The June 19-20, North Texas Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC) brought an overflowing crowd of students to Venue 510 in Burleson, where renowned pastor and author Louie Giglio gave a challenging message.
Giglio, founder of Passion Conferences and pastor of Passion City church in Atlanta, Georgia, read from Luke 7, reciting the story which records people finding themselves in a place of "holy mystery" after Jesus raised a widow's only son from the dead.
"This story is not just a story of a boy that is raised from the dead," Giglio told the students. "This is a picture of the Gospel."
Through salvation, he explained, God brings the dead to life and gives people the sense of a "holy mystery."
This year's YEC theme centers around being "ready to share," a concept found in 1 Thessalonians 2:8. Breakout sessions in the North Texas session related to the theme, offering youth the opportunity to engage with group leaders and one another, discussing the answers to questions like, "How do I share the Gospel through arts and culture?" "How do I pursue God daily?" and "How can I be a godly man/woman in today's culture?"
"YEC is all about going deeper in our faith," said Leighton Flowers, director of YEC, about the purpose behind the conference. "We want to train students how to live life on mission, how to share their faith. We want to train them in living life on mission."
During the worship serve, volunteer staff took up an offering for "Get the Word Out," an offering initiative developed by YEC leaders, which collected $20,000 during last year's YEC to send Bibles to hard-to-reach places overseas.
At the North Texas YEC, students also engaged in worship led by the Jeff Johnson Band, heard from speakers Ben Stuart and Zane Black, and went to a concert featuring Crowder.
"Do you know what it means to be alive?" Giglio challenged the students to question themselves before offering a time of reflection and invitation during Friday night's worship service.
By the end of the service, approximately 40 students prayed a prayer of salvation and walked out of the room with trusted leaders to begin their journey as being alive in Christ.That particular session was one of two, which took place in Burleson. In August, there will be two more YECs: the Southeast Texas YEC will be in Beaumont and the West Texas YEC will be in Lubbock. Check out texasbaptists.org/yec for details.