Next Gen leaders gather for training, encouragement

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Recent research has indicated that 75% of Christ followers trust in Christ before the age of 18.  The Next Generation Ministry division of the Florida Baptist Convention recently hosted a kid ministry leader retreat (September 10-11) and a student ministry leader retreat (September 17-18) in Jacksonville with the goal of encouraging and equipping next generation ministry leaders as they reach children and students through the local church.  Forty-three kid ministry leaders and 91 student ministry leaders attended the two-day events.

Tommy Green, Executive Director of the Florida Baptist Convention, presented for the kid ministry retreat and the student ministry retreat.  “The Retreats provided an amazing opportunity for establishing a solid network for Children and Student Ministry leaders in Florida.  The format of the retreats included quality instruction and significant interaction for the participants.  The participants have the incredible responsibility of impacting the next generation for Christ.  I believe that the retreats enabled the participants to grow in their areas of ministry.”

“Our goal was to provide an atmosphere of encouragement and equipping for our kid ministry and student ministry leaders across Florida.  Florida Baptists are blessed to have great ministry leaders serving our churches,” added Billy Young, Lead Catalyst over Next Generation Ministry for the Florida Baptist Convention.  “Seeing networks and ministry connections develop during the retreat proved to be a great asset to our next gen leaders.”

Delanee Williams, preschool strategist for Lifeway, and Mark Jones, children’s pastor at Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, OK, presented for the kid ministry leader retreat.

Ben Trueblood, Director of Lifeway Students, and Dr. Brent Crowe, Vice President of Student Leadership University presented for the student ministry leader retreat.

Ricky Lindsey, student pastor at First Baptist Church of Plant City, attended the student ministry retreat.  Ricky added this observation of the retreat, “No matter how many years of student ministry experience you have, this retreat will refresh will your spirit and provide relevant training for whatever context of student ministry you are in.”

Kelly Pekarek, children minister at North Jacksonville Baptist Church in Jacksonville, assisted in the planning of the kid ministry leader.  “The Kid Ministry Retreat was fantastic!  The speakers were great, and I was encouraged by your time together.”

Please stay up to date with Next Generation Ministry events, including the Kid Ministry Retreat (September 9-10, 2019) and Student Ministry Retreats (September 16-17, 2019) for next year at

By Billy Young, Florida Baptist Convention, September 26, 2018

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