“Deploy” was the theme of Wednesday night’s youth service during General Council 2013. Combined with the fine arts emphasis, Rod Whitlock, student discipleship director, said 8,000 fine arts students gathered to compete this week with a goal of discovering, developing and deploying their gifts for the kingdom.
Thousands gathered to worship and hear speaker Jeanne Mayo during this midweek General Council service.
After two presentations celebrating 50 years of fine arts, Chet Caudill, student missions director, showed the trailer for the new movie Jimmy that premiered on GMC this summer featuring Ian Colletti, a National Fine Arts Award of Merit winner last year. Colletti was joined by his father, Chris, a church planter, and Fabian Kalapuch, the New Jersey youth director who partnered with Colletti to turn the premiere of Jimmy at a local school into a $5,000 fundraiser for Speed the Light.
Caudill announced that the DVD of Jimmy is available for purchase for $15 in the exhibit hall this week, $10 of which goes directly to Speed the Light.
“I love how God takes the gifts we have and multiplies them and uses them for His glory,” Caudill said, inviting Colletti to share what deploying his gifts for the kingdom looks like.
“I’ve grown up in the church and always felt like I had a calling to be in ministry but not as a preacher,” Colletti said. “I felt like God was telling me to use acting to glorify Him. I was grateful to be part of this Christian film and to use money for Speed the Light.”
After an impactful time of worship led by the band, Heath Adamson, national youth director, shared about the band on the stage, a result of the newly launched Influence Music, a new initiative of the Assemblies of God to bring the music of the AG to the global church.
Adamson introduced Josh Babyar, director of new media for the Assemblies of God, and asked him to share about Influence Music. Babyar introduced the band and described how Influence Music and its first project came about.
The goal was to “capture the sound of our movement,” Babyar said. “This isn’t just a band we hired. This is our band. These are all AG guys.”
The worship band is made up of Clayton Brooks, worship pastor of The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas; Kurtis Parks, worship director for National Community Church in Washington, D.C.; Ryan Williams, lead worship and creative arts pastor at River Valley Church in Apple Valley, Minn.
Babyar noted the passion of the fine arts students he’s seen throughout the week and said, “This room is full of world-changers” who are able to influence nations with something as simple as an iPhone.
“We need your help to take this album to the world,” Babyar said. “You have more power in your iPhone than put the man on the moon. We need you to go to iTunes and purchase it and share it with your friends” using the hashtag #webelievealbum.
Asking those in the crowd who have iPhones to hold them in the air, Babyar said it takes “just that many to help us take this music to the nations.”
A Generation of World-Changers
The service continued when Adamson announced the speaker for the evening, Jeanne Mayo, who received the Lifetime Influence Award this week from Influence Resources and the Assemblies of God. Adamson said this is the beginning of an exciting new partnership with Jeanne Mayo’s nonprofit organization, Youth Leader’s Coach, which trains and equips youth leaders with the necessary skills to make a difference in the lives of students. Mayo will lend her experience and expertise earned through 40 years of ministering to youth to develop a leadership training, coaching and mentoring solution for youth leaders and volunteers.
Mayo is one of the most highly-sought-after youth pastors today, which was evident by the way she immediately connected with the teens through humor and life-altering truth. Her message, “Bury Me Standing!” referenced a practice in ancient cultures where warriors were buried in an upright position, ready to battle upon resurrection.
“The world will never be changed by the mildly interested,” Mayo said. “The world will be changed by bury-me-standing people.”
She emphasized that this generation is quite possibly the one who will “welcome Jesus back to the earth,” making personal evangelism of the utmost importance.
“We’re at a challenging tipping point,” she said, issuing a challenge to feel the weight of the responsibility and sense of purpose upon this generation. “If you don’t have a purpose bigger than yourself, then you dangerously become your own purpose.”
Mayo challenged each individual present to live a life that will affect the kingdom of God, to “dream like you’ll live forever, but live like you’ll die tomorrow.”
Students filled the altars during a time of response singing the “More of you, God” refrain and asking God to empower them with His Spirit as they prepare to be deployed for the greatest work of evangelism this generation has seen.