CE National Hosts Breakfast at Flinch Conference

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CE National breakfast at Flinch

CE National breakfast at Flinch

CE National was pleased to sponsor a breakfast at the Flinch Conference held in Newark, New Jersey, last week. Over 135 attended the morning event and, after a wonderful meal, enjoyed listening to praise reports, updates, and future plans of CE National by Ed Lewis, Jason Holt, Ed Short, and Timothy Kurtaneck.

The program included the highlight video of the 2015 Momentum Youth Conference, and another video with the testimony of Rick Cartegena.

Operation Barnabas 2014 alum Caleb Haymaker was interviewed and the event concluded with Ed Lewis recognizing Dr. Randy Smith as the winner of the CE National Wall of Honor award–the highest individual award presented by CE National.

Many thanks to all who were in attendance and we praise the Lord for allowing this church effectiveness ministry to have the opportunities that it does to help all believers to live ON MISSION for the glory of God!


Ed Lewis, CE National executive director, spoke during one of the main sessions.

New in the CE National Lending Library

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Stronger: How Hard Times Reveal God’s Greatest Power a book by Clayton King

Through powerful personal experience and biblical teaching, pastor and dynamic speaker, Clayton King, shows readers that they are not defined by what happens to them and reveals God’s surprising plan to make them stronger.

50 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning From Spiritual Giants of the Faith a book by Warren Wiersbe

Christians in the twenty-first century need encouragement and inspiration to lead lives that honor God. When faith is weak or the pressures of the world seem overwhelming, remembering the great men and women of the past can inspire us to renewed strength and purpose. Our spiritual struggles are not new, and the stories of those who have gone before us can help lead the way to our own victories. 50 People Every Christian Should Know gives a glimpse into the lives of such people as Charles H. Spurgeon, G. Campbell Morgan, A. W. Tozer, Fanny Crosby, Amy Carmichael, Jonathan Edwards, James Hudson Taylor, and many more.

Visit cenational.org/library for these and other titles.

How To Implement Post-Event Processing

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I just completed Momentum Youth Conference with my students. It was a deeply impactful time for each one of my youth. While I would love to keep them inside of a safe environment that a missions trip, student conference, or weekend retreat offers–I know it isn’t practical. Instead, I am aware that the implementation phase is now in full gear.

In order to keep building on the sparks of new growth which began at our event, I have learned to recognize that additional processing with my students is going to be key for encouraging lasting life change. In today’s post on how to make ministry simple, I wanted to share with you a template for how to host a post-event debriefing with your student ministry teams: Read more…

Sample Questions for Pastoral Search Teams

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By Knute Larson

Here is the list of what I think are important questions for an interview for a pastor (or a pastoral staff member, with appropriate adaptations).

Three giant issues here are the strong initial investigation, the thoroughness and uniqueness of the various interviews, and the last step of two full Sundays at the church preaching, with many meetings with people and groups of the church in that week or before. Read more…

A Divine Appointment with Teresa and a Double Portion

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Cynthia Schnee with both Teresa's

Cynthia Schnee with both Teresa’s

Cynthia Schnee is the youth leader from the Grace Brethren Church in Manheim, Pennsylvania. Cynthia took students from their youth group to Momentum Youth Conference. Here’s a story she posted on her Facebook page about the group’s experience on outreach.

The day was July 17th, 2015. I was spending the week at Momentum Youth Conference in Marion, Indiana. All week long, the students were listening to various speakers and learning how to share their faith. The following day, our group would be taking 9 students into the heart of Indianapolis to pass out backpacks full of toiletries to the homeless.

As I was pondering our impending trip the next day, I decided to cover the day in prayer. I started out praying, “Dear God, please let us have a divine app…TERESA…ointment with whomever you want us to meet tomorrow. TERESA? WHO IS TERESA? Weird, but okay God, if that was from you and you want me to meet TERESA tomorrow, then let me meet Teresa! Amen!” I kind of laughed to myself and went on with my day.

