DEL CITY—Six theological topics were the focus for the 2014 Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC) Aug. 8-9, at Del City, First Southern. Nick Atyia, student evangelism and missions specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), said the YEC is about “being equipped,” while addressing the more than 2,500 who were in attendance.
“We are going to cover the things of God that shaped the way we see the Gospel, the way we understand the Gospel to be in God’s Word,” Atyia said at the opening of YEC. “And (the conference manual) that we have given you is a tool to train ourselves on these truths so that we can go and effectively share them with our classmates, with the people in our community, sometimes in our homes.”
YEC had six sessions, two on Friday night and four on Saturday, covering biblical issues of creation, sin, atonement, repentance, restoration and The Great Commission.
“I absolutely loved the YEC weekend. They went from Creation all the way to present day for us being on mission for Christ,” said Derek McCarver, student and worship pastor at El Reno, First. “They touched on not only what we are saved from, sin and death, but what we are saved to, The Great Commission. I thought it was a very powerful way to present it. My kids grasped on to the whole storyline because of how it was taught.”
Brent Crowe, vice president for Student Leadership University, was the key speaker for YEC and addressed how he has heard Christian young people “want more” when it comes to understanding the Bible and sharing with their friends. Crowe opened his first talk at YEC describing the Bible as a “story.”
“The Bible is the one true story. As a matter of fact, the Bible is the only exhaustively true story that gives meaning to every other story that could ever be seen, told or experienced,” said Crowe. “It is the grand narrative by which we can understand every other story. The reason this conference is set up the way it is if we properly understand the story then we properly understand how to tell the story.”
McCarver said one of the most powerful sessions was when Crowe spoke on repentance. “He spelled it out well,” said McCarver, “and one of the things that stuck out with me was he said you have to tell on your sins before your sins tell on you.” Crowe offered a time of confession, and McCarver said he prayed with eight of his students during this time, and many of them were leaders of his group.
Cody Dunbar and his band led the YEC worship and praise times. Lyrical artist and Christian rapper Propaganda also performed during the conference. Earlier this year, he shared poetic talks at the Men’s Rewired retreat, and YEC attendees experienced his talents of spoken word.
At the end of the conference, students were given another book that was similar to the conference manual but emphasizes more the theological truths that were covered in YEC.
“You can take these books, and at your school, sit down at lunch, pick out some friends, and use this as a tool to walk through the Scriptures with them on these truths,” said Atyia.
At the final session, YEC attendees participated in a commission service that allowed students to make a statement of being committed to share Christ with others. McCarver said it was a challenging yet encouraging moment for students, and he could see it helped them overcome their feelings of awkwardness to share the Gospel.
“One of my sophomore boys said to me, ‘The more I talk and pray to God the less weird it is to talk about God,’” McCarver said, knowing the YEC was a positive and effective experience.