The Return of the International Conference of Youth and Family Ministry
After five years, the ICYFM (International Conference of Youth and Family Ministry) returned! This is the seventh time our fellowship has held this conference. Those who attended or tuned in felt it was a powerful time. The Youth and Family Ministry Service Team also believes that it was a great next step for the ICOC.
The goal of the ICYFM
When the current service team gathered at the North River Church of Christ to begin planning, time was taken to spread out and walk through the whole auditorium, touching every seat, imagining and praying over those who would later fill them for the conference. The team aimed to imagine people coming from different parts of the world from radically varying contexts but with the same goal, of helping families come to truly and deeply know God.
Next steps in Children’s Ministry
Through the years, Youth and Family Ministry has been encouraged to adopt what some have called a “cradle to campus” approach. This concept urges leaders to avoid the way ministries can exist in silos, but to work cohesively across the ministries and across the generations.
One significant goal of this team and this conference has been to elevate the role of Children’s Ministry in our churches. Part of this goal is to urge churches to have Children’s Ministry be of a priority and emphasis that most of our congregations have not yet done, and to be seen as essential in the faith development of our children.
A presentation from the Barna Group
Many of us have been blessed through the years by the incredible work of the Barna Group, a Christian research organization that provides data and insights on the trends affecting faith, culture and ministry today. Their work even influenced the direction of the ICOC more than 20 years ago as the shift began to a Youth and Family Ministry approach.
For the first time at an ICYFM, we had a speaker from the Barna Group. We welcomed in Daniel Copeland, the Associate Vice President of Research. He delivered a powerful presentation on what is referred to as, “The Open Generation.”
Available resources from the ICYFM
Main sessions, as well as many breakout sessions were filmed and are available by clicking here.
Previous conferences and our next
We will return to having the ICYFM in odd-numbered years. So, be on the lookout for the announcement of the 2025 ICYFM.
- 2011-Los Angeles
- 2013-New York City
Eric & Megan Testa, Chairs – Indianapolis
Mike & Kristen Lamb – Boston
Ross and Manami Lippencott – New York
Audie & Bethany Monday – Philadelphia
Barrett & Rachel O’Connell – Seattle
Nick & Brianne Shoff – Atlanta
Nadine Templer – Kathmandu
Melissa Tulloch – Atlanta
Randy & Kim Ware – Kansas City
Susan Wedin – Phoenix
Antoine & Charlene Wills – Chicago
Brandon & Lauren Yi – Austin
The Youth and Family Service Team desires to aid and support all the congregations of the ICOC in whatever way we can. We want to help build bridges across the generations and across the various ministries that we have. We pray that our service is a blessing to all and an honor to our God!