North American Youth Congress, Friday Morning
The final day of North American Youth Congress has arrived, and with it comes the buildup of faith and power—a concoction producing an atmosphere in which the impossible becomes reality.
The doors opened as thousands of young people poured into the arena, passionately defying the standard of the millions of others who surround them on a daily bases. These young people are driven. But, what is it that drives them? Faith. Faith in the powerful and demonstrative manifestation of the Word of God.
As the students prepared to head off to the split sessions, a short film was presented. This video, “Citizenship,” produced by Ryan Trimble, spoke to the hearts of many in the arena who wanted so desperately to be used of God. It challenged the apostolic young adults to take a stand for their citizenship in God’s kingdom, for we are in this world, but not of it.
From the Jump Start, everyone departed to the split sessions where they received awe-inspiring impartations of wisdom and guidance from many of our mightily anointed spiritual leaders. Bro. Aaron Batchelor spoke to the teens about building a bigger altar for God—that they might live a life of devotion for God in the midst of this selfie-generation. General Superintendent, Bro. David Bernard, challenged the young ministers’ session to be accountable to spiritual authority, that their leadership might be effective in the 21st Century. In the youth workers’ session, Bro. and Sis. Raposo, Bro. and Sis. Glass, and Adam Shaw, members of the panel, encouraged youth workers go out into the communities and leave a lasting impression on young people, compelling them to come to the one place wherein their lives may be forever changed! Then, in the Hyphen session, Bro. Raymond Woodward inspired the young adults, deeming them the “most apostolic people” in this selfie-generation.
As the general session commenced, thousands of Apostolic young people crowded the Chesapeake arena and the overflow arena, armed with smart phones and glow sticks. The worship team began to sound the alarms of praise. The lights went out, but thousands of glow sticks illuminated the excited students all the same.
Bro. Matthew Johnson took the platform and spoke a brief but powerful message. Quoting from Matthew 5:14-16, he proclaimed that each and every person in that arena was a light in the world. No matter how dark the world gets, each and every individual light can still be found.
Next, a P7 missionary, Blake Soto, testified about the eleven P7 ministries that his youth group had started in various schools throughout their area. Phenomenally, one wonderful part of that testimony was of one young lady who was baptized last night in their hotel swimming pool! Also, it was testified of a young man, Max, who although he was too young to be part of the youth group, he did not let that keep him from serving God! He started a P7 club at age 11, and for eight weeks, nobody came to his Bible study. One day he had a powerful breakthrough, and one young man came to his Bible study. Then there were five, and then there were eleven, and by the end of the year more than 40 students were a part of this Project 7 Club! To God be the glory!
As Bro. Akil Thompson prepared to deliver the Word for the service, the worship team stepped back up and led the young people in a powerful chorus about the power and glory of the name of Jesus. God was preparing His people for the message to come from the man of God.
Bro. Akil’s text was from Matthew 5:1-12. His message, “Jesus is Our Anthem!” Perfectly embracing the tone of the conference thus far, greatly corresponding with the messages from the preceding services, Bro. Thompson urged the apostolic young people of today that they must recognize their true identity. That identity cannot be discerned until we recognize and agree that Jesus is our anthem!
When we truly believe that Jesus is our anthem, it becomes possible to remain a light in the dark world. As Bro. Thompson so powerfully proclaimed, “The enemy’s purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. But, greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world!”
Though the world and the media may not like it, we must continue to preach the name of Jesus! As Bro. Thompson said, “We cannot look to the world for direction…the Church is the most attractive when it is different.”
As the service closed, the arenas erupted in shouts of praise and adoration. Young people were running and dancing, shouting and singing! This is what happens when a generation of young, Spirit-filled people are in one place and in one accord, believing and proclaiming, “Jesus is Our Anthem!”
View the photos from this service here.