2017 Youth Day
The Youth Day service is consistently one of the best services of the week at General Conference, and this year was no exception in Kansas City, Missouri! The service was filled with goodbyes, introductions, congratulations, worship, and preaching.
Things kicked off with a countdown video highlighting the awesome time we had at NAYC17, which set a great atmosphere of anticipation. As the video ended, the music began. Throughout the service, anointed worship was led by Barron and Rayna Longstreth of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
As to be expected at the Youth Day service, the platform design was on point with elements that became an integral part of what was to come throughout the service. Eight large columns collectively displayed the familiar General Youth Division logo. Those columns would be turned to reveal the new logo and name—UPCI Youth Ministries. The simple, yet bold new logo and name have now become the face of all social media outlets for what was once the GYD. This is a new look for the same faithful and dynamic ministry dedicated to educate and engage.
This was not the only transition introduced that day. We said goodbye to our great leaders, Michael and Rebecca Ensey, who served with excellence these last eight years and will now be moving forward as the pastors at Christian Life Center (CLC) in Heath, Ohio. They will be greatly missed! Elected during the minister’s business session, Josh Carson and his wife Rachel, will now serve as our UPCI Youth Ministries president and Justin and Kimberly Reinking as our youth secretary. The future is bright with our newly elected officials leading us!
Aaron Batchelor, commissioned to take up the offering, encouraged us to give by reminding us of the tremendous work done the entire year by the UPCI Youth Ministries. We were also invited to attend next year’s Youth Ministry Training Event (formerly known as The Commune-ity Meeting), which will take place August 2-3 of 2018 at The Sanctuary in St. Louis, Missouri.
Another highlight during this service each year is the announcement of the Youth President of the Year nominations:
- 3rd Runner Up Jerry and Annie West, Kentucky District
- 2nd Runner Up Russell and Tessa Drake, South Carolina District
- 1st Runner Up Tyler Sullivan, Western District
- Youth President of the Year Mark Brown, South Dakota District
Of course, we could not go through a Youth Day service without acknowledging the incredible 2017 Sheaves For Christ offering that had been sacrificially given.
The total raised to “Cover the Earth” was $4,840,435.96!
This represents the second largest offering in SFC History! SFC supports several ministries within the UPCI. We were blessed to have a few of those represented with us on Friday.
- Danny Smith accepted $75,000 on behalf of Lighthouse Ranch for Boys
- Kevin Cox accepted $123,000 on behalf of Tupelo Children’s Mansion
- Scott Sistrunk accepted $555,000 on behalf of North American Missions
- Bruce Howell accepted $570,734.82 on behalf of Global Missions
What a blessing it is to be able to support the work of God in so many areas. It has been properly said that “no dollar goes further than an SFC dollar.”
Following the acknowledgements and celebrations, we entered into a final time of worship prior to the preaching. The front section was filled with young people giving their all in worship. The presence of the Lord filled the room as we prepared to receive His Word. Josh Anderson (Greencastle, Indiana), former Indiana youth president, brought the message that afternoon—“The Fragments that Feed the Mighty.”
His text, Psalm 78:24-31, describes the supernatural provision given to the Israelites during their time in the wilderness. The Israelites took for granted the “angel’s food” (spiritual food) and cried out for flesh. He also took us to Mark 6 where we see how the disciples so quickly forgot about the miracle of the five loaves and two fish when they were caught in the storm. God always feeds the mighty, but we must not allow contempt to grow in our hearts towards the source of this nourishment–the familiar everyday miracle of time spent in His Word and presence.
This generation was not only recognized during this service, but throughout the week the passion and fervor could not be ignored by ministers of all ages who graced the pulpit. Time and time again the challenge went out for us to be worshippers, givers, workers, and warriors. This church is mighty and God is positioning us for a “shift.” He is preparing us for a new wave of revival. We must be ready to recognize the marvelous works God is ready to pour on and through us!
Mandy Brown is the mother of two wonderful kids: Jonathan (11) and Sophia (8). She is also a licensed minister with the UPCI serving alongside her husband David Brown who is the pastor of The Refuge Church in Rock Island, Illinois and the Illinois District youth president.