Two Great Opportunities from Momentum: Rewind and The DEN

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Momentum Rewind features Momentum Youth Conference main session videos and select Power Trax, accompanied by discussion guides. It’s a great resource to tie in your students who weren’t able to come to Momentum 2016.

Tim Sprankle

Tim Sprankle

Special thanks to Tim Sprankle, pastor of the Grace Brethren Church in Leesburg, Indiana, who did an excellent job writing the Momentum Rewind discussion guides!



Are your students ready to start their own Bible Study at their school? Check out the resources from The Den in Orlando, Florida, which was featured in a main session and a Power Track at Momentum Youth Conference. Encourage your students to start a Den at their local school!

Operation Barnabas is on Facebook!

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Have you seen our new Operation Barnabas Facebook page? While there have been others who started alumni OB groups on Facebook, this is the first “official” OB Facebook page maintained by CE National and the OB home office.

Facebook is a good way for parents and churches to become more familiar with who we are and follow us for the latest news and updates. Would you take a few moments to go to our new OB Facebook page and “like” us? And, if you go to the right-hand sidebar of the page, it has the option for you to invite your friends to “like” the OB page.

Operation Barnabas also has a presence on both Instagram and Twitter. Please follow us on these social media sites as well and help us get out the word about the ministry of OB by liking, commenting, and re-posting our news!



instagram-logooperationbarnabas_ce twitter_logoOB__CE

Learning About God at Camp Conquest

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Small group time at Camp Conquest

Small group time at Camp Conquest

71 campers and 42 staff members from Urban Hope are enjoying Camp Conquest. Along with archery, the giant swing, hiking, and other fun activities, campers are learning that God is their Father and if they come to Him in faith, He will make them adopted children.

Let’s Know the Bible Conference

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CE National is a proud sponsor of the “Let’s Know the Bible Annual Conference” held in Winona Lake, Indiana, September 10 and 11.

Check out this video and find out about this great opportunity to learn more about God’s Word!

More information can be found here. Tickets can be purchased here.

CE National Celebrates Its First 50 Years

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“They want me!” Ed Lewis

We thank God for the first 50 years as a Church Effectiveness ministry.  Here is a piece that was produced many years ago by our organization when it went by the name “Grace Brethren Church Christian Education.”  Take a look at this “silent film” and enjoy its humor!  See if you can recognize some friends who were a part of the production!!

Announcing the 2016 Momentum’s Got Talent Winners

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Momentum’s Got Talent gives students the opportunity to hone their up-front talents for ministry. Here are the 2016 winners from the event which takes place during Momentum Youth Conference.

  • Kody Baker and Tiffany Tabor with “Keys to the Kingdom” from Happy Church, Jackson, Kentucky
  • Brian Jackson with “Good, Good Father” from Spirit of Faith Christian Center, Temple Hills, Maryland
  • Addy Crocker with “Greater Plan” from Grace Church, Norton, Ohio
  • Blake Cruise, Rachel Brown, Micayla Kesterson with “Scandal of Grace” from Grace Brethren Church, Marysville, Ohio

Each were given scholarships to Grace College, Winona Lake, Indiana and Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Momentum Rewind – Videos Plus Group Discussion Guides of Momentum Main Session Speakers

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Momentum Rewind is the opportunity to “rewind” the week for your students who experienced the week first-hand and for students who were not able to attend Momentum. Use these engaging, high-level youth group lessons direct from Momentum Youth Conference’s nationally recognized speakers. Dig into the heart of the message with the provided easy-to-follow discussion guides based on individual sessions and seminars.

What’s in the Momentum Rewind Sessions?

  • Prompt: Each lesson begins with a question or illustration to peak interest.
  • Play: Each lesson has a link to a recording of the main speaker’s lesson.
  • Process: Each lesson provides follow up Bible passages and reflection questions.
  • Pray: Each lesson closes with an opportunity for accountability and prayer.

Visit to download the videos and discussion guides.

Great Evangelism Training Available for Free!

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Greg Laurie

Greg Laurie

CE National is committed to helping students, churches, and leaders share their faith in Jesus. So much of what this Church Effectiveness ministry is about is equipping people to show and share the love of Jesus, be it through Momentum Youth Conference, Operation Barnabas, Urban Hope Training Center and the National Institute, to name just a few…

Here is a FREE resource provided by a friend of CE National. Pastor Greg Laurie, a main session speaker at Momentum Youth Conference, and an internationally known pastor and evangelist, has a new evangelism training program called “Tell Someone” available at no cost. Now that is a good deal! This six session, on-line program involves video training, suggested memory verses, and a quiz to help track the most important information. Great material for personal growth and small groups!
Check it out here.

