Who is involved in the planning of each Youth EnCounter?
Once interest has been expressed, the VBMB’s Learning Communities Coach will meet with the initiating contact person (usually a youth minister or a director of missions from a BGAV church or association). Other youth ministers, pastors, or youth leaders in the region will also be invited to the initial (exploratory) meeting to discuss the possibilities. At the initial meeting the framework for the event, viability for hosting, and other considerations will be discussed, and if everyone on the team is affirming of the decision to host, then a tentative date for the event will be discussed and placed on the calendar. Future meetings are then set to allow ample time for specific areas of responsibility to be assigned and implemented.
How do you choose the host locations for each Youth EnCounter event?
There are no set criteria for choosing locations, except for passion, perspiration, and prayer. We do try to be comprehensive in our coverage so that each region of the state will be able to have a Youth EnCounter close to them within a three-year time span. If you want to host a Youth EnCounter in your area, we will do what we can to make it happen, but the energy must come from the host churches in the region. Simply put, Youth EnCounter comes to you…not the other way around!
Is there a specific agenda for planning a Youth EnCounter?
No. We do not come to the table with any preset agenda, other than partnering with churches and associations to plan an event that will attract pre-Christian students to hear the gospel and Christian students to be inspired and challenged to live out their faith more dangerously than ever before. Each Youth EnCounter is unique. Most are one-day events, but some are longer. It depends on the desires of each host region and how much financial support is available to undergird the event.
How far in advance should we plan a Youth EnCounter for it to be successful?
Usually a good rule of thumb is to plan at least one year in advance. While this is the suggested timeline, it is not concrete. Modifications can be made if sufficient groundwork already exists for supporting and implementing the event. But for the sake of publicity and communication, the one-year timeline is preferred.
What are the obligations of the host church/association for each Youth EnCounter?
The most important obligation of the host is to initiate contact with other youth ministers, pastors, and leaders in the area who have a shared passion for reaching students in the community with the gospel and bringing them to the table as the event is being planned. The host church and/or association will also be responsible for many of the local arrangements, such as providing space for worship services, coordinating local publicity with other churches (even reaching out ecumenically in a community), and arranging meals and lodging for the speaker and worship leaders, if needed.
Is there a cost to host a Youth EnCounter event?
The churches or associations that are involved in planning a Youth EnCounter are generally asked to provide most of the financial backing. This helps to insure that as many events as possible remain free to those who attend.
What will the Virginia Baptist Mission Board provide to support each of the Youth EnCounter events?
We may provide financial support (a maximum of $1,500) for your event. We will also provide graphic design assistance to develop the publicity, including two postcard mailings and 2-3 emails to nearby BGAV churches and associations. The planning team may choose to provide a mailing list of local non-BGAV churches to include in the mailings and emails.
How do we develop a budget and choose event personalities for a Youth EnCounter?
The total of the financial commitments of all the churches that are involved in planning a particular Youth EnCounter is added to the VBMB contribution to establish the overall budget for the event. Once the overall budget figure is known, then the planning team can choose speakers, worship leaders, etc., based on the available funds. The Learning Communities Coach can work with the planning team to assist in securing leaders within the determined budget parameters.
Who do I contact for more information about hosting a Youth EnCounter in my church or association?
If you are interested in exploring the feasibility of hosting a future Youth EnCounter in your area, email Karen Rackett or call 800.255.2428, ext. 2243.
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