebraska. So I’ve had to opportunity to have hard and trying conversations with people from completely different backgrounds than me..
Cameron and Melanie, we are so proud of you both and wish you the best as you go viral spreading the good news of Jesus Christ in Youth Ministry. We’d also like to take this time to invite you to check out York College’s summer camp; Soul Quest. Soul Quest is a high energy, deeply spiritual time of worship, challenge and reflection that occurs every June in York, NE. This year Soul Quest is June 14-20th, our theme will be RIOT, and we look forward to challenging messages by Jonathan Storment and powerful worship led by Andy Spell. For more information, click here:
Gen Z is hungry for deep truths, and they’re not going to stick around where they don’t expect to find them. If we want to be effective at transmitting a durable faith to today’s youth, we need to be aware of and respond to three ongoing trends in particular.
1. Compacting Ideas
Generation Z has picked up and run with our culture’s tendency to compact information. Consider the rise of memes as a form of communication among youth. Memes represent how popular language continues to be compressed, moving from pages to words to characters to images and videos embedded with snarky text.Continue reading “An Honest Conversation with Gen Z”
The idea that science has disproven the Bible is one of the most prevalent messages used to undermine your students’ faith. Many students abandon the church after they leave for college. When polled, they often cite “science” as a major factor.
If only they realized that science and the Bible reveal the same truth! The Institute for Creation Research’s team of scientists research answers to some of the most challenging questions your students face, such as How do dinosaurs fit with biblical history? Was the Genesis Flood really global? Did the Big Bang happen? Do fossils prove evolution? ICR offers tools to help your students navigate these issues and develop a deeper trust in God’s Word.