The next day, I found myself on the way to Indianapolis, and again I felt led to pray about our day. “Dear God, let us have a div…TERESA…ine appointment….TERESA again? Okay God, let me meet TERESA today if it be your will!” Now I was really chuckling to myself and felt a little silly, but I also had to wonder if God was going to introduce me to a TERESA or not. I almost said something to the gal sitting next to me in the van, but I feared that she would think I was a little nuts. I quietly unzipped my backpack to find something to write on. All I found was the cardboard wrapper to a pack of gum, so on it I wrote, “Divine Appt. w/Teresa today.” When I went to write TERESA, I said, “Okay God, how should I spell her name? With or without the ‘H’?” Something within me said to write it without the “H.” I placed the note back inside my backpack and thought to myself that if I would meet a TERESA, than people would at least believe me since I had written proof!

After a 90-minute ride to Indianapolis, TERESA was frankly the farthest thing from my mind when we arrived. We split our kids into two groups and began canvassing the area. One group went to the left and we went to the right. At each street corner, we scoped out the city and decided which way to proceed. We met a couple of nice ladies, walked a block or two and soon found a homeless man. We gave him a backpack and eventually made our way down the street towards a bus stop.

I stopped at the bus stop and explained why our group was in Indianapolis for the day, and that we had some backpacks to pass out. One lady said, “I’m homeless!”

Another lady exclaimed, “I’m homeless too. Can I have one of those bags?”

I smiled and said, “Sure!” We gave each lady a backpack and the one gal told us to follow her, because she would show us where more homeless people were hanging out. As we walked, I looked up at her and said, “By the way, I’m Cynthia. What’s your name?”

She nonchalantly replied, “I’m Teresa.”

Instantly, I screamed, “NO WAY!!!!!” In fact, I screamed so loud that she jumped a little, and I think I gave our whole group a little jolt with my enthusiasm. “Your name is really Teresa???”

Meanwhile, another lady was walking towards us and overhears our conversation. She exclaims, “That’s MY name!”

Again, I screamed, “NO WAY!!!! You ladies have to stop and talk to me. You are NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!”

I fumbled open the zipper of my backpack and grabbed the small piece of cardboard that read “Divine Appt. w/Teresa today” on it. All the while, I am explaining to them about my prayers. Without even asking them, they both shoved forms of identification at me. Amazed and dumbfounded, I found myself talking to two women, both named TERESA. Neither one had an “H” in her name!

One Teresa was crashing at a friend’s apartment at night. One Teresa was literally living on the street. I got to pray with these precious women. I was humbled. I stood in awe that God not only provided me one TERESA on that day, but that He went above and beyond my wildest expectations and provided me two women named TERESA at the exact same time!

How easily our group could have wandered in a different direction… How easily a few minutes of timing could have caused us to never meet… How easily I could have not even prayed and totally missed this blessing altogether…

I gave the ladies my contact information and asked them to contact me when they each had their own address. I don’t know if I will ever see or hear from them again, but I do know that I will be praying for them. After all, I had a divine appointment to meet them!

Won’t you share my story and join me in praying for these two ladies?

Watch the Rick Cartagena Story–Urban Hope

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Rick Cartagena’s story of how God changed his life is a powerful testimony of what faith in Jesus can do. Rick is now involved with a wonderful prison. He and his wife, Brenda, are part of an extension of the Urban Hope Training Center ministry. Rick is an excellent speaker with an incredible testimony and would be a great person to have speak in your church. For more information, contact Ed Lewis at edlewis@cenational.org.

And Who Will Take Care of My Godly Example?

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In this issue of Pastorpedia, Knute Larson, Jeff Bogue, and Jim Brown talk about how a pastor should set a godly example.

Read, watch, or download this issue here.

This one is about the guy who stands up front and tells people how to live.

This one is about the “hardworking farmer” who should eat the crops first before he gives them to others (II Timothy 2:6 interpreted in a very probable way!).

This one is about the only person we can really, really take care of or pastor in a severe way.   We can do discipleship and receive it; we can enjoy (usually) a very candid and close marriage; we can be one in a small accountability group with peers.  But we are the only ones who can really truly guard our own hearts.

This one’s for us.

Knute, Jeff, Jim

Read, watch, or download this issue here.

Bible Quizzing Winners at Momentum Youth Conference

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Momentum Youth Conference is the culmination of months of work for the Bible Quiz teams. Here are the top two teams and the top five quizzers. The members of the first place quiz team receive a $2,000 scholarship from Grace College and a $1,000 scholarship from Lancaster Bible College.

The first place team was from the Northern Atlantic District, pictured below.


