A great way to UNLOCK LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL is to present a student with a challenge…
…and what challenging days we have ahead of us!
The COVID-19 virus has caused tremendous disruption in our everyday routines, from school calendars to date-nights to grocery shopping to Sunday services and every event in-between—including several of our Conference Fine Arts Festivals. Several Conference Discipleship Ministry Directors and Fine Arts Coordinators have recently had to make the difficult decision to cancel their Conference Festivals in response to national, state, and local executive orders.
Let me first affirm each of you for your courage to make that tough choice; having spoken with several of you, I know the anguish you faced in cancelling those events.
After working closely with Ron Fredericks, our National Fine Arts Festival Coordinator, and Bishop Tommy McGhee, Executive Director of Discipleship Ministries, we have arrived at what we believe is a fair and equitable decision for all students participating in Fine Arts this year. In an unprecedented move, we have elected to allow every student to register and participate in the National Fine Arts Festival in Jacksonville, Florida, July 18-21, 2020, regardless of the status of their Conference Festival. In other words, if a student registered in time to participate in their Conference event, then they will be automatically advanced to the National Competition, whether or not their Conference held the event. Ron Fredericks has issued a memo in conjunction with this statement that outlines more specific details for Conference Directors and Coordinators. (Click here to read this memo.)
This decision has undoubtedly raised other questions, especially related to YouthQuest and the National Fine Arts Festival. As of today, our National YQ/FAF Event will still happen in July in Jacksonville, FL, as planned. We cannot yet see around this COVID-19 corner to what the future holds, so we will continue to march forward until we are otherwise directed. As it relates to scores, scholarships, and our colleges, we will be working with our institutional leaders to answer these questions in the coming days.
In the meanwhile, let me encourage you to remain positive, and to continue supporting students as they pursue ministry with their God-given gifts and abilities. Now, more than ever, our culture is changing rapidly, and we need to give this generation every opportunity to prepare to share the Good News in every possible way.
I’ve often found that teenagers rise to the occasion of a challenge. Let’s not lose heart, nor grow weary in well-doing.
Let’s continue to develop these leaders and help them unlock their Kingdom potential.
Stephen Jones, Student Ministries Advisory Team Leader
**If you have questions, please contact the National Discipleship Ministries office (email@example.com) or Ron Fredericks, National Fine Arts Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).**