Global Youth Initiative has a rich history that spans over 20 years, reaching 6 of the 7 continents of the globe.  Our influence and impact is due to the incredible alliance partners we have including, Campus für Christus, GYI India, Intentional Disciplemaking Network, J-Life, Josiah Venture, Shift M2M, Singular, Sonlife Latin America, and Sonlife North America. 

By God’s grace our ministry is healthy, growing and multiplying into new countries and cities every year.   

So why change our name and rebrand now? 

That is a great question. 

To answer it, I think it’s helpful to consider our history. 

GYI was conceived in 1998 when 6 youth ministry leaders representing organizations in Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, Australia and North America sat around the table to collaborate and sharpen each other in their understanding and ability to implement Jesus disciplemaking model for leadership in a ministry. 

They saw a value of working together across organizations and continents in an ongoing fashion and decided to form an official organization that would work to spread Jesus model to new nations while also continuing to invest into each other. 

They agreed upon a mission to “equip young leaders for movements of multiplication” and the vision of creating “a movement of God among the youth of the globe … displaying the wonders of God to the next generation. (Ps 78:3-7).”

The footprint at inception was a few countries.  But by 2020 their presence was known in 134 countries, 94 of which are what we call “Leadership Multiplication Phase 5” ministry models. 

You might wonder why an organization would change their name that is thriving and doing well. 

The answer actually lays in our fruitfulness and success.  GYI has not only grown in its reach into more countries, it has also grown from being a youth movement to being one that influences all generations of ministry life. 

While our bent toward investing into emerging young leaders will never change, we recognize that as our organization has matured, our members are now influencing all generations of church life. 

As a result, our name no longer reflects the fulness of who we are as an alliance.  This sometimes causes people to become confused about who we are and what we do.   

Are we a youth organization?  Yes and no.  Yes, we believe that God has called us to invest into developing younger leaders, but we also don’t do so to the exclusion of investing into older generations with emerging leaders.

When I was a little tike adults called me Mikey as a term of endearment.  Today, I am typically referred to as Michael.  I am still Mikey, but Michael is a more thoughtful name for a grown man.  It’s represent who I am more accurately at this stage of life.

Our collective Leadership Team which represents our alliance partners, determined (before I was the new president), that it was time to rename our organization.   

They desired a name that aligned better to our vision and values.  And so they asked me to lead through the process of rebranding.  After much prayer and deliberation, our lead team arrived at a collective decision: Concentric. 

We feel that Concentric does the job perfectly!

“Concentric things share a common center.  Our common center is the life and ministry model of Jesus.” 

Simon Sinek says, “There’s no such thing as “rebranding.” Your brand’s meaning is either clear or it’s fuzzy. And if it’s fuzzy, changing the look won’t help.” 

We wanted as much clarity to flow from our name as one can gain from our mission, vision and values.  We were not aiming so much for a new look.   Instead our primary focus was to eliminate confusion. 

We took some time to tweak our vision, mission and values for better clarity also.

VISION:

“Disciple-making movements built on the model of Jesus multiplying His life, character and priorities to the nations.”

MISSION:

“Equipping leaders for movements that multiply disciples, leaders and healthy churches.”

VALUES:

Christ’s Strategy,  Church-based Ministry,  Prayerful Dependence, Indigenous Leadership, Incarnational Multipliers, Next Generation Investment, and Generous Collaboration.

 

“Stand Fast, Stand Firm, Stand Sure, Stand True.”  – Harrison Gray Otis

 


Mike Harder, Concentric President

Jesus-centric disciplemaking movements