Members are: from Dillsburg, Pennsylvania–Mark Phillippy and Kim Davis; from Manheim, Pennsylvania–Juliana Schnee, Tim Schnee, Josiah Harthcock, Moriyah Harthcock, Leesa Woodcraft

The second place team was from the Northeast Ohio District.


Members are:
from Ashland, Ohio–Ty Swartzentruber and Leah Miller; from Ellet, Ohio–Tyler Wierzbicki and Trevor Wierzbicki; from Homerville, Ohio–Andra Schoch

The top five quizzers are:

Ty Swartzentruber—Ashland, Ohio
Leah Miller—Ashland, Ohio
Sarah Martin—Frederick, Maryland
Trevor Fugate—Jackson, Kentucky
Kaitlyn Nicholls—Osceola, Indiana

Momentum’s Got Talent Winners

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Momentum’s Got Talent encourages students to practice their skills such as vocal solos, teen challenges, creative writing, musical instruments, piano solos, and much more. Even art pieces are brought to Momentum Youth Conference and entered. Students enter MGT by creating and uploading a video of themselves performing whatever they are planning to present or registering online that they are bringing a piece of artwork. Judges determine who will be selected for possible ministry during the main sessions at Momentum Youth Conference.

This year these seven entries were selected for possible ministry during sessions.

  • Praise Team: Grace Community Church, Frederick, Maryland
  • Vocal Solo, Kayla Remigio: Grace Community Church, Willow Street, Pennsylvania
  • Praise Team, Cooke/Crise/Kesterson: Marysville Grace Brethren Church, Marysville, Ohio
  • Dance, Andra Schoch: Grace Brethren Church, Homerville, Ohio
  • Sign Choir, Happy Church, Jackson, Kentucky
  • Original Work Solo, Ethan Marlowe: Myerstown Baptist Church, Myerstown, Pennsylvania
  • Original Work, Julianna Schnee: Manheim Grace Brethren Church, Manheim, Pennsylvania

Selected to perform during a main session:

  • Ethan Marlowe
  • Happy Sign Team
  • Julianna Schnee
  • Cooke, Crise, and Kesterson

Receiving a $1,500 scholarship from Grace College and a $1,000 scholarship from Lancaster Bible College.

  • Ethan Marlowe
  • Aaron Smith
  • Julianna Schnee
  • Andra Schoch
  • Cooke/Crise/Kesterson

Utilizing Personality Tests in Leadership Development

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While there are a host of so-called “tests” which are floating through the internet today, claiming to be able to tell the user about his or her personality–amidst the flood of “just for fun” assessments, there are also a few helpful sites which can aid you in helping your students and or leadership team understand their strengths. Read more…

Navigating Conflict in the Church

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It’s a fact of life that wherever two or three are gathered together, there will be conflict. Here are some general principles about conflict that have worked well in the congregations I’ve served. Read more…

The Latest From City Life and Operation Barnabas Teams

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City Life East has completed their tour. Read all about it here…

Operation Barnabas team ministries are on their last week of tour and we are praising the Lord for the impact these students and leaders have had on the 25 churches and ministries they are serving on their tours.

Please pray for these young people as they go back home to be able to take what they have learned throughout the summer back to their local churches. If you are in the Columbus, Ohio region, please join the combined Operation Barnabas teams for their final program on Sunday morning, July 26, at 10 am at Grace Polaris in Westerville, Ohio! We are also very thankful for the wonderful time of ministry that our two City Life teams had on the East and West Coast.

2015_july_23_0b_indianaOperation Barnabas Team Indiana

Day two in Hilliard started with Team Indiana grabbing their backpacks and taking the big blue bus to the Hilliard YMCA. This is the location for Movement Church and was where we were able to spend a large portion of the day. We were able to interact with children from the YMCA as well as the leaders and share with them the message of the gospel. Read more…




Operation Barnabas Team Ohio

This morning in Berne, the boys were served a hearty breakfast of pancakes, sausage and gravy, donuts, and fruit. By 8:30, the girls had all arrived from their host homes and everyone sat down to spend an hour with God. For the rest of the morning, the entire team wiped down the entire bus and everything in it with soap and warm water. Read more…

StreetWise (formerly Crosswalk) – a New Equipping Conference for Youth Groups

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CE National is starting a week-long event in inner-city Philadelphia called StreetWise (formerly Crosswalk), July 4-July 10, 2016.

