A Letter from the Rio Texas Conference Student Design Team

Dear Pastors and Youth Workers of the Rio Texas Conference,

This letter is written on behalf of the Rio Texas Conference Student Design Team. We are excited to reach out to communicate what’s going on with youth ministry for our Rio Texas conference. One of our main goals as a team is to be as open and transparent with the conference as possible, and to that end, we would like to update you on what we have been doing and where are going. The reason for the letter is that we want you in on the process and included with everything going on with youth ministry at the conference level.

Expect to be updated as we grow and develop and prayerfully discern where God is calling our conference in youth ministry. We want you in on the journey so that you know what is happening. God is doing something new in the Rio Texas Conference, and, as all of God’s creation, it is good. Please be patient with us as we grow into this newness. 

Who are we? - We are a group of youth workers and student leaders whom have been invited by the district superintendents to prayerfully counsel how God is pursuing the Rio Texas Conference to blossom and thrive in our ministry to the youth. Our goal is listen, pray, and design avenues for the conference to support you in the work you are doing, so that we together can deepen the reach of Jesus' Kingdom.

What are we doing? – The Rio Texas Conference is brand new. We are still forming. It will take time to design, create, and implement how the conference can best support the youth ministries you are shepherding. We ask for both your patience and action. It will take us time to create a support structure to best support each of your districts.  During this time, and possibly ongoing, there will be no conference based youth camps, retreats, or youth leadership counsel. So we ask that you take action at developing these opportunities within each of your districts. We ask this especially for the 2015 summer season, as there will be no conference events. We ask that you meet with your churches in your district. Design and create youth leadership and service opportunities to help create those opportunities for the youth in your district. Several districts have already been doing this with great success!

As for the Mid-Winter retreats, we are currently discerning and planning for what that opportunity might become. Please pray for this group so that we may see God's vision of how we might be lead into the 2016 season and beyond. We will be meeting on May 25th to continue the discernment on how the conference can best support this ministry. Please pray for our group as we continue to meet.

Leadership from the ground up. - In the forming of our new conference we are looking to find ways to better empower leadership from within local church. Instead of so many resources going into programming from a conference level, our goal is to find how the conference can support impactful and renewing ministries within the districts. This is a new perspective for many of our churches. However, there is great fruit that can produce in this new soil, and it is our team’s goal to figure out how the conference can best support this new perspective.

We will be in touch with more soon. - Look forward to hearing from our team throughout the next year. We will be meeting one to two times a month. As God shapes the ministry, we will update you so that you can be a part of the dialogue. If you would like to contribute any input, please feel free to reach out to Bob Allen ballen@riotexas.org or any of us on the team. We are striving hard to listen to the voice of God in our midst, and it could very well be coming from you! 

Please be in prayer for us and for our new conference, and know that we are praying for you. Thank you for your ministry, and your commitment to see young people thrive in faith. May God bless you and your endeavors. 

Blessings on behalf of the Rio Texas Conference Students Design Team,

Wes Cain and David Chambers