IYC + NIYC + Concilio Hispano = ONE!
The ONE event is now one for the history books. Not only has it come and gone, but it made history as the first youth convention that combined the efforts, leadership, and students of the International Youth Convention (IYC), the National Inspirational Youth Convention (NIYC), and the Hispanic Council (Concilio Hispano). And though the event has come and gone, the effects of this life-changing experience live on.
From as far away as California, Florida, and New York, and as close as the convention host church, students and leadership descended upon Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 21 for ONE. A simple glance around the room made it obvious this was going to be a different kind of youth convention. The planning and leading of three worship sessions over the course of two days were spread evenly between IYC, NIYC, and the Hispanic Council. Adam Rentas, of First Church of God in St. Joseph, Michigan, delivered God’s Word in the kickoff service on Friday evening. Humberto “Hummer” Mena, of Iglesia de la Comunidad in Santa Ana, California, spoke on Saturday morning, and also provided Spanish-English translation when necessary. The featured speaker for the grand finale was Tim Quainoo, who serves as pastor of Living Water Community Church in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
Youth ministry staples, such as fun (and funny) games did not disappoint. Students who professed a passion for rap music graced the stage with their spontaneous skills for rapping—to Dr. Seuss! Other games that involved the entire group also served as icebreakers and lightened the mood for God’s Spirit to enter in and get to work. And get to work the Spirit did.
Late into the night on Friday, students were intentionally mixed across youth groups and cultures. These moments of getting to know one another proved to be some of the most cherished by the participating students. As relationships were built, walls were torn down and unity was strengthened. Students caught a glimpse of heaven and were renewed in their passion to change the world in Jesus’ name. As Andy Stephenson explained to the more than 230 gathered at Church at the Crossing, the younger generation has always been at the cusp of much-needed change and revolution in society. The students attending ONE were certainly eager to be the example of what the kingdom of God really looks like.
Besides the experience of unity amid great diversity, many students also enjoyed the new experience worship in a style different than at their home church. This was especially true as students worshiped in both English and Spanish on Saturday morning. Despite the differences in style and language, every service incorporated elements universal to current worship music across North America.
Striving to do more than worship together, students also served together. At Gleaners Food Bank of Indianapolis, these students and their leaders gave back to their host city through a few hours of community service. Understanding that God’s people can do more when they work together, these youth were the hands and feet of Jesus as they organized food donations, prepared food for distribution, and interacted directly with needy patrons. No doubt, it was an experience that was both memorable and life-changing.
“ONE was an incredible win for the kingdom of God,” Andy Stephenson reflects. “Students demonstrated what the kingdom of God really is—all of us—despite our differences, and united in Jesus.”