"The Hour Has Come"
GYC joins forces with European Adventist youth ministries to help re-ignite the reformation.
By Joshua Nebblett
From Friday, July 20, to Tuesday, July 24, 2012, a group of passionate young people from Europe will gather for a Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC)* convention in Austria under the theme: “The Hour Has Come.”
For years European young adults have made the trip across the Atlantic to attend GYC’s annual December convention in the United States. And each year these young people have left with a desire to see a similar event take place on their own continent, making the inspiration and blessing they have received available to many more.
These young people want, in their own words, to help “inspire, equip, and mobilize this generation in Europe to be wholly committed to fulfilling the mission of the Adventist Church by proclaiming the three angels’ messages.” They desire to see those messages spread across secular Europe like wildfire, as did the truth in the days of the Reformation.
This Year in Austria
In consultation with TED and EUD youth directors, this desire will become a reality—GYC will hold this one-time event in Europe this summer!
GYC is working closely with the Austrian Union’s youth department in the planning of the event. Young people will pour into the little city of Linz, Austria (200 kilometers [125 miles] west of Vienna)—chosen partly because its central geographic location makes attendance possible for many.
Evangelism-minded youth groups are spread across Europe, already sharing the good news in their countries. However, because of the continent’s linguistic and cultural diversity, there are limited opportunities for these groups to extensively network, share ideas, and rub shoulders with each other. In providing a venue for these groups to unite, GYC in Europe will provide another forum for youth from various European countries to share how God is working in powerful ways in their respective corners of the continent and to explore avenues of collaboration.
The meeting in Baltimore, Maryland (U.S.A.) in 2010 provided opportunities for networking and witnessing.
Training, Training, Training
More evangelism training is needed in Europe. GYC in Europe will focus on many aspects of evangelism, and will help equip young adults to join hands with their local churches in sharing the gospel.
While the conference will be held in English, the language most common to European countries, messages will be translated into 10 other major languages for those who prefer to enjoy the conference in their native tongue.
The conference schedule will be similar to that of GYC’s annual convention in the United States. Attendees will gather in a general assembly every evening and morning, then select from a variety of workshops during which they can receive evangelistic training relevant to their specific areas of interest.
Speakers will include Mark Finley, Martin Ryszewski, David Asscherick, Alan Hush, Sebastien Braxton, and others of diverse cultural and geographical backgrounds. These speakers will lead the listeners to a deeper understanding of the biblical foundations of the Adventist Church, and give guidance and practical training on how best to share those truths with others.
One of the highlights of GYC’s conferences in the United States has been evangelistic outreach, when thousands of young people step outside of the conference venue into the local area to knock on doors, pray with people, distribute literature and Bible study cards, and share the love of Jesus with those they encounter. These attendees return to the conference center changed by this powerful experience, and many people have been introduced to Jesus and the special Adventist message through the outreach effort.
The participants in Europe will conduct a similar evangelistic outreach effort, putting into practice what they will be learning in the workshops throughout the conference. GYC is collaborating with the church leadership in Linz to find the most effective means to reach the local population.
GYC is joining forces with the Adventist youth movement in Europe—Adventist young people are passionate about seeing the gospel work finished, for “the hour has come.” You are invited to join young adults for a time of training, networking, evangelism, and drawing closer to our Savior through His Word.
*Established in 2002, GYC is a grassroots Adventist movement organized and led by young adults from North America.
For more information on speaking, program, venue, and registration, visit www.gyceurope.org.
Joshua Nebblett is a member of the GYC leadership team and is spearheading the logistical work of organizing the GYC Europe congress in Linz, Austria.