[YGU Note: With some simple efforts to collaborate with area churches, your local conference, even soliciting union/division support, your young adult ministry can hold great inspirational gatherings and community-building events. This is one we enjoy annually here in the Southwestern Union.]
Hundreds of young adults from across the Southwestern Union convened in Arlington, Texas, for the fourth annual Young Adult Festival of Worship. Union Young Adult Director, Elder Helvis Moody, and Southwest Region Youth Director, Elder Tyrone Douglas, inspired the gathered Millennials with messages giving emphasis to Christ Jesus being greater than all. In addition to the over 1100 attending in person, hundreds from around the world tuned in online for the worship service broadcasts, specifically contoured to spiritually encourage next generations.
“Our Arizona young adult community jumped online joining the young adult festival,” shared Benjamin Lundquist, Director for Arizona Conference Young Adult Ministries and NAD Young Adult Life. “We were incredibly blessed as a generation was celebrated, Jesus was uplifted, and leaders were challenged. It's time these festivals begin happening all across the country.”
Inspired by HE>i, a Hawaiian apparel company’s “lifestyle brand,” the Sabbath’s theme centered around Christ being greater than sin, satan, and self. Poignant messages by Moody and Douglas were further endorsed as young worshippers were inspired by moving music performances and engaged in authentic praise.
As part of the day’s worship, festival registrants spent time in the afternoon at Mission Arlington, a Christian-based agency that serves the neighborhoods of the DFW Metroplex with compassion, community-building, and caring assistance. Engaging community children with songs and smiles and popsicles, young adults were immersed in the joy that comes from sharing joy.
“I've got to say, there was something special about seeing young adults gather to serve the community,” expressed Debora Obeng, a 21-year-old software engineering major at University of Texas Arlington. “The interactions with the communities we visited were the most inspiring aspect of the festival.”
In an interesting turn of events, during the final worship session, tornado sirens went off signaling severe weather approaching. Evacuating downstairs to a standing-room-only venue, festival young adults continued to worship undaunted; The worship leaders adapted seamlessly to an impromptu acoustic set. While the storm raged outside, Elder Moody challenged and called all to live 24/7 lives of worship to which the young adults eagerly responded.
“It was refreshing and encouraging to see so many young adults with a passion for worship and a willingness to serve their community for Christ,” lauded Elder Douglas.
Sabbath concluded, the evening offered ample time for fellowship as Encounters Café provided young adults with a chance to enjoy table games, refreshments, and loads of laughter. Finally, the group headed out to enjoy broomball at ICE at the Parks, a nearby ice skating centre. Needless to say, the laughs continued as dozens of young adults took epic falls in their efforts to score goals.
From Arizona, Lundquist quipped, “Our only disappointment with the festival was the inability to play broomball online…”
The Young Adult Festival of Worship aims for next generations to honor Christ Jesus as Lord by expressing grace, embracing fellowship, and pursuing intimacy with Him. This invitational Sabbath gathering intends to inspire the young adults of the Southwestern Union and beyond to live 24/7 lives of worship for the fame of Jesus Christ.
“I had the privilege of witnessing young adults from across the Southwestern Union come together to worship God,” shared Elder Moody. “It’s my sincere hope the young adult festival of worship inspired them to go back to their churches and live boldly for Him.”
To enjoy captured worship sessions and follow up resources from the Young Adult Festival of Worship, go to festival.ygchurch.com
[YGU Note: YG University is eager to provide you all the planning and resourcing materials we have used over the past several years to host the Young Adult Festival of Worship. Email Pastor Allan with your interest, ]