NAYC 2021 Recap #ScatteredtoGather
North American Youth Congress 2021 was unlike any NAYC we have experienced. We are saddened that we did not get to join as usual, but we were #ScatteredtoGather and God worked among us in watch parties across the nation!
UPCI Youth Ministries (YM) Secretary Jeremy Stafford and Director of Promotions DJ Hill hosted the pre-service segment, which promoted the ministries of UPCI YM: Apostolic Youth Corps (AYC). Project7 (P7) Clubs, Campus Ministry International (CMI), Hyphen, and Bible Quizzing. For more information about each of these ministries, visit their social media pages and websites.
As has been announced over the last few months, the main fundraising arm for UPCI YM, Sheaves for Christ, has been renamed Move the Mission. Funds raised through Move the Mission support UPCI ministries around the world. After an impactful promotional video, former missionary to Ecuador Dan Scott gave the Move the Mission offering appeal. As the pioneer UPCI missionary in Ecuador, Dan Scott received Sheaves for Christ funding that allowed him to purchase a vehicle and reach previously inaccessible areas of that nation to preach the Gospel. Bro. Scott appealed for students to “[carry] the burden of funding the programs that are so effective [in reaching] the world with the Gospel that we hold so dear.”
At every NAYC event, students from each UPCI district in the United States have an opportunity to make some noise and let the crowd know they are representing their district. This online event was no different! Youth presidents from almost every district submitted a video encouraging the youth from their districts to like, comment, post emojis, and share the NAYC 2021 video to make their presence known!
After a few minutes of focused prayer, the service began with a powerful first session of worship. Aaron Curtis led the music team with Frankie Taylor, Jr. as the main worship leader. This first music set featured a song by Apostolic artist Mark Crowder.
UPCI YM President Michael Thomas then presented his keynote: “Pressing into the Promise.” His challenge for students is that we should not settle for what we have now, but we should press into greater things. To illustrate this, he used the example of the manna that God gave the children of Israel as they wondered the wilderness. The Bible describes the manna as tasting like honey. We do not want to settle for something that tastes like honey or something that is just like our promise. The Israelites were promised a land flowing with milk and honey. As the people of God, we cannot settle for something that is like our promise, but instead we must push forward and go into thepromise. We should be pressing for revival and for the Lord doing bigger things in our world. Although we miss meeting in person, NAYC 2021 has now spread across North America because of the watch parties. Friends, communities, family members who might not have experienced this service are now involved. We must keep pushing for revival. Bro. Thomas urged students to make a commitment that we will press into the promises of God, into the world where the needs are. If we are willing to do that, God will mightily use us!
Following a second segment of anointed worship featuring an original song by worship leader and Apostolic artist Frankie Taylor, Jr., Victor Jackson spoke on “The Second Ascent.” The first ascent is the revelation of Jesus Christ. Despite pressure from the world around us, we are blessed to know and walk in the truth! Our identity is our blessing. Our distinction from the world is powerful. The second ascent is love. In the Gospel of Mark, the blind man was told to go wash his eyes a second time so he could see. The Apostle Peter also learned a lesson of the ascent toward the cross, toward love for others. Bro. Jackson shared the testimony of how God called him to go to Minneapolis, MN in the midst of the rioting and violence in 2020. Those people needed the love of God, and it was there. If we bind together with love for our world, we can change it. We must make a commitment to love all people. If we can go into the realm of unconditional love, the power, anointing, and miracles will increase. We must reach our cities and schools! We must become missionaries. We must teach and preach. We must meet needs with love. We are not here with political ideologies, but we are coming with the name of love. Bro. Jackson invited every participant of NAYC 2021 to make the commitment of love in action. We believe we will see revival spread across our world because of those who respond to the call of this service!
Tell us what your #ScatteredtoGather #NAYC2021 experience was like!