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Investing in relationship with Jesus focus of upcoming YECcomment (0)

July 18, 2013


Football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, golf. They are all games that many people spend a lifetime perfecting and/or watching. But does life revolve around more than a game? 

That’s the question that will be asked at the 2013 Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC) hosted by the office of collegiate and student ministries of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM). 

With the theme “More Than a Game?” YEC will focus on encouraging youth, youth leaders and parents to put their passion into what lasts — a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The conference also is designed to “encourage students to share the gospel on their own missions fields ... [in their] cities, campuses, churches and homes,” according to Keith Loomis, an associate in the SBOM office.

“[YEC] is not an end product. It is the beginning of a journey for the next school year to help students share their faith,” Loomis said. And for students who may not have a relationship with Christ or may be experiencing a difficult season in their walk with Christ, Loomis said YEC speakers will share the gospel message and “allow a time for people to respond.”

YEC will feature keynote speaker Wade Morris, worship leader Chuck Hooten and entertainment provided by The Big Game Show. The Big Game Show is featured at many youth events, Loomis said, and includes spin-offs of television game shows that encourage “a lot of student involvement and crowd interaction.” 

The Big Game Show “will create a lot of the energy component of our presentation,” Loomis said.

The 2013 conference will be unique in that it also will feature both live and by-phone testimonies from Christians who live out their faith through their particular sport, Loomis said, which has not been a feature of YECs in previous years.

There also will be a time of equipping youth leaders with resources to continue the theme “More Than a Game?” with a missions emphasis throughout the year.

According to Mark Thrift, who serves as the youth leader at North Gadsden Baptist Church, Gadsden, YEC “helps give [leaders] a new passion for our ministry, new ideas and allows us to build new relationships with other youth ministers across the state.”

And for the students, Thrift said YEC is beneficial because the conference “ignites a fire in them and encourages them to let the Word lead and direct their paths.

“[YEC] encourages them to glorify God in their daily lives,” Thrift said. 

Loomis, who said 1,300 people attended the 2012 YEC, hopes to see even more students and leaders attend the 2013 YEC. 

The conference will be held in the Wright Center at Samford University in Birmingham, August 2–3. To register online, visit www.alsbom.org/ministries/students/upcoming-events/yec-13/.  

(TAB)

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