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The Council of Lutheran Youth Fellowship Representatives (CLYFR)

Ever wonder what happens when youth from around the country gather in St. Louis for CLYFR (Council of LYF Representatives)?  Here is a synopsis of the discussion that took place this past March 13-16, 2014:

The 34th annual meeting of the Council of Lutheran Youth Fellowship Representatives (CLYFR) met in St. Louis, MO, March 13-16, 2014 at the Pallottine Renewal Center in north St. Louis, County. 54 persons, representing 15 districts, included 17 male youth and 7 male adults and 19 female youth and 7 female adults. Four full time Youth Ministry Office (YMO)staff participation included Dr. Terry Dittmer, LCMS Director of Youth Ministry, Jessica Bor-deleau, LYF Coordinator, Amy Gray, YMO Media Coordinator and Rev. Steve Cholak, YMO Spe-cial Ministries Coordinator. One congregation sent representatives. On Friday, additional members of the LCMS Youth Ministry staff joined CLYFR for lunch. They included Rev. Mark Kiessling, Krista Miller and Renee Lorenz. Mark Sengele, Youth Editor at Concordia Publishing House also attended on Friday. YMO staff member, Jim Lohman, arranged for late night snack-ing.

Participants were trained in the Teen Bridge Building Training developed by Jessica Bordeleau. This was the second time TBBT was presented as the Teen Leadership Initiative component. Teens are trained in the materials and trained to lead the materials in their con-gregations, circuits and district. Training was lead by the Executive Board with Jessica serving in a consultant/advisory capacity. The focus of the training is how teenagers can be the moti-vators for developing intergenerational relationships in congregations. A highlight of the train-ing is the inclusion of adult guests joining CLYFR for lunch and intergenerational activities on Saturday. The purpose is to show how easily intergenerational activities can be done, even with strangers. The adult guests came from Timothy Lutheran Church, St. Louis and Concordia Lutheran Church, Kirkwood, Glendale Lutheran Church, Glendale and Chapel of the Cross, St Louis.

The LYF Exec Board leads the training of the youth reps and equips the district and con-gregational reps to lead the training at home in their congregations, circuits and districts. The LYF Exec Board includes: Madeline Upchurch, Wake Forest, NC, East Coast Region; Connor Lu-kas, Fenton, MI, Central Region; Matthew Rhodes, Brookings, SD, Upper Midwest Region; Katie Kraus, Pensacola, FL, Southern/Midwest Region; Adam Dougherty, Olympia, WA, West Coast/Mountain Region.

Participants spent some time working on a vision for LYF and Youth Ministry. The vi-sioining focused on six terms from the LYF guidelines defining LYF’s Purpose and Function and what direction needs to happen to build LYF in terms of the identity for youth within the larger church, fellowship, communication and sharing, Christian witness and service (mercy), Chris-tian leadership and how youth can be a positive influence in the life and work of the church. In small groups,

To begin with, small groups spent some time generating questions around which conversationcould focus. The questions included:

  • Where are we going with contemporary and traditional worship?
  • How do we excite youth for LYF, district events, etc.
  • What can/should we do with non-Lutherans in groups.
  • How as a minority denomination do we make ourselves stand out?
  • How do we express what we’re doing with other people?
  • What is the youth specific role in church?
  • How do we equip youth to follow Jesus when out of high school?
  • How can we improve communication re LYF?
  • How should LYF adapt to changing society?
  • What are the official LYF documents describing who we are?
  • How do we encourage involvement after confirmation?
  • How do we deal with technology distractions?
  • Should there be an LYF name change to clarify its purpose?
  • What blocks the LYF brand?
  • What do youth think about the church.
  • How do we increase involvement of youth in fellowship and ministry?
  • How do we prep middle schoolers for leadership?
  • How do we encourage Christian apologetics and dealing with hard topics?
  • How can we reenergize relationships between Congregations, districts and synod?
  •  What LYF? What is the LYF brand? What is the LYF identity on the youth ministry Web site? How do we build the LYF identity for churches?

In summary, CLYFR participants said . . .

  • We don’t necessarily know what we’re doing but we’re excited to do it.
  • The LYF name needs to become more prominent.
  • LYF needs to be more visible and unified in its influence.
  • LYF needs to reach out
  • LYF needs to become an more accessible entity.

