Over 70 different churches joined with Cairn faculty, staff, and students to participate in the We LUV Youthworkers Mini-Convention held on campus at Cairn University on Saturday, September 20, 2014. The event was organized by Dr. Matt McAlack, Professor in the School of Divinity and Director of Youth and Family Ministry, and his wife Michele, Student Ministry Advisor.
The convention was designed to equip youth leaders, volunteer youthworkers, counselors, and teachers to be more effective in reaching and discipling teenagers. With three sessions and twenty-seven different elective workshops to choose from, attendees explored various topics such as helping teens find their identity, handling the issue of homosexuality, building a suicide-safe community, keeping filled spiritually, working in an multiethnic church, discipling your spouse and children, using your God-given talents in ministry, building strong relationships with kids, getting teens involved in missions, learning about youth culture, and many more.
In addition, the convention featured a General Session with worship, led by the University worship band On the Way, prayer from Dr. Matt McAlack, and a message from the keynote speaker Dr. Cam Garven. Dr. Garven is a Bible teacher at Plumstead Christian School outside of Doylestown, PA, a visiting teacher at Ravencrest Bible School in Colorado, a part-time Director of Mission InPhilly, and serves on the Board of Directors for Sandy Cove Conference Center in Maryland. He has worked with Corporate Chaplains of America and was on the pastoral staff of Bible Fellowship, an Evangelical Free Church, for 24 years. Dr. Garven is a graduate of Cairn University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Ministries and holds a Masters in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Doctorate in Leadership and Spiritual Formation from George Fox University. Dr. Garven charged the youthworkers to invest in themselves by investing in others and to remember that the gospel of Jesus Christ transforms lives. Providing a three step mantra, he encouraged leaders “to love God and love people” (Matt. 22:34-40), “to learn the mission” (28:18-20), and “to live a legacy” (Mark 8:34-38). Sharing personal stories and drawing on the biblical truths to love our neighbors and to make disciples, Dr. Garven urged believers to “live like eternity matters.”
The convention also included free resources for youth leaders, gifts for those with September birthdays, a scavenger hunt to win free books, and a raffle prize. As Dr. Matt McAlack stated, “I can’t think of any place I’d rather be,” it was a fun, enriched day of learning, equipping, and building one another up in encouragement to do God’s work in youth-related ministry.
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