StreetWise is:

  • A time for youth workers and their ministry-minded students.
  • Morning training times in how to build relationships with others in various cross-cultural settings.
  • Learning methods of sharing Christ, why many do not come to Christ, how to share Jesus in various settings and how to start conversations.
  • Having daily prayer times that are the heart of the week.
  • Experiencing daily, hands-on opportunities for everyone to engage in spiritual conversations with various groups of people.
  • Traveling as groups to visit various people-groups in the city, giving opportunities to help students/adults learn to engage in conversations on a deeper level.
  • Daily celebrations with key, dynamic youth speakers and worship bands.
  • Evening outreach events held in a large facility where community people are invited to attend.
  • Counseling opportunities for groups to meet with new believers.
  • One day will feature a large children’s outreach event and another will feature a family event.


  • The students and adults will stay in bunk beds in the facilities of the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia.
  • Lodging and programming will be done by youth groups.
  • Price includes meals, tokens for traveling to segments of the city, and training materials.
  • For adults who attend StreetWise a discount will be available for Momentum Youth Conference.
  • StreetWise is limited to 115 participants.
  • Participants will have a variety of experiences such as visiting sites in the city, traveling by public transportation as well as by Urban Hope buses, doing homeless ministries and hearing testimonies from people whose lives have been recently changed by God.
  • How does StreetWise differ from Momentum Youth Conference? Momentum is a dynamic, motivational youth conference with an outreach/missions thrust. StreetWise is an outreach/missions training experience with the elements of a motivational youth conference.
  • How does StreetWise differ from Operation Barnabas? Operation Barnabas is more intense and is just for youth. Youth workers will be included in StreetWise. The OB experience is longer and emphasizes not just learning but doing, but it strengthens character development and Bible knowledge.
  • How does StreetWise differ from an experience at Urban Hope? A week or weekend at Urban Hope allows participants to taste ministry and motivates them to take it back home to their cities, churches, and communities. Urban hope offers training but not to the depth that StreetWise provides.

Relentless–Momentum Youth Conference 2015

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2015_july_23_momentum_banner2015_july_23_momentum_sidebar“Today I’m committing to being bold about my faith in school and in life in general and also to live ON MISSION. I am committing to spend time figuring out exactly what I believe and why I believe it,” said one student on Momentum Youth Conference’s 2015 decision form. It’s one of hundreds of forms that were filled out by students who were deeply impacted by the Momentum 2015 theme, Relentless.

The entire week of Momentum focused on the book of Daniel and emphasized being bold in being a disciple of Jesus and sharing your faith while emphasizing prayer. The week started off strong with Kondo Simfukwe teaching on our theme verse, Daniel 3:28b, and raising the question, who/what is your “most supreme?” The message set the tone for the week, challenging attendees to evaluation what has Lordship in their life and asking the questions, is Jesus most supreme to you as He was to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego–so much so to rather die than deny God?

The next morning Clayton King taught on Daniel and the lion’s den and when he challenged students to commit to Jesus, 270 people came forward. Wednesday evening Momentum hosted a concert of prayer and students spent an intentional hour outside corporately praying for the lost, their churches, family, friends, school, in repentance, and for the community of Marion, Indiana, and outreach possibilities that week.

Students were challenged to commit to purity on Thursday night from Sean McDowell after hearing a testimony from Jackie Hill Perry, a spoken word poet who formally identified with homosexuality.

The conference was culturally relevant as it challenged students to understand that God’s truth, the Word, is ultimate and it is what Christ followers follow even in a time when culture says that people can make their own truth.

Speaker David Nasser spoke to being bold in kindness as he prepared students for ministry that day saying, “We don’t focus on winning the point, we focus on winning the person.” The sessions were practical, moving, and high energy. Jim Brown spoke on being bold in any circumstance and shared about his travels to Iran. Keith Minier shared about what students would, “fill their mark” with and challenged them to fill their mark with their Maker–to be known by their bold faith in Jesus. Sean McDowell also spoke on being ready for temptation and why Christianity is the only viable religion. Worship was an amazing experience with the Jordan Howerton Band every session, and students responded well to new songs and worshiping together.

The afternoons at Momentum were filled with fun options on campus like sports tournaments, a color run, a scavenger hunt, Momentum’s Got Talent, Bible Quizzing, swimming, a climbing wall, and much more as well as outreach options every day for groups to take part in the community.

