By Carl Stagner
The Super Bowl won’t be the only event celebrating number fifty in 2016. The Church of God is excited to announce its fiftieth International Youth Convention, July 2–5 in San Antonio, Texas. IYC first came about in the early 1920s and has taken different forms, locations, and frequencies. Anticipating an extraordinary move of the Holy Spirit at the next IYC, churches are taking advantage of early-bird savings on registration, available through March 24.
Including IYC2016, Andy Stephenson has been at the helm of eight of those fifty conventions. The associate director of North American Ministries knows firsthand the work required to pull off such a feat every other year. Though the preparation seems endless, the spiritual payoff eclipses those two years of heavy-lifting.
“IYC is all about life change,” Andy underscores. “Since my first IYC in 2002, it’s been about seeing, and hearing the stories of, life-change moments. These moments have radically changed the course of students’ lives. Now it’s really fun because I’ve been in it so long that you see that the ones who were students fourteen years ago are now grown. A lot of them are doing ministry and are back with their students. I believe that God speaks in moments like these—IYC is an incredible spiritual marker in their lives.”
IYC student interns are going all-out during the months leading up to IYC2016. In honor of the fiftieth year of IYC, they’re giving students the opportunity to win prizes. Students connected to IYC on social media have already witnessed some of the anticipation surrounding the fiftieth IYC. Whether you answer an IYC history question correctly to win fifty dollars, or whether you’re the fiftieth “Like” on a special Facebook post, IYC interns are going all-out to promote such a landmark year. Be sure to follow IYC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest opportunities!
It’s no wonder the IYC interns are going all-out in getting the word out about IYC—they know what it’s like. They’ve experienced IYC as a student, if not also as an assistant group leader. “I’m excited about IYC2016 because I got to experience it twice as a high school student and once as a student leader here in Anderson,” Paige Brooks, student intern explains. “Now I get to experience it more from the production side, which is something I’m passionate about. It’s really exciting for me to see all the different sides of it and be a part of the production of an event that has been so life-changing for me.”
Jeff Bethke, Sean McDowell, Brenda Salter McNeil, Jim Lyon, and Robert Madu have all been confirmed as speakers for IYC2016. Alanna Story has been confirmed as one of two names to lead worship. The hilarious Skit Guys will perform again, and represent one of two venue options. Check www.iyc2016.org for news concerning the yet-to-be-announced worship artist and venue option. Combined with relevant conferences, Emerging Leaders, the Silent Walk, and the community service outreach known as Impact San Antonio, IYC2016 is shaping up to be an experience for the history books!
For convention details, and to register online for IYC2016, visit www.iyc2016.org.
Support the ongoing work of Church of God Ministries, including the ongoing IYC2016 planning and preparation, with your gift to the World Ministry Fund at http://www.jesusisthesubject.org/world-ministry-fund/.