By: Dezaray Barr
Randall James Davis is the Chief Ministries Officer of the National Network of Youth Ministries. He gradated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1986 with a degree in Christian Ministries. “IWU gave me a great start in ministry,” Davis said. “It helped me connect with ministries across the Wesleyan Church and with many who serve in ministry. Dr. Bud Bence was always an encouragement to seek new ways of serving people. The Pastoral Ministries class gave me a great picture of being creative in ministry.”
Davis knows that he has done well in being a pastor when he watches his former students. “It is an amazing blessing to see and hear the stories of those former students, serving others with the love of Christ,” Davis explained. “They are in ministry, education, medicine and business. They are leading their families and friends to grow in an understanding of the Kingdom of God and the calling God has placed on their lives. That makes everything that I have been blessed to be a part of worth it!”
The National Network of Youth Ministries (NNYM) serves youth leaders (full-time, part-time or volunteers), helping them connect with other youth leaders so they never feel like they are doing ministry alone. NNYM also helps youth leaders advance their ministry to every teenager in their community. “We know that most youth pastors stay an average of 3.3 years,” Davis stated. “If we connect them to a youth ministry network where they do not feel alone, they stay in that ministry 9.2 years.”
This ministry is important and most definitely needed across our country. “There are 32 million teenagers in the USA, 26 million on 67,000 high school and junior high campuses,” Davis said. “There are 1,200 Juvenile Detention Centers across the states, housing about 1 million teenagers with another million in half way houses, ‘last chance’ schools and probation. We have to have healthy youth leaders, in every community, reaching out to every teenager.”
As Chief Ministries Officer, Davis works with the NNYM staff that is spread out across the country. This ministry is currently serving over 6,000 youth leaders. He also works with the denominational youth ministry leaders and para-church ministry leaders of over 170 denominations and organizations. “We work to network youth leaders in every community to help teenagers become lifelong followers of Jesus Christ. This will only happen if Christ followers in every community will share the gospel and work to advance ministry to every teenager,” Davis said.
Every year, NNYM hosts the Youth Ministry Executive Council that invites the leaders from the 170+ partner organizations and denominations to gather for united prayer for every teenager, relational connections allowing each to work together, and challenges to improve our ministry and leadership. “Not everyone can come every year,” Davis said, “but we always have a great time seeing the Kingdom of God come together.”
Randall has been married to his wife, Jama, for 33 years. They have two children (both married), Ian and Jessica Davis and Amanda and Michael Alexander.
“Through the years I have taken an interest in following Randall and his ministry. I know the wonderful impact that he has made. I know how vital his ministry in for our world today. Youth pastors and ministry leaders are on the front lines for the hearts and minds of our youth where the battle rages every day,” Rick Carder, IWU’s Director of Alumni and Church Engagement, said.
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.