The mission of Christ In Youth is to amplify Christ’s call on students’ lives to be Kingdom workers. It’s been an official mission statement for the organization that has existed for more than a decade, but in truth, it has been an unspoken mission since CIY’s first forays into youth ministry in 1968. One of the primary verses that has driven the ministry of CIY over the years has been Matthew 9:37, which says: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” (NLT)
The call to Kingdom work is a high calling from Christ ... but what exactly does it mean to be a Kingdom worker? To put it succinctly: it’s using your gifts, talents and abilities in service to God’s Kingdom. It’s looking intentionally, every day, for moments in which to bring glory to God.
“A Kingdom worker is somebody who takes whatever God gives them – whether that’s a talent, whether it’s a circle of influence, whether it’s a relationship or even an opportunity at work or school – and says, ‘How can I use this to advance the message of Christ?’” said Eric Epperson, CIY’s senior director of Æffect. “Another question they ask is: ‘How can I use this to bring Heaven to earth, and live out Kingdom principles through whatever God has given me?’”
Christ In Youth was founded 50 years ago with the desire to partner with churches in reaching students and maturing them in their faith. CIY President Andy Hansen said that mission continues today, with its eyes on the future.
“CIY continues to provide trips, events and resources that are valued by the local church in accomplishing a common goal – to call the lives of students from this generation to become a movement of Kingdom workers; to give the best of their gifts and abilities to God,” Hansen said. “The first 50 years have been historic. Would you dream and imagine what the next 50 could be? With prayers and support, it certainly will be a faith-filled and exciting half century.”
Kingdom work is such a driving motivation for CIY that one of its programs – Engage – literally exists to train students for a life of Kingdom work. Through international mission trips, Engage challenges students to learn from Kingdom workers in other cultures and discover how God works through various situations, social justice issues and the church to affect change on a global level. Students return home from these trips ready to embrace Kingdom work in their own homes and communities.
Read the rest of this article from the latest issue of the “Kingdom Worker Connection” magazine here.