Tag Archives: International Youth Convention

Convention 2018 Speaker: Light to Hollywood, Living Water to the Desert

Jeff Whye

By Carl Stagner

All the glitter, glamor, and glitz of Hollywood can’t be outshined by the light of Christ reflecting through one of his own. Jeff Whye, known across the Church of God for his high-octane personality and knack for making people laugh, rocked Hollywood for a season but never lost his footing on the solid Rock. When God called him to the dry soil of the Southwest, his ambition was to point people to the source of Living Water. At Anderson University and Long Reach Church of God in Columbia, Maryland, before that, Jeff was molded and made into the man of God he is today. Overflowing with a love for reconciliation and restoration of relationships—between people and to the Lord—Jeff Whye looks forward to the opportunity to speak to the Church of God at the five Regional Conventions in 2018. Continue reading

IYC High School Band Goes ‘On Tour’

Photo: Liberation sporting their IYC2016 T-shirts.

By Carl Stagner

Just a few weeks remained until the big event. Though it was the first time these seven high school students had met, the responsibility to lead worship for thousands of teenagers in San Antonio, Texas, was on their shoulders. Whether they liked it or not, they had to learn to work together quickly. But almost immediately, it was clear that these once-strangers would become forever friends. After fulfilling their second and final obligation this July—leading worship for Leadership Summit in Anderson—they knew it wasn’t the end. God was calling the IYC2016 High School Band to keep it going, under a new name. Liberation has created quite the spiritual stir, exemplifying the rise of young leadership in the Church of God, and catching the attention of churches and state youth conventions across the country. Continue reading

ONE Gives Students Glimpse of Heaven, Desire to Change the World Together

By Carl Stagner

Some had likely never worshiped in Spanish before. Others had probably never experienced firsthand the high-octane energy of urban gospel. History suggests that few had likely ever been in a setting where three cultures converged in the name of Christ. But that’s exactly what happened at the first-ever ONE event, which took place at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 21 and 22. The result was a glimpse of heaven and a renewed desire to change the world together. Continue reading

Choose Church of God: College, Universities Band Together

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By Carl Stagner

Free time or another conference? If you were one of the approximately 725 students who acknowledged a call to ministry while in San Antonio for IYC2016, you chose the latter early in the afternoon on Monday. But it wasn’t just another conference. It was the huddle of a new team of emerging leaders ready to take on the world with the message of the gospel. Students were applauded for accepting their call to ministry, prayed for, and given practical tools and tips to get started on the path to Christ-centered leadership. One of the most powerful resources we have to equip and train such leaders is Church of God higher education. Long before thousands of students descended on San Antonio, Texas, for the fiftieth International Youth Convention, Anderson University, Mid-America Christian University, Warner Pacific College, and Warner University took practical steps to unite their efforts for the sake of leadership development. Continue reading

Thank You, IYC, for Your Impact On Us

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Photo: IYC volunteers give CPS visitation rooms a makeover.

By Mary Walker

Editor’s note—Every IYC affords students the opportunity to give back to their host city through acts of community service. You never know what kind of impact they’ll leave behind. The following is the story of one local agency blessed by youth groups attending IYC2016 in San Antonio, Texas.

Maybe you’ve heard people say they’ve had a “life-changing moment.” It could be something big or small, but whatever happened, they knew nothing would be the same again, or they discovered or became something new. Some people could really use a moment like that, to make their lives just a little bit better—and sometimes you can’t wait for it to come along. Instead, you need to take action to make it happen. Continue reading

IYC2016: A Generation Rising

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Photo: Worship with thousands of students at IYC2016.

By Carl Stagner

Words fail to adequately describe the total impact of the fiftieth International Youth Convention of the Church of God on students and leaders alike. Four consecutive days at the beginning of July 2016 proved to be transformational for untold numbers gathered in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio, Texas. Reports have already surfaced of first-time commitments to Christ, rededications, renewed hope, and calls to ministry. Though the previous forty-nine conventions were powerful and life-changing, even veteran leaders are citing something uniquely incredible about the move of the Holy Spirit at IYC2016. From the high-intensity worship, to the no-holds-barred messages of truth and grace, to the citywide service projects and the Silent Walk, IYC2016 offered the perfect conditions for life-changing encounters with the living God. Continue reading