CLYFR youth and adults offered the following responses to LYF’s six purposes. (Adult in paren-thesis indicates an adult small group statement; otherwise points are from youth groups)

IDENTITY

  • The LCMS becomes a bigger voice as a denomination, raising our voice in “witness” outside the church
  • Unify all youth groups under one name / connect youths groups to LYF and receive in-formation through social media.
  • (Adult) Youth would feel and be valued in their local congregations.
  • Our identity and purpose should be clearer to us.
  • LYF needs to be an organization that trains young people to boldly share their faith tomake more disciples of Jesus Christ—or the LCMS will not exist in 100 years.
  • Our youth reach out into their communities

FELLOWSHIP

  • Inter-youth group (connecting with groups from other churches.
  • Better relationships with other youth in our district
  • Have a mix or contemporary and traditional songs during youth group/church
  • Mark youth group fun, but remember to incorporate education
  • (Adult) Move away from “silo” ministry. Family Ministry model to “full farm.”
  • More prominent in the church –identify themselves as actual members of the church / organization of district event.
  •  More district / circuit events.

COMMUNICATION NETWORK

  • LCMS forum / news cast
  • National page that is widespread and “advertized” to communicate with youth from and not from churches all over.
  • + Web site, LYF Facebook pages, Inclusive of all youth.
  • Keep up with technology
  • Articles by youth in a newsletter (Lutheran Witness youth written articles)
  • More youth know the purpose of LYF
  • (Adult) Help for districts who don’t havea youth rep. Maybe regional LYF Exec Board could help get information to local churches.
  • Communite re: communication resources that exist.
  • Develop a youth ministry app.

VOICE

  • Youth are more included with matters of the church and have a say
  • + In local congregations
  • + Youth as voters
  • A balance between traditional and contemporary services
  • Make our voices heard in areas where Lutherans are a minority.

LEADERSHIP

  • (Adult) Youth training would continue and use their training to reach other genera-tions.
  • Promote LYF and CLYFR
  • Youth lead classes and events
  • More youth in leadership roles (local congregations, district, synod)
  • Have youth boards in each congregations, have training events in local congregations and with a group or churches
  • Stand up and talk to districts to get youth in LYF / god to NYGEstablish youth ministry task forces to better organize district CLYFRs

WITNESS / SERVICE

  • Individual Servant Events isn communities
  • Synod hosts servant events in every state
  • Make things less complicated (Get rid of the Acronyms?)
  • Projects to get church/families involved.
  • Build confidence in youth to share their faith.
  • Local mission/community work to show the area that they care and are there to help.
  • (Adult) Parents/family/church mentor groups teach confirmation. Pray as a family.
  • More district events that are more directive and inclusive of youth.

THOUGHTS “OUTSIDE THE BOX”

  • Change LYF to mean “Lutheran Youth of Faith”
  • Develop an LCMS Youth Ministry app.
  • CLYFR becomes a live stream Webinar
  • Call everything youth ministry LYF
  • Build a confirmation class connection and highlight LYF
  • Nominate 18-year-olds for synod boards
  • Develop district CLYFRs (Regional)
  • Build 5 to 1 Mentor plans

The Council gave its attention to consideration of the leadership training module for 2015. The training will focus on training young people in confessing the faith. Following the model of the synod hyper-theme “Stand.” the training will feature a title something like “stand by/for your faith” or “Teens Standing Together.” Training should focus on what we believe and equip teens for teen to teen talk. Consideration should be given to our faith’s application to th world (I Peter 3:15) and the moral challenges of contemporary society in consideration of de-fense of what we believe over against giving offense those we witness to. Caution was offered for the use of churchy words yet affirming our faith foundation. Dr. Joel Bierman, Concordia Seminary, St Louis, was offered as a resource.

Participants also participated in leading devotions, in developing the Saturday evening worship service, community building and networking.

