DAVIS—The Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC) for Oklahoma Baptists completed its fourth year of meeting at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, Jan. 20-21. Not only has YEC changed its location, from meeting at a church or large arena, but its format also has changed, and Brian Baldwin said it has been a successful transition.
“We are really picking up traction of how people see the new model of YEC,” said Baldwin, who is the student evangelism and mission specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “It was an outreach event, and now we want the students to be the outreach event—not just come to us but send them out. It’s focused on motivating and equipping students to share their faith.”
In 2016, when YEC first met at Falls Creek, approximately 1,200 students attended. This year’s YEC reported an attendance of 2,343 students. Baldwin said more churches are finding value in attending YEC.
“More churches are catching on that YEC is a training model and not a concert and messages,” Baldwin said. “Some have brought a few kids but have told me, ‘Next year, I’m bringing my whole youth group.’”
General session leaders at YEC included Greg Stier as lead speaker. Stier is the founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries, which makes its mission to equip students to share the Gospel. Cody Dunbar, worship pastor at Bethany, Council Road, and his band led times of worship through music. Evangelistic drama group Clear Vision offered drama presentations during the general session.
YEC also offered three meeting times for breakout sessions during the two-day event. Participants were able to choose from 18 different breakout options that offered various approaches and content to equip students to share the Gospel in their schools and communities.
Baldwin emphasized that YEC offers something for all the different types of church youth group members.
“Something I think that is unique about YEC is there is something for core-type students but also for people on the fringe,” he said. “For kids who love evangelism, they will have their happy place here, and ‘scaredy-cats’ will be in good company.”
YEC also offers time for each church group to meet and develop a strategic action plan as far as how to reach friends and schoolmates with the Gospel. “Church groups come up with goals they would like to meet by the end of the school year and before the end of summer and by next year,” Baldwin said.
Many church leaders shared on social media how they appreciate this year’s YEC:
“What YEC has become is one of the absolute gems of Oklahoma student ministry. Content-driven equipping that has direct application for students while maintaining Gospel integrity,” said Nick Atyia, pastor of Seminole, First. “I had a blast, but more importantly, I saw students having fun and making it their aim to share Jesus with the world. Soli Deo Gloria!”
“YEC is by far one of the most important things we do in our student ministry,” said Nathan Brumley, student pastor at Eufaula, First. “Teaching someone to share the Gospel is part of discipleship. I’m already seeing major changes in the hearts of our students and other student ministries because of it.”
For more information on YEC visit www.skopos.org/yec.