Let’s keep it simple and concise: it was a great weekend. We were able to meet so many intriguing people and discover fascinating ministries that strongly support their community. We were able to see a cast vision and process, and we were shown how that vision can become reality.
Wisconsin conference youth director Zack Payne reflected on the weekend during the morning session. “I love this event, because yes, it gives you the opportunity to get [funding]. Yes, it gives you the opportunity to be heard. But one of my favorite parts about it… is the process. What we encourage you to do is get involved in local ministry, go through the process, and learn how to talk to your local church leaders.
Payne then asked others to reflect on the event as well. “I think this is a wake-up call. We have to start learning to be more vulnerable, because at the end of the day, we don’t know what people need. We won’t know how to approach [issues] if we don’t step out of our comfort zone,” said Leslie, one of the participants. Stacy, another participant, had another vision of the weekend. “What I’ve seen that’s obvious is Lake Union is a union that cares,” she said. “I see over 300 people wanting to do something in their community to show the world that, ‘Hey, God is so much more than going to church.'”
Jose Cortes Jr.’s theme for the day was “The Plant”. He emphasized that baptism is not the end of the spiritual journey. In fact, this is just the beginning! Spiritual “babies” and those newly baptized should receive the same loving care we give prior to baptism and conversion. “Don’t treat them like they’ve been there forever…and even those who have been there forever should be treated with a lot of love,” Cortes said. “But babies, they need special treatment. And that’s how they get. . . stronger and mature, multiplying and [and making more] followers. »
After Cortes’ morning message, he made a call: Are we ready to go to our quarters and ready to make a difference for Jesus? Are we willing to care for the “spiritual babies” of our church? Many young adults from diverse backgrounds responded to the call. Cortes and the conference youth directors offered a special prayer of concretion for young people who answered the call. Following the morning session, Ron Whitehead, Lake Union Youth Ministries Director, concluded the convention.
Over 300 young people from all walks of life came to learn how they can impact their communities in a variety of ways. Some even came to the convention without any support from their local church. They are ready to take bold steps and learn how they can impact their generation and their community, even if it only starts with one person in their church. One of those people was Kaila Walker from Illinois. “My church is getting much smaller,” she explained. “I think it empowers the people left behind more, and I feel depressed about it. I wanted to come here to get some new ideas and to be encouraged. I felt it would be helpful for my spirit,” he said. she said, She hopes to implement some of the ideas she came up with at the Table Talks and seminars in her local church.
Ron Whitehead was delighted with the general outlook for the convention. He hopes people have been able to glean lots of resources and learn how they can start ministries that work for their churches. “My hope is that people have been able to learn to be aware of the calling of their lives, and perhaps even understand what their evangelistic mission is,” he said. “Most important though, the self-awareness that God loves them so much, that no matter what they do, they are not alone.”
Michael Campos, youth director for the Illinois conference, has a similar opinion: “One thing that really got to me. . . was the power of one. I hope people will leave feeling like they can make a difference in their community. . . and you don’t need the biggest idea or the biggest budget. I hope people will come away feeling that they individually can do something to extend the kingdom of God, and that they are important and valuable to all the work.
Samuel Girven, Cadillac Church Communications Assistant Secretary, blogs for the Lake Union Communications Department. You can read previous blog posts about the GYC conference here: GYC Day 1, GYC Day 2 and GYC Day 3.