Live 8, Live Connected
By Kathi Sellers
IYC is an opportunity to experience the life-changing power of God through worship, fellowship, and studying his word. This year, rather than having a theme based on a single verse of Scripture, the convention focused on understanding and living out Romans 8. This text provided the theme: LIVE! LIVE free, LIVE awakened, LIVE empowered, LIVE connected. “LIVE connected” was the emphasis on Saturday of the convention.
Almost everyone has experienced the feeling of being disconnected. On Friday night at IYC 2012, Harvey Carey reminded students, “Maybe you don’t fit in because you were called to be different.” The Romans 8 life is about being different—being salt and light, a living faith put into action. Being different in this way is to be celebrated, though, because it puts you in good company with the family of believers. When you are in the body of believers, you are connected. With those words ringing in their ears, students joined their youth pastors and leaders for a time of Communion. It was supposed to be a silent walk to a park to take Communion, but God answered prayer and sent rain to parched Colorado.
Students scattered around the convention center and in small groups affirmed their connection to the body of Christ. During this time of Communion, they committed themselves to being disciples who would live their faith in their city, in their school, in their home, and in their community, sharing the fragrance of Christ with the world. They committed to living a connected life in Christ Jesus.
This is the body of Christ broken for you; take and eat. Will you be the body of Christ? Will you live by the power of the Holy Spirit? Will you be a generation that seeks the face of God? This is the blood of Christ poured out for you, the blood that stands in your defense. We thank and praise Jesus for the blood and grace. Will you live in that grace and extend it to others?
God has called this generation for such a time as this: to let their voices be heard in a world that is disconnected.
On their final night in Denver, students gathered in small groups and shared how IYC had affected them and how they hoped to apply what they learned when they returned home. One of the leaders from an Indiana group shared how God has upset his world of late and how, at age seventy-five, he is rediscovering who he is as he coaches emerging leaders. In this role, he is forging new connections—connections that will strengthen and equip a new generation for ministry.
The body of Christ is made up of young and old, connected to one another, living by the power of the Spirit, loving the world, and calling others to faith in Jesus Christ.
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