The 2015 CLYFR meeting is on the calendar for March 12-15 at the Pallottine Renewal Center.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

The LYF Web site can be found at: http://lcms.org/lutheranyouthfellowship

Ever wonder what happens when youth from around the country gather in St. Louis for CLYFR (Council of LYF Representatives)?  Here is a synopsis of the discussion that took place this past March 13-16, 2014:

The 34th annual meeting of the Council of Lutheran Youth Fellowship Representatives (CLYFR) met in St. Louis, MO, March 13-16, 2014 at the Pallottine Renewal Center in north St. Louis, County. 54 persons, representing 15 districts, included 17 male youth and 7 male adults and 19 female youth and 7 female adults. Four full time Youth Ministry Office (YMO)staff participation included Dr. Terry Dittmer, LCMS Director of Youth Ministry, Jessica Bor-deleau, LYF Coordinator, Amy Gray, YMO Media Coordinator and Rev. Steve Cholak, YMO Spe-cial Ministries Coordinator. One congregation sent representatives. On Friday, additional members of the LCMS Youth Ministry staff joined CLYFR for lunch. They included Rev. Mark Kiessling, Krista Miller and Renee Lorenz. Mark Sengele, Youth Editor at Concordia Publishing House also attended on Friday. YMO staff member, Jim Lohman, arranged for late night snack-ing.

Participants were trained in the Teen Bridge Building Training developed by Jessica Bordeleau. This was the second time TBBT was presented as the Teen Leadership Initiative component. Teens are trained in the materials and trained to lead the materials in their con-gregations, circuits and district. Training was lead by the Executive Board with Jessica serving in a consultant/advisory capacity. The focus of the training is how teenagers can be the moti-vators for developing intergenerational relationships in congregations. A highlight of the train-ing is the inclusion of adult guests joining CLYFR for lunch and intergenerational activities on Saturday. The purpose is to show how easily intergenerational activities can be done, even with strangers. The adult guests came from Timothy Lutheran Church, St. Louis and Concordia Lutheran Church, Kirkwood, Glendale Lutheran Church, Glendale and Chapel of the Cross, St Louis.

The LYF Exec Board leads the training of the youth reps and equips the district and con-gregational reps to lead the training at home in their congregations, circuits and districts. The LYF Exec Board includes: Madeline Upchurch, Wake Forest, NC, East Coast Region; Connor Lu-kas, Fenton, MI, Central Region; Matthew Rhodes, Brookings, SD, Upper Midwest Region; Katie Kraus, Pensacola, FL, Southern/Midwest Region; Adam Dougherty, Olympia, WA, West Coast/Mountain Region.

Participants spent some time working on a vision for LYF and Youth Ministry. The vi-sioining focused on six terms from the LYF guidelines defining LYF’s Purpose and Function and what direction needs to happen to build LYF in terms of the identity for youth within the larger church, fellowship, communication and sharing, Christian witness and service (mercy), Chris-tian leadership and how youth can be a positive influence in the life and work of the church. In small groups,

To begin with, small groups spent some time generating questions around which conversationcould focus. The questions included:

  • Where are we going with contemporary and traditional worship?
  • How do we excite youth for LYF, district events, etc.
  • What can/should we do with non-Lutherans in groups.
  • How as a minority denomination do we make ourselves stand out?
  • How do we express what we’re doing with other people?
  • What is the youth specific role in church?
  • How do we equip youth to follow Jesus when out of high school?
  • How can we improve communication re LYF?
  • How should LYF adapt to changing society?
  • What are the official LYF documents describing who we are?
  • How do we encourage involvement after confirmation?
  • How do we deal with technology distractions?
  • Should there be an LYF name change to clarify its purpose?
  • What blocks the LYF brand?
  • What do youth think about the church.
  • How do we increase involvement of youth in fellowship and ministry?
  • How do we prep middle schoolers for leadership?
  • How do we encourage Christian apologetics and dealing with hard topics?
  • How can we reenergize relationships between Congregations, districts and synod?
  •  What LYF? What is the LYF brand? What is the LYF identity on the youth ministry Web site? How do we build the LYF identity for churches?

In summary, CLYFR participants said . . .

  • We don’t necessarily know what we’re doing but we’re excited to do it.
  • The LYF name needs to become more prominent.
  • LYF needs to be more visible and unified in its influence.
  • LYF needs to reach out
  • LYF needs to become an more accessible entity.