CE National Honors Presented at Momentum 2016

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Travis with  his wife, Lauren

Travis with his wife, Lauren

During the week of the Momentum youth conference (July 26-31) at Cedarville University, two CE National Honors were presented during a main session before over 2,200 people. Last week we shared that Tony and Kelly Vitrano (Grace Church in Akron, Ohio) were presented as the youth staff members of the year. The Youth Pastor of the Year award was also presented at the conference during that same session.

CE National is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2016 Youth Pastor of the Year award is Travis Smith from Grace Fellowship in Pickerington, Ohio.
Travis previously worked in the television industry and now has been working at Grace Fellowship for four years. Since working at Grace Fellowship, the student ministry has grown from 30 to over 350 students in grades 6 to 12.

Travis changed the focus of the ministry to a groups model, where students are discipled and leaders are equipped. He has been effective in ministry through the growing phases of Grace Fellowship with both additional campuses and a “portable” church.
Congratulations Travis! Thank you for your outstanding work with students for the cause of Christ!

Operation Barnabas 2017 Administrative Team Leader Announced!

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Christian and Rebecca Mcalister

Christian and Rebecca McAllister

CE National is pleased to announce that Pastor Christian McAllister will be serving as one of the Operation Barnabas Administrative team leaders for the summer of 2017!

Christian and Rebecca come to us from Palmyra, Pennsylvania, where Christian has served on staff at Palmyra Grace Brethren Church for the past 7 years.

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Christian is an Operation Barnabas alumni having participated as a high school student in 1990. Over the years Christian has encouraged many students (including his oldest daughter) to participate on OB teams. He has seen first-hand the tremendous impact this training ministry has on the local church and the lives of the student participants.

Rebecca grew up in Worthington, Ohio, and has had the pleasure of discipling many young women as they seek after God. She has a passion to see teen girls make Christ the central focus of their lives and overcome issues of self-worth.

Christian and Rebecca met as camp counselors in high school and have been married for 23 years. They have worked together in ministry for more than 13 years leading children, teens, and short-term mission teams both in the states and abroad. They are the proud parents of seven children, Victoria (15), Tyler (13), Eben (12), Calum (10), Caitlynn (8), Liam (6), and Fiona (3). They’re excited to serve together and invest in the lives of students this summer while getting to involve their whole family in this life-changing discipleship process.

Timothy Kurtaneck, the director of Operation Barnabas, said, “Having Christian and Rebecca on board as OB leaders for this coming summer is a real blessing. They have significant ministry experience. The OB students from our team this past summer loved connecting with them when we were together for the StreetWise experience in Philly. I am confident God is going to use them in significant ways in churches and in the lives of students this coming summer.”

OB 2017 is June 18 – July 11 and will begin with orientation in Winona Lake, Indiana, before teams deploy. The team led by Christian will include ministry in Washington DC, New York City, and Philadelphia, partnering with StreetWise conference at Urban Hope Training Center.

Applications and more information are available at

Bible Quizzing Winners at Momentum Youth Conference

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Top Quizzers honored at Momentum Youth Conference

Top Quizzers honored at Momentum Youth Conference

The national quiz team competition took place during Momentum Youth Conference.

  • The top five quizzers were:Rebecca Troutner from Grace Polaris Church, Worthington, Ohio, in the North Central Ohio District
  • Ty Swartzentruber from Grace Church, Ashland, Ohio, in the North East Ohio District
  • Abbey Radcliffe from Grace Church, Wooster, Ohio, in the North East Ohio District
  • Joel Slaughter from Grace Polaris Church, Worthington, Ohio, in the North Central Ohio District
  • McKenna Hennell from Grace Polaris Church, Worthington, Ohio, in the North Central Ohio District

Members of the winning team were:

  • Rebecca Troutner from Grace Polaris Church, Worthington, Ohio, in the North Central Ohio District
  • Abby Radcliffe from Grace Church, Wooster, Ohio, in the North East Ohio District
  • Jennifer Davis from Hope Grace Brethren Church, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania in the North Atlantic District

Examples of Long-term Commitment to Making a Difference

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CE National values the long-term contributions of people who remain faithful in ministry.  Psalm 71:18 says that the older we become the greater the responsibility we have towards the next generation. We have a number of friends who continue to be used by God in His work for His glory. We would like to honor three of these friends who turn 90 this month.

May the Lord continue to use you to a make a real difference in the lives of others as you have been doing for decades!
2016_aug_12_90_kentDr. Homer Kent, Jr.

Raised a preacher’s kid, Dr. Kent was part of a Grace Brethren church his entire life. His dad, Homer Kent, Sr., was pastor of a church in Washington, DC. When Dr. Kent was 14 they moved to Winona Lake, Indiana, where his dad was asked to teach students at Grace Seminary how to be pastors. After college Dr. Kent began his 50-year teaching career at Grace College and Seminary. He taught New Testament and Greek and served as president for 10 years. Dr. Kent continues to be active in his church, Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church.

