The official news service of the Trans-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist church



5 August 2018 | Kassel, Germany [Victor Hulbert] 

gylc Wilson selfie 1500With the internet now awash with ‘selfies’, memories of Mexican enthusiasm, stimulating speakers and a theme song that so caught the imagination that youth were humming it in the corridors, the 1,600 youth and Pathfinder leaders who attended the Global Youth leaders Congress, 31 July – 4 August are now headed home or to their next appointment.

What memories will they take with them from Kassel, Germany? The enthusiastic singing of ’10,000 reasons’? The preaching and teaching of Ty Gibson, David Asscherick and World Church President, Ted Wilson? Or the networking across continents that took place during meal breaks, small group discussion and during workshops.

All that and more happened just in the final day of a congress designed to help leaders develop and share their identity in Christ, and to pass on the passion for mission and for leadership.

Theme song with mass choir and leader briefings

Even as a mass choir closed the event with a rousing, fully orchestrated version of the specially commissioned theme song, ‘Pass it on’, minds still resonated with the challenge of Paul to a young leader in 2 Timothy 2:2.  “What you have heard from me through many witnesses, entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well.” [ISV]

GYLC Asserick SabbathAsscherick focused on this passage for his final, brief presentation. “It is time for us to train leaders,” he said. “Paul is telling us to ‘pass it on’.”

While there were many, many youth at the event, there were also plenty of wise sages of older generations. Asscherick challenged both young and old: “Who is going to replace me? As youth leaders we learn, we share, we pass on. We teach what we know – even while we are still learning.”

That involves taking a risk, he emphasised, but while we become risk averse as we age, youth are willing to take the challenge. Challenge them to take that risk for God. “Even if they only know one thing, let them pass it on. Then they’ll learn 2 things,” he said. Quoting an earlier speaker, Ty Gibson’ he stated, “Release our young people as incubators of creativity.”

He also emphasised that youth leadership is a continual mentoring process. As when Paul reminds Timothy of ‘the things you have learnt from me…' Asscherick challenged, “Don’t be content just to grow yourself. When you read a book, share it. Hear a podcast, share it.”

To achieve this he encouraged youth to follow a threefold principle:

GYLC blanchard Sabbath 1500Accept, develop and teach in the truth of God’s Word. Build trusting relationships and spend time with people. Youth leadership is not a time for hiding in ivory tours or quiet offices. It requires involvement – and that as the three T’s develop the ‘Pass it on’ principle becomes more real.

Building on that principle, World Youth director, Gary Blanchard concluded the congress with another threefold challenge.

He emphasised that youth need to know their identity in Christ. “Pass on to them not only that they are a child of God, but that they are a beloved child of God.”

Next we need to pass on a focus on Mission as Seventh-day Adventists. “Youth like risk. Let them risk for God,” he said. In the city, in the mission field, in the 10:40 window. “Young people are designed to live dangerously!” This could be a one year in mission experience, a local project, or something that pushes their limits.

The third thing to pass on is Leadership. “Don’t dump leadership on them and walk away with an ‘I’ve done my term’ mentality.” Rather, encourage them to gradually take responsibility!” With a wry smile he also added, “and it’s OK if they’re better than you!” [tedINEWS]

Find out more about the Sabbath morning worship by reading the stimulating  Adventist Review report.

A series of reports and videos from the Global Youth Leaders Congress can be found on the TED website and Facebook pages.

tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Sajitha Forde-Ralph, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division. Readers are free to republish or share this article with appropriate credit including an active hyperlink to the original article.