In November 2008 the first SEND International Youth Ministry Summit was held in Germany. 1203 send yth summit budapest_063.JPGSEND missionaries from around the world came together with the primary purpose of creating a SEND youth ministry philosophy. This document’s purpose was to build on the “mobilize, engage & establish” by giving a skeleton framework with key areas that we as SEND missionaries involved in ministry to youth would target. The participants also expressed that a follow up summit should be held in 3 yrs time.

The second Youth Min Summit was held in March 2012 in Budapest, Hungary, initiated and facilitated by SEND missionaries who had attended the first Summit. Its purpose was to bring together SEND missionaries who were involved in ministry to participate together, facilitating our individual growth and network through a focus on the following three areas.

a) Implementation: Outward ministry focus – the missionary and the national

Seeking to learn from one other as we look at the six SEND Youth ministry principles and look for practical wisdom and insight into 1203 send yth summit budapest_044.JPGserving with the national believers, at both the national and local level.

b) Equipping: Inward ministry focus – the missionary

Helping one another grow through focusing on three different areas:
- Personal life with Christ
- Coaching – getting a brief introduction and practical experience in walking alongside others andhaving people walk alongside us
- SEND U – Asking ourselves the question “how can we utilize this resource to facilitate growth in our missionaries and ministry to youth in SEND”.

c) Prep & Mobilize: Home office focus

We are part of what God is doing around the world, and we participate in how God works in people’s lives. We are impacted by new missionaries, and can have a part to play in their mobilization and development. How can we help the home office in this process of 1203 send yth summit budapest_010.JPGreparation and mobilization?

Overview of what took place:

The entire week together was structured to facilitate discussion between the attendees, creating opportunities for people to learnfrom one another. Facilitators for the various sessions were Ron Hardy (SEND), John Paetkau (SEND), Ken Guenther (SEND), Justin (Juice) Ortiz (SEND) and Dr. Cheryl Fawcett (ABWE International Youth Ministry specialist and participant in the first SEND Yth Ministry Summit).

The time spent together in formal and informal sessions was invaluable. The conversations were open, honest and refreshing. Everyone engaged in the process and discussions. It was exciting to watch and see how people used the time effectively to share, 1203 send yth summit budapest_008.JPGask questions, to evaluate and to grow.

I believe that we fulfilled the purposes that were set for the Summit. A brief overview of the results that I observed:
a) Implementation: a number of attendees spoke of the fact that through these discussions they evaluated their own ministries, and observed areas that they needed to grow/focus on. Another outcome in this area was a better understanding of the purpose of the six youth ministry principles as part of the overall ministry of SEND.
b) Equipping: two areas that I personally received strong positive feedback on were the coaching workshop session led by Ken G and the personal growth session led by Ron H. I truly believe that the coaching model is a very effective ministry tool, and it was exciting to see the “ah ha” moments for many as we did the session. The impact on both the attendee’s personal lives and the excitement shown for how they might disciple others was another highlight after Ron H’s session. This area of equipping had a big impact on the attendees.
c) Prep & Mobilize: this session created interesting conversations, especially as we discussed the new generation of potential 1203 send yth summit budapest_054.JPGmissionaries. If anything, it got the onversation started and caused people to think about what the future held and how were they going to interact or react to it in terms of short termers, interns, and long term missionaries who might come to their fields.

Outcomes

As part of the wrap up discussion, questions were asked regarding the future, and what did we as a group see as priorities for this area of ministry within SEND. Four working teams/committees from the attendees have been tasked to take the following outcomes forward.
  1. 3rd SEND International Youth Ministry Summit (target date during the period of 2014/early 2015 year)
  2. Condensing the information from the 2nd Summit and making it available on the SEND U wiki.
  3. A team to begin shaping/developing a process for ongoing youth ministry education for our SEND missionaries
  4. A team to begin facilitating and building the youth ministry network within SEND

There has already been action taken on these 4 outcomes, and there will continue to be steps forward in the days and months ahead.
There were a number of other good ideas/suggestions that could be part of the outcomes, and those will be made available as part of the information that will be posted to the youth ministry page on SEND U.

Ken G gave a word picture to describe the structure of SEND U. We are using that model to help give structure to the tasks that we as attendees saw as priority for the next 2-3 years.

Library: Create a central resource area which is accessible to all. This will be part of the SEND U Wikki, which will facilitate not only people using the youth resources, but introducing them to the many excellent resources, links and opportunities that are available through SEND U

Classroom: Creating opportunities for training and networking through Summits (held every 2-3 years) and encouraging regional training and resourcing.

Café: Facilitating the continuing network and discussion across the SEND world. Accomplishing this by utilizing various electronic platforms and creating opportunities for discussion and mutual encouragement/networking through face to face times at conferences, summits etc.

As can be seen by the evaluations of the attendees, the members found their time together to be very beneficial, both personally and for ministry. They were very strongly in favor of having another follow up summit in the next 2+ years. A cycle of 2-2 ½ years between summits was perceived to be a good balance that would continue to keep the momentum created yet giving enough time between in order for the need to be fresh.

As I review the time in Budapest, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of facilitating this gathering of quality men and women from around the globe. It is exciting to see how God is working, reaching out to the majority age group of the world through our missionaries. I look forward to see what God has for the future.

On behalf of those who worked hard to organize and facilitate this summit ministry
John Paetkau
SEND International – Ukraine