Youth Councils 2015

Youth Councils 2015 Poster - Final Draft (20 x 20)

What is Youth Councils?

Youth Councils is a three day retreat specifically for Jr. High, High School and college age youth to be challenged and strengthened in their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Who can attend Youth Councils?

We have two tracks to set up so that we can tailor everything to the specific needs of your youth. To attend the Jr. High Track, youth must be in 6th, 7th or 8th grade by April 10, 2015. In order to be in the High School Track, youth need to be in 9th grade-age 25 by that same date.

When is Youth Councils 2015?

Youth Councils 2015 is being held from April 10-12, 2015 at Wonderland Camp & Conference Center.  Click here to see a schedule of the weekend.

What is the theme for Youth Councils 2015?

The theme is RISE ABOVE, and it’s based on Colossians 3:1 (NASB): “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

As we walk through this life, it can be really easy to forget that our identity is hidden in Christ and not in the things of this world.  So many things around us try to tell us that our worth and way of life are wrapped up in money, relationships, school, choosing the right major, what we do or don’t own – earthly things – when the reality couldn’t be more different.  We will meditate on this truth, that our lives should be wrapped up in the reality of Christ seated at the right hand of God.

Who are the special guests?

Daniel Wallace

daniel wallace

Daniel Wallace is the Executive Director of Gull Lake Ministries, a Christian conference center and family resort in Hickory Corners, Michigan.  Prior to moving north, he was the Senior Director of Camps at a camp and conference center in Texas, overseeing six separate facilities which ministered to families, senior high, junior high and grade school students.  Daniel has over 30 summers of Christian camping experience in Michigan, Texas, Missouri and Kansas.

Daniel graduated summa cum laude from Evangel University in 1989 with a BA in Accounting.  He attended Dallas Theological Seminary and completed his education at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary with a MA in Ministry Leadership.  Daniel is a licensed minister of the Gospel and a popular conference speaker for adult and youth events across the United States and Canada. Daniel is also a member of the core teaching team for Gracespring Bible Church in Richland, Michigan.

Daniel and his wife, Michelle, have been married for twenty-four years.  They have three daughters, Danielle (20), Noelle (18) and Gabrielle (16) and a son, Isaac (14). We are super excited that Daniel will be joining us as the Jr. High Track guest speaker.



Mark Oestreicher has been involved in church ministry his whole life, particularly with teenagers and youth workers. Marko has had a broad experience working in churches in roles ranging from Junior High Pastor to Executive Pastor. For 11 years, Marko was at Youth Specialties in San Diego, an organization that trains and equips church youth workers – the last 8 of those years as president. Concurrently, Marko was also a part of the leadership team of Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI).

Marko has authored or contributed to more than 60 books, including the much-talked-about Youth Ministry 3.0. Marko is a partner in The Youth Cartel, providing resources, training and coaching for church youth workers and blogs regularly at Marko has been married to Jeannie for 26 years, and has two teenage children, Liesl and Max.  We are super excited that Marko will be joining us as the speaker for the High School Track.

You can follow Marko on Twitter and Instagram.

Amena Brown + DJ Opdiggy

Amena Brown’s words excite, ignite and inspire. Whether in front of audiences as intimate as 50 or as sprawling as 20,000, she has something to say that matters.

Amena’s debut book release, Breaking Old Rhythms: Answering the Call of a Creative God, explores how experiences such as deejaying, learning to dance, having a broken heart, and practicing the rules of improv can teach us about our life’s rhythm and how we can better tune our ears and lives to the rhythm of God. The author of spoken word CD Live at Java Monkey, she and her husband, Matt, also known as DJ Opdiggy, travel and perform a presentation of poetry, monologue and deejaying. They also host a regular open mic in Atlanta every fifth Thursday at Urban Grind Coffee. She also speaks at conferences and events for high school and college students, young adults, and women, where she has facilitated several workshops and breakout sessions on creativity, singleness, relationships, writing, building artistic community and becoming an artist entrepreneur.  Learn more at and

You can follow Amena on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and you can also follow DJ Opdiggy on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well.  Also, check them out in action in the videos and Spotify playlist below.

Trip Lee

As a young boy, Lee had dreams of being a professional athlete or a famous rapper, and he began to hone his lyrical skills at the age of 12. Upon giving his life to Christ, at age 14, his focus changed from fortune, fame, and women to serving and ministering the Gospel. Lee slowly recognized that all of his life should be centered on Christ.

In 2004, Lee met Lecrae at a concert; months later, after talking and building with each other, Lecrae began to disciple him. While still in high school, Lee was given the opportunity to pen a few devotionals for the Reach Records website that dealt with theological matters and showcased his spiritual maturity.

Lee signed with Reach Records, and his debut album, If They Only Knew, was released a few days after his high school graduation. His first full-length album introduced hip-hop fans to his distinct southern sound, unique delivery, and gospel-saturated lyrics.

On October 27, 2014, Trip Lee released his fifth studio album, Rise. On January 27, 2015 he releasing his second book called Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story to accompany the album.

He is currently training to be a pastor at his local church, while still engaging in public ministry.  Learn more about Trip at his website,

You can follow Trip on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and check him out in action below.

What’s the missions fundraiser this year?

This year we are asking each corps to raise $100 for World Services. Corps will be divided into groups of 7 and together will support the children’s ministry at one location.

Raising more than $700 total is certainly encouraged and attainable! We are pleased to share that the Youth Department has already raised over $300 towards this goal. BOOYA!

During Youth Councils we will have a time of celebration for monies raised for each ministry location. Please send a total of how much you have raised to the Youth Department by Thursday, April 2 so we can put a grand total together for our Missions Celebration at Youth Councils.

To find out which location you’re raising money for, and to get some fundraising ideas, check out this PDF.


How do I register for Youth Councils 2015?

See your Corps Officer or Youth Leader to sign up!  There are a few things you’ll need to do in that process:

  1. Fill out a health form.
  2. Read the list of workshops, and sign up for your 1st, 2nd and 3rd preference (High School Track only).

Don’t delay!  Registration will be due on Monday, March 30, 2015!