Over the last 50 years the Youth for Christ family has had the honour and privilege to be served by Rev. Dr. Graham Barker. That chapter will close this coming December as Graham will retire and start the next chapter of his life and walk with the Lord. We are thankful for the years of faithful service and the high degree of thought and care he served with in various roles during his career.
In 2014, Graham, a veteran staff member, was commissioned by then president Geordon Rendle to develop a Member Care programme for global Youth for Christ staff. His ministry was defined as a consultative venture with the Youth for Christ International Field Ministry Director and the Area and Regional Directors to identify, recruit and orient potential Member Carers for each Youth for Christ Region. As the strategy crystallised, the task was to identify and recruit veteran Youth for Christ staff as Area Member Care Coordinators and they, in turn, would identify, recruit and orient qualified volunteer Regional Member Carers.
At the end of 2020 Graham Barker will retire after 50 years of Youth for Christ ministry, and a new Youth for Christ International Member Care Director will be appointed. Thanks in large part to the work Graham has done, the Member Care programme will continue on.
A few words from Chris Kozacek, Youth for Christ International Field Ministry Director:
I’m not sure I can fully express what Graham has meant to me personally, and to the movement of Youth for Christ over these 50 years. Graham has served in countless ways over the years from professional counseling, teaching and training, creating curriculum, leading the counseling team at a number of General Assemblies, to even hosting his own radio programme… just to name a few!
His last ministry endeavour, to help develop and lead Member Care for National Directors, was a huge task to begin for our movement globally, but was such an important one. With vast views, beliefs and needs of what “care” looks like in each nation and culture, this was not (and has not been) the easiest assignment, but was one of love for people and for their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.
Through the work of Graham, and now an amazing team of Member Carers in each Area, we are in great shape to carry things forward and continue to build on the work Graham has done!
I want to end by saying a personal thank you to Graham (which he has heard directly from me, too): I’m grateful for you Graham. You have trained and taught me in so many ways. You have walked with me in some of my darkest hours, but you have also been there in some of the greatest moments, too. I am blessed to call you a friend. Thank you for your awesome impact on me… and the Youth for Christ family all around the world! But most of all – it is only God who works in and through all of us, and it’s God who we praise and give the glory to!
Join me in celebrating Graham for his years of service and the ways God used him over the last 50 years. Feel free to reach out and send Graham a note of encouragement at [email protected]
With Graham stepping down, we are accepting applications for a Member Care Director. If you are interested or know someone who would be a good fit, feel free to check out the job description and information to apply at https://www.yfci.org/serve/ministry-opportunities/