Researchers are spending hours upon hours studying millennials (born 1981-2000) and Gen Z (born 2001-present) – what they like, dislike, their passions and motivators. These upcoming generations, which comprise our youth groups, are clearly different than our parents' or grandparents' generations. But, similar to all the generations that have gone before, they are in desperate need of a Savior.
The youth which fill our churches across Texas need to be well-equipped with the tools necessary to share the Gospel with their friends. Super Summer and YEC are great events specifically geared to help equip youth in telling others about their faith.
Leighton Flowers, director of youth evangelism, shared with me that the best tool to share your faith is the one that works best for you. No one tool is going to work for everybody, because, let's face it – we are all different. While tools, such as one-verse evangelism, are taught during evangelism events like these, more emphasis is being placed on the motivation behind sharing your faith.
"A really big push this year at YEC and Super Summer is the nature of grace and the Gospel," Leighton said. "When God changes who you are and how you think about your life, it's very attractive to others. The Gospel is very attractive in that unconditional love – someone who loves me despite who I am, my failures and my mistakes – is very appealing. People are looking for that from others, if they can find it from God, it is life-changing."
When your life is changed by the grace of God, you should desire to tell everyone you know about it. You should be "Ready to Share," as this year's theme for Youth Evangelism events states.
Not all students, even when given the tools, will be ready to share their faith right away, but that's okay.
"Teaching you the tools of how to share your faith, even though you may not be at a maturity level in your own faith, will still allow you to have something to fall back on when you are motivated and ready," Leighton explained. "Youth will be armed with the tools when the opportunity presents itself, even years later."
You may be wondering what the differences are between Super Summer and YEC, and which event your youth group should attend.
For Super Summer, send us your Christian youth who are striving to be strong leaders and we will send them back better and ready to share their faith. Six sessions are offered at our Baptist universities around the state where leaders will learn about living with integrity as a true reflection of Christ.
"It's not just about sharing the message of God's truth, but truly living it," Leighton said. "With this generation, especially, it is communicated through our actions with words, not instead of words."
Each session follows the same model, with different churches taking leadership. All of the teachers for each session come from the churches in attendance, providing a unique culture and feel for the different campuses. Visit supersummer.com for more information.
YEC (Youth Evangelism Conference), on the other hand, is for all of your youth - believers and nonbelievers alike. During the regional events, students come together and are encouraged to bring friends to hear the Gospel clearly presented. With great worship bands, concert artists and breakout sessions, the weekend will empower your youth to be bold in sharing their faith.
YEC North Texas A will be held in Burleson June 18-19; YEC North Texas B will also be in Burleson June 19-20; Southeast Texas YEC will be in Beaumont August 7-8; and West Texas YEC will be in Lubbock August 14-15. Visit youthevangelism.com for more details.
"Instead of being motivated by shame and guilt, we want to help students experience Christ at the deepest level of who He is, through His grace," Leighton said. "After that experience, they will naturally talk about it."