Dr. Kent will be 90 on August 13. If you would like to send a birthday card, mail it to 305 Sixth St. Winona Lake, IN 46590

2016_aug_12_90_smithPastor Bill Smith

Pastor Smith has been a true renaissance man in his life, doing everything from selling cars to preaching in church revival meetings, but has always had a passion to share Christ with those he encounters, no matter what his vocation was at the time. Bill served with the Grace Brethren Board of Evangelism, as well as with Grace Brethren Home Missions and pastored churches in California, Indiana, and Florida. He has especially been used by God to encourage struggling churches to become thriving and outward reaching. He and his wife Phyllis have recently moved to Grace Village in Winona Lake, where he enjoys speaking in chapel services. Bill turned 90 on August 5.

Bill’s daughter, Sherilyn Rank, is the Operation Barnabas Coordinator for CE National.

2016_aug_12_90_risserPastor Dean Risser

Pastor Risser was the pastor of Grace Brethren churches in Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. He also played a key role in Vision Ohio and missions for the North Central Ohio district.  Pastor Risser will be 90 on August 26.

If you would like to surprise him on his birthday, send a card to 821 Ohio Street, Ashland, OH 44805.

The Bridge at Momentum Youth Conference a Success

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The Bridge was an amazing success during Momentum Youth Conference 2016. Youth pastors and senior pastors got together for special training and discussion on how to encourage the next generation to stay active and involved in the local church. Over 80 participated in the opportunity led by Pastor Keith Minier and Youth Pastor Travis Smith from Grace Fellowship in Pickerington, Ohio.

Scott Feather

Scott Feather

Cory Murphy

Cory Murphy

One of the exciting things about The Bridge was a $1000 drawing for a ministry. The recipients were Scott Feather, Cory Murphy, and Gateway Grace Community Church in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania.

This was the second consecutive year The Bridge was offered at Momentum. Plans are being laid for another great opportunity at next year’s youth conference held the third week of July at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Encourage your pastors to start making plans now to attend and win a great grand prize! Visit to find out more.

Youth Staff Members of the Year Announced at Momentum 2016

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Each year, awards are given to coincide with living ON MISSION, a Church of the Year, a Wall of Honor recipient, and Faithfulness Awards. During the week of the Momentum Youth Conference (July 26-31) at Cedarville University, a special couple was recognized for making a difference in the next generation for the cause of Christ.

The 2016 Youth Staff Members of the Year are Tony and Kelly Vitrano, from Grace Church, in Akron, Ohio.

2016_aug_12_award_vitranoTony and Kelly have been on Youth Staff at Grace Church of Greater Akron for 6 years—with Tony volunteering his time in high school ministry and Kelly volunteering with middle school girls every Wednesday night. Both making it a point to get together with their groups frequently, going to sporting events, school functions, and connecting individually with students throughout the week.

Tony and Kelly are intentional with the students, taking serious interest in the students’ lives and walking with them in their journey closer to Christ. The students love them and seek them out wherever they go! They are always eager to learn how to better impact students’ lives by going to training/equipping conferences (CE National’s CELS and Momentum plus Willow Creek’s Orange conference), and serving many times at the Urban Hope Training Center.

Todd Shoemaker, youth pastor at Grace Church says, “We are blessed to have Tony and Kelly as a part of our team. God is using them in incredible ways to impact the next generation!”

Congratulations Tony and Kelly! Thank you for your outstanding work with students for the cause of Christ!

A Great Source of Re-tooling for Our Pastoral Staff – Pastor Greg Serafino on The Coaching Clinic

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Ed Short, CE National consultant to churches and pastors, will be leading a second coaching clinic for pastors and church staff on September 26-28, at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia, Pa. (210 East Tioga St., Philadelphia, PA)

“We have designed The Coaching Clinic to help you see ministry as a team sport.” says Ed Short. “As a pastor who loves football, I have come to believe that if we are to effectively lead our churches we will need to develop the mindset of a coach. Most of us are not superstars and fortunately for us, that plays to our advantage in coaching those within our influence to own and carry out the ministry.

Pastor Greg Serafino, Osceola, Indiana, talks about the Coaching Clinic
“The Coaching Clinic, led by Ed Short, was a great source of introspection, evaluation and re-tooling for our pastoral staff. The information may not be revolutionary or unique but it IS eye-opening if you can get past the “monuments” or “entrenched program” idea and willingly think these principles through in a biblical and practical perspective. Ed is engaging, authentic and very experienced in pastoral ministry. He is an excellent individual coach and allows for much discussion among peers to come to transformational results both personally and corporately.”

Visit to find out more and to register.

Sean McDowell Guest Speaker at StreetWise Conference

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CE National’s StreetWise experience at Urban Hope will help you gain a passion for telling others about Christ as well as the tools and real life experience that will make you confident God can use you to reach your community.

2016_aug_12_sw_mcdowellStreetWise is July 4-9, 2017, at the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia.  Learn from Sean McDowell as he will be speaking the entire week.

Find out more at