On Saturday the entire conference left campus for ministry in Marion, Kokomo, Warsaw, Wabash, Muncie, and Indianapolis. Jeff Bogue closed out the conference that night, pulling the week’s theme together and sending students out to live ON MISSION boldly for Jesus.

Momentum 2015 was marked by prayer, and students and staff alike commented on the heart of the week and how students seemed to “get it.”

Keep praying for attendees as they’ve returned home that they would continue to keep commitments and be bold and relentless!

Momentum resources groups to bring the momentum home through the After Party Guide, OnTrack Devotions, and 70 day’s worth of challenges. Find the challenges on the Momentum app or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram daily. Watch the Momentum highlight video. Visit buildmomentum.org to find out more.

Youth Group in a Box – New From ON MISSION Insights

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The goal of ON MISSION Insights is to make ministry simple. Because of this we’ve designed everything you need to create an engaging, high-level youth group lesson direct from Momentum Youth Conference’s nationally recognized speakers. By taking well-known speakers such as Greg Stier, Francis Chan, Sean McDowell, and more and digging into the heart of the message, we have provided easy-to-follow talk sheets based on individual sessions presented at CE National’s Momentum Youth Conference.

Each Youth Group in a Box: Momentum Builders PDF comes with five distinct features:

  • Opener. This is a quick story, meant to kick off your youth group time, focusing your students on a similar theme which is about to be presented in the lesson.
  • Main Scripture. The main scripture is often the biblical text that the speaker expounds on during their talk. This is included so you can read this together as a group getting your student’s hearts ready for the Word.
  • Video Link. This is your link to watch the video online. (The link to download the video is available on our website.)
  • Key Points. These are essential points to discuss after the video, wrapping up the heart of the message.
  • Closing Challenges. This section’s goal is to cut to the core issues inside each video-based challenge. Plus to provide heart checks and a call to action.

The Youth Group in a Box materials are free to anyone who signs up to be a member of ON MISSION Insights. Membership is free, but if you want to try one out before you join, the Greg Stier Youth Group in a Box is available without becoming a member.

What is Mentoring?

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Simply defined: mentoring is the process of helping people to see who they can become. As I coach and consult with youth pastors, I keep these tips in mind as I guide them: Read more…

Guilty Vacationing: The Refuel of Getting Away

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Summer heightens the clash of the work/life balance. When trying to look at how to fit in ministry opportunities available because of the summer months, mixed with family vacations, reunions, sports, and getaways–it looks overwhelming. The pressure of responsibility and an opportunity to refuel rise to the surface–and it can leave you feeling torn. Read more…

Twelve-Year-Old Raises Money for Urban Hope

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Xavier Adekunle is 12 years old and attends Grace Church, Bath Campus, Akron, Ohio. Xavier went to Urban Hope for the first time last year and was so challenged by what he saw that he organized a Popsicle/backed goods sale in his neighborhood and a clothing drive at his school to help Urban Hope. Here’s Xavier talking about his fundraising efforts.

“Last year, before I went to Urban Hope for my first time, my church was raising money for them. I decided to raise money by selling Popsicles and baked goods at a stand I set up in front of my garage during my neighborhood’s annual garage sale. All proceeds were donated to Urban Hope.

“Then this year, I wanted to raise money again, but I didn’t know how I would do it, until I received a letter from CE National asking for donations for the winter time at Urban Hope.
Then I was wondering what I could do to raise money this time because I couldn’t sell Popsicles during the garage sales because that wasn’t until June, so I thought why not raise money at school!

“I scheduled a meeting with my principal and asked for any ideas and his permission to put up a stand in the school. He told me I could and let me go on the morning announcements getting the word out to bring in scarves, gloves, and hats, used or new, to help out kids in Philadelphia for the winter.

“I also asked for any money donations. I collected the stuff for a week every morning. I also used some of my own money and hard earned allowance money I got from doing chores to add up to a total of $50. I wasn’t able to send it out right away for that winter because of my busy schedule and packaging problems but a few months later I was finally able to send it out and hopefully it will be used for this year’s coming winter.”

“What a neat spirit he has,” said Ed Lewis, executive director of CE National.

If you would like to find out more about Urban Hope visit urbanhope.net.