Thousands of Students Descend on San Antonio for IYC2016

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By Carl Stagner

The 50th International Youth Convention is finally upon us. From across the country, Canada, and several countries beyond, students and their leaders are making their way to the Lone Star State if they’ve not already arrived. If you’ve ever made the trek to IYC by car, train, bus, or plane, you know firsthand that the adventure—and often life-changing experiences—begin way before you ever get to your destination. Whether it’s learning patience while waiting for roadside assistance to repair the same corroded bus your parents took to IYC, or engaging in deep discussion with an ordinarily shy student, life change has certainly already begun. Continue reading

The 50th International Youth Convention: History to Repeat Itself

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Photo: IYC1948 in Charleston, West Virginia.

By Levi Scott

On June 20, 1924, what we now call the International Youth Convention of the Church of God was just beginning to take shape. For the first time in the history of the Church of God, there was an entire day of Anderson Camp Meeting devoted to young people. Back then it was called the Convention Youth Day. Influential leaders of the time, such as J. A. Morrison, Frances Tallen, and others spoke to both youth and other church congregants about the challenges that youth faced in their context. These speakers encouraged, warned, and ministered to many young people that day, but they were likely unaware of the plans that God began to put into action at that time. Shortly thereafter, Convention Youth Days became an annual occurrence. A look back over the past fifty IYCs reveals an experience that has shaped not only the life of young people who attended these services, but the Church of God itself. Continue reading

IYC2016: The 50th International Youth Convention

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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. Continue reading

General Assembly Makes Historic Convention Decision

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By Carl Stagner

For more than a century, the Church of God has convened almost every summer for worship, preaching, fellowship, and the General Assembly. In a historic vote, this year’s General Assembly decided overwhelmingly to make a change to the frequency of the Church of God Convention. Signaling a new day for the Church of God, the resolution paves the way for maximum General Assembly and convention accessibility and engagement. Continue reading

IYC2014 “InTune” Strikes Chord, Still Resonates

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Photo: Youth group at IYC2014 huddles for prayer following worship.

By Carl Stagner

IYC2014 may be history, but the sound of splashing is left in its wake. As nearly five thousand students returned to reality after the early July gathering in Nashville, Tennessee, youth groups from California to Canada and beyond celebrated new commitments to Christ. Baptisteries were filled to the brim as students publicly demonstrated their new life. Since IYC2014, students have been following Jesus in baptism, joining discipleship groups, spending more time with God, and sharing faith with boldness. Continue reading

IYC2014 Brings Lives InTUNE with Holy Spirit

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Photo: IYC2014 worship was full of energy and heart. Photo by Howard Megill.

By Carl Stagner

The Church of God knows IYC2014 is all about life change. Every time students gather together for the International Youth Convention, they encounter the Holy Spirit’s comforting, compelling, and convicting presence. This year was no different, as thousands of students made first-time commitments to Christ, renewed commitments to Christ, received calls to ministry, and experienced freedom from a variety of personal struggles. Students and leaders alike accepted the Galatians 5:25 challenge to live InTUNE with purpose, purity, power, and people. Continue reading

Church of God Students Gear Up for Community Service at IYC2014

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On July 5, nearly five-thousand high school students and their youth leaders from all over North America—with representatives from Italy, Bangladesh, Australia, and Jordan—will gather in Nashville, Tennessee, for the 49th biennial International Youth Convention (IYC) of the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). On the afternoon of Monday, July 7, these students will give back to the city of Nashville by serving the community in hopes of making a difference. Continue reading

Theme, Guest Lineup Fuel IYC2014 Anticipation

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By Tina Lipps

The International Youth Convention, better known as IYC, has been creating a moment of life change for high school students and adult leaders alike since the early 1920s. Because of IYC, thousands of young men and women have encountered God in new and exciting ways while also making life-changing decisions. Hundreds have decided to go into full-time vocational ministry or missions. Over the last decade alone, thousands of youth have pledged to remain sexually pure. Since 1992, participants have given back to each host city with an estimated $500,000 worth of volunteer service hours in total. Without a doubt, Jesus Christ continues to remain at the center of every detail behind this convention as the kingdom of God continues to expand through its efforts. Continue reading

Live 8, Live Connected

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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. Continue reading