FUEL12 Day 1 Recap

FUELFUEL is a Youth Leaders convention held every 2 years for the Wesleyan Church. It is a time of refreshing, refocusing, networking for the student ministry pastors in the denomination. Friends are made and laughter is to be had. I look forward to it every time it comes around and this year was no exception.

Scott Simmons

Rev. Scott Simmons, Director of Youth Ministries for The Wesleyan Church

Scott Simmons started us off by giving a “State of the Wesleyan Youth Movement” Address. He shared some crazy statistics about students in today’s generation and asked us this question “Is the Gospel you are sharing producing disciples?”. Discipleship was an important topic here at FUEL12 as it prepared us for multiple discussions leading up to our International Youth Convention in December. He shared with us the importance of vision and intimacy in ministry and how “74% of students look for a welcoming atmosphere where they can be themselves” in a youth group. He continued to challenge us to be personal, listen to our students, and to pay attention to the details of our student’s lives throughout our discipleship. Among the ever-changing youth culture, Scott reminded us that “God’s word never changes, it always remains relevant” (Hebrews 13:8). He added how culture, parents, and media influence our students and how, as Jesus did, we must do our best to remain relevant in our students world. A couple things I took away from his message is 1.) I need to do a better job having my students question everything they take in. And 2.) I need to create Rites of Passage for my students (both rising 5th graders and graduation seniors) to signify important transitions in their life. I’ve already got some ideas for some Rites of Passage ceremonies that I am really excited for this summer.

After this session, we broke into small groups and I attended a discussion on Student Leadership Development. Rev. Luke Jackson of Thomasville Mt. Zion facilitated this roundtable and he hit hard on expectations, longevity and consistency, and structure. Together we looked at authentic relationships, accountability, and intentional guidance and their impact in student leadership development. It was a very practical discussion leaving me encouraged and excited to implement many new ideas to my student leaders. Again, I took a couple things away from this discussion. 1.) “Unity is created when you’re all trying to accomplish the same goal”. And 2.) Clearly stating a Restoration Process for your student’s when they do not live up to their expectations. A Restoration Process is an great opportunity for us as leaders to show grace and healing, while at the same time showing that bad decisions have consequences.

This ended a long and exhausting day in Louisville, KY. After an early morning wake-up, a couple delayed flights, missed flights, and 2-hour long traffic jams I was ready for bed.

Check back tomorrow for the recap of Day 2!


About Chase Smith

I am the Student Ministries and Worship Arts Pastor at Trinity Wesleyan Church. I have the best job in the world with help from the best wife in the world serving the best students in the world all praising the best God in the world.

Posted on February 18, 2012, in Leadership, Ministry and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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