CLYFR youth and adults offered the following responses to LYF’s six purposes. (Adult in paren-thesis indicates an adult small group statement; otherwise points are from youth groups)

IDENTITY

  • The LCMS becomes a bigger voice as a denomination, raising our voice in “witness” outside the church
  • Unify all youth groups under one name / connect youths groups to LYF and receive in-formation through social media.
  • (Adult) Youth would feel and be valued in their local congregations.
  • Our identity and purpose should be clearer to us.
  • LYF needs to be an organization that trains young people to boldly share their faith tomake more disciples of Jesus Christ—or the LCMS will not exist in 100 years.
  • Our youth reach out into their communities

FELLOWSHIP

  • Inter-youth group (connecting with groups from other churches.
  • Better relationships with other youth in our district
  • Have a mix or contemporary and traditional songs during youth group/church
  • Mark youth group fun, but remember to incorporate education
  • (Adult) Move away from “silo” ministry. Family Ministry model to “full farm.”
  • More prominent in the church –identify themselves as actual members of the church / organization of district event.
  •  More district / circuit events.

COMMUNICATION NETWORK

  • LCMS forum / news cast
  • National page that is widespread and “advertized” to communicate with youth from and not from churches all over.
  • + Web site, LYF Facebook pages, Inclusive of all youth.
  • Keep up with technology
  • Articles by youth in a newsletter (Lutheran Witness youth written articles)
  • More youth know the purpose of LYF
  • (Adult) Help for districts who don’t havea youth rep. Maybe regional LYF Exec Board could help get information to local churches.
  • Communite re: communication resources that exist.
  • Develop a youth ministry app.

VOICE

  • Youth are more included with matters of the church and have a say
  • + In local congregations
  • + Youth as voters
  • A balance between traditional and contemporary services
  • Make our voices heard in areas where Lutherans are a minority.

LEADERSHIP

  • (Adult) Youth training would continue and use their training to reach other genera-tions.
  • Promote LYF and CLYFR
  • Youth lead classes and events
  • More youth in leadership roles (local congregations, district, synod)
  • Have youth boards in each congregations, have training events in local congregations and with a group or churches
  • Stand up and talk to districts to get youth in LYF / god to NYGEstablish youth ministry task forces to better organize district CLYFRs

WITNESS / SERVICE

  • Individual Servant Events isn communities
  • Synod hosts servant events in every state
  • Make things less complicated (Get rid of the Acronyms?)
  • Projects to get church/families involved.
  • Build confidence in youth to share their faith.
  • Local mission/community work to show the area that they care and are there to help.
  • (Adult) Parents/family/church mentor groups teach confirmation. Pray as a family.
  • More district events that are more directive and inclusive of youth.

THOUGHTS “OUTSIDE THE BOX”

  • Change LYF to mean “Lutheran Youth of Faith”
  • Develop an LCMS Youth Ministry app.
  • CLYFR becomes a live stream Webinar
  • Call everything youth ministry LYF
  • Build a confirmation class connection and highlight LYF
  • Nominate 18-year-olds for synod boards
  • Develop district CLYFRs (Regional)
  • Build 5 to 1 Mentor plans

The Council gave its attention to consideration of the leadership training module for 2015. The training will focus on training young people in confessing the faith. Following the model of the synod hyper-theme “Stand.” the training will feature a title something like “stand by/for your faith” or “Teens Standing Together.” Training should focus on what we believe and equip teens for teen to teen talk. Consideration should be given to our faith’s application to th world (I Peter 3:15) and the moral challenges of contemporary society in consideration of de-fense of what we believe over against giving offense those we witness to. Caution was offered for the use of churchy words yet affirming our faith foundation. Dr. Joel Bierman, Concordia Seminary, St Louis, was offered as a resource.

Participants also participated in leading devotions, in developing the Saturday evening worship service, community building and networking.

The 2015 CLYFR meeting is on the calendar for March 12-15 at the Pallottine Renewal Center.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

The LYF Web site can be found at: http://lcms.org/lutheranyouthfellowship

LYF Training Events

Watch for Teen Bridge Building Training to be offered in the fall of 2014 in Irvine, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. 

Watch for Teen Bridge Building Training to be offered in the fall of 2014 in Irvine, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. 

West Coast / Mountain Region (LCMS)