Our Heart and Vision for the Next Generation

Bailey ButtersChildren's Ministry, Discipleship, General, Youth and Young Adult Ministry

At the Intentional Growth Center of Lake Junaluska, our passion is to serve people who serve God. We know that serving God is incredibly rewarding, but also challenging, so we want to help. This is especially true for those who have a vital role in the lives of young people. Every year, the Intentional Growth Center of Lake Junaluska has the honor of engaging over 1,000 young people at IGC’s Confirmation Retreats, entitled “I Promise.” This year we have asked critical questions about how we can better serve those who serve God in the lives of young people and how we can leverage these weekends to honor Christ in greater ways. Here are our promises and vision.

To Know Christ and His Grace.
We believe that the decision to profess faith in Jesus Christ before family, friends and the congregation is the most critical decision a young person will make. Pastors and those working alongside young people long for this decision to be both personal and profound. We get this. Our weekend worship services and messages are now designed to create an atmosphere of trust and encouragement. Through our team of keynote speakers, young people will understand God’s pursuit of them (prevenient grace), God’s love and forgiveness expressed in Christ and the cross (justifying grace), and the power and wisdom God offers as we grow into the likeness of Christ for effective witness (sanctifying grace). We promise to present engaging messages in a theologically-focused, inspiring, positive, and encouraging worship environment so that young people will be prepared and excited to take the next step in their spiritual journey.

To Be a Meaningful Part of the Body of Christ.
We believe that youth are the church of today. Their participation is vital to worship, prayer gatherings, stewardship initiatives, mission, service, and witness. Through IGC’s Confirmation workshops, young people will come to a deeper understanding of how God has gifted and equipped them to serve and give. We’re partnering with ZOE to help young people understand the power of generosity, and we are committed to teaching young people how to pray, the value of keeping a prayer journal, and how they can be a vital part of their congregation’s ministry in the community. We’re giving greater voice to the young people exploring their faith, and leaving time for questions and answers as we prepare them to make a meaningful commitment.

To Experience Sacred Connection.
The strength of our United Methodist Church is found in its connectional nature. Young people who take part in IGC’s Confirmation weekends will come to profoundly understand the United Methodist Church worldwide and how Christ leverages geographical, ethnic, racial, and cultural diversity for His mission and message in the world. Lake Junaluska provides an unparalleled setting for young people to form friendships across the Southeastern Jurisdiction, to experience our theological foundations at the World Methodist Museum, and to make the journey to the iconic cross as countless people have done in the past. Today’s young people are busier than any generation in the past. The increased globalization of the world has put immense pressure upon today’s youth. More than ever, they need a place to get away from the pace of their lives, to disconnect from technology, and to form sacred connections that give theological shape to their lives.

To Leave No One Out.
Our desire is for every young person to know Christ and to experience and know God’s heart. At the Intentional Growth Center, our vision and promise are not only to the youth who attend the Confirmation weekends but to all the youth of the jurisdiction. We are aware that throughout the Southeast there are many underserved United Methodist congregations whose ministry budgets do not afford their young people an opportunity for a Confirmation retreat. That is why we created the “Promise for Every Youth” initiative. We are committed to offering scholarship opportunities to congregations in financially underserved communities whose youth want to come and experience the spiritual richness and beauty of Lake Junaluska. We’re working toward greater inclusion of youth, greater diversity among our student leaders and speakers, and increasing the awareness of God’s plan to leverage diversity for kingdom purposes. To learn more about scholarship opportunities, email Leslie Butters at lbutters@intentionalgrowthcenter.org.

To receive information about IGC’s Confirmation Weekends visit us at www.intentionalgrowthcenter.org and subscribe to our email list. You will be able to select the topics that interest you, so be sure to select “Youth.”

Most of all, we ask for your prayers. Our young people carry our faith and hope into the future. We’re committed to excellence in partnership. We, in turn, will be praying for you and your ministry across the jurisdiction for it is our joy to serve all who serve God.

David Lee Davis, Executive Director

Here are some important links:
Find us here: intentionalgrowthcenter.org

Learn about our Confirmation retreats: intentionalgrowthcenter.org/confirmation/

ZOE Project: wearezoe.org

The Promise for Every Youth: Give here