Our Vision for Ministry
RYM exists to reach youth for Christ and equip them to serve. For over 40 years we have fulfilled our mission by providing conferences for youth that are word driven, God centered and gospel focused. God has blessed RYM, growing us from our original one conference to now six conferences that are reaching and equipping students in the South, Southeast, West and Mid-Atlantic. We give all praise to God for the abundant grace He has extended to us, and the 4,000 students and youth leaders who attend our conferences.
However, we are only scratching the surface of what needs to be done for the sake of Christ’s kingdom through RYM. We have a growing burden that the youth culture of our cities and nation be transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have a growing burden that the disintegrating family be restored by the gospel of Jesus Christ. How can we serve the church in extending His kingdom in these ways? Our plan of action focuses on three primary areas: conferences, training, and resources.
RYM conferences seek to reach the unbeliever for Christ and establish the believer in Christ through dynamic expository preaching, biblically faithful and relevant teaching, and effective small group interaction. In the midst of the attractions and idolatries that envelop our youth, they must have a passion for Christ! We love only because He first loved us. Therefore, we want to nourish their hearts and minds with the glory and goodness of God in Christ so that they can say with Paul, “the love of Christ constrains us.” As Christ captures the minds and hearts of these students, we want to see them grow in grace, embrace a biblical world and life view, be encouraged in Christian fellowship and service in and through the local church, and possess a growing zeal for evangelism and missions. We hold our conferences in places that are noted for their beautiful display of God’s wondrous creation so that students may be influenced by the two great books of God: the book of scripture and the book of nature. RYM conferences provide the opportunity for church youth groups to interact with one another in a beautiful, fun, learning environment that encourages unity, community, and depth of relationship with God and one another.
We currently provide the following youth conferences:
As we look to the future our plan is to expand our youth conferences in the following ways:
A. Continue to stabilize and grow our existing conferences.
B. Establish contacts in new regions for future RYM conferences with a goal of having an RYM youth conference in every region of the country.
C. Provide Mercy in Missions Projects in strategic cities in the United States.
In many cases, youth leaders are very young, lack seminary training, and are not intentionally guided by core values and a coherent philosophy of ministry. So many of them have a love for Jesus and a heart for youth but simply lack the theological, philosophical, and methodological foundation upon which to build an effective ministry to youth and families. RYM is committed to providing this for them.
Therefore, we are:
1. Working in conjunction with Reformed University Ministries to develop training material that adapts their philosophy of ministry to the junior high and high school contexts.
2. Organically recruiting a growing base of youth leaders for training.
3. Providing a national youth-leader training conference annually in order to help cultivate a theology/philosophy of ministry in the lives and ministries of church youth workers.
4. Entering into partnerships with reformed seminaries that will provide discounted tuition rates for those youth leaders and interns affiliated with RYM with the aim of encouraging them toward ordination.
5. Creating connections and community among youth leaders within their regions.
6. Casting a vision for the legitimacy of long-term covenantal youth and family ministry.
7. Developing a plan for the ongoing encouragement of youth leaders in their significant callings.
We have also created a RYM church internship program that will benefit the local church in her ministry as well as the intern in both his/her present and future ministries.
RYM interns are college graduates who have a heart for reaching youth for Christ and equipping them to serve. They are trained by RYM and placed as apprentices into partnering churches for a period of at least two years. Under the oversight of a RYM trained youth minister, pastor, or church planter, an intern will learn ministry to junior high and high school students in the context of the local church, reach out to un-churched students in the local schools and community with the aim of bringing them into the local church, gain experience both in leading small group bible studies and in one-to-one relational ministry, take eight seminary courses over a two year span, and apply himself/herself to the study of God’s word through the RYM study program.
RYM church interns raise 50% of their support through RYM and the partnering church contributes the other 50% thus making it more affordable for churches to acquire much needed help in the area of youth and family ministry.
RYM is not concerned to create a large group dynamic in local schools that will inevitably compete with the ministry of the local churches. Rather it is our desire to bring students into the large group of the local church where they may learn of Jesus and His word in the context of a covenant community. The RYM church internship program is an ideal way for young men and women to gain the experience and education they will need for a lifetime of ministry.
RYM does not exist to compete with the church but to be a helpful resource for the church in her ministry to youth and families.
Therefore, we are:
A. Expanding the RYM website (www.rymonline.org) so that it becomes a theological, philosophical, and practical resource for youth leaders, students, and parents.
B. Developing and gathering web-based bible study material (written, audio, and video) for youth leaders, students, and parents.
C. Reviewing and recommending existing curriculum that we believe will be of benefit to churches in their ministries to youth and families.
D. Providing a consulting service to churches in the area of youth and family ministry.
E. Helping churches find youth directors and interns that fit their context.
F. Informing high school students about the ministry of Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) on the college campus so that they can connect with it when they leave home for college. It is our strong desire that students become involved in a local church and RUF ministry for their spiritual well being during their college years.
Our intention for the future is to use our web-based initiative as a foundation for publishing curriculum, devotional guides, and discipleship material for students, youth leaders, and parents.
It is our prayer that the ministry focus of RYM (conferences, training, and resources for the church) will be used by our great Savior to encourage and equip churches in their ministries to youth and families, strengthen the ministry of RUF, and help transform the youth culture in general. In short, we desire to influence the church for generations.
We need churches and individuals to embrace our vision for the future and become partners with us in making it a reality. We need your financial support and your commitment to pray fervently and faithfully for the ministry of RYM. Would you join us in being used of God in truly producing a reformed youth movement in the 21st century?