More than 800 youth of the approximate 4,100 in attendance made decisions concerning their relationships to Jesus Christ at the annual Youth Evangelism Celebration here on Nov. 19-21, with 281 of those being decisions for salvation, said Kevin Boles, Director of the Youth Strategist Team at the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
ALEXANDRIA – More than 800 youth of the approximate 4,100 in attendance
made decisions concerning their relationships to Jesus Christ at the
annual Youth Evangelism Celebration here on Nov. 19-21, with 281 of
those being decisions for salvation, said Kevin Boles, Director of the
Youth Strategist Team at the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
The event, conducted at the Rapides Parish Coliseum by the Youth
Ministry Team of the LBC, returned to its three day venue after last
year’s event which had been shortened to one day because of hurricanes
Katrina and Rita.
“YEC 2006 was a great catalyst for igniting a passion for Jesus and His
Kingdom among teenagers and youth leaders,” said Boles. “YEC continues
to be a terrific spiritual shot-in-the-arm for our churches in
Louisiana. In the big picture of student ministry, YEC provides a
mid-year boost of encouragement for teenagers and youth leaders in
Louisiana. Not only does YEC provide an opportunity for churches to
reach lost students, but it also reminds Christian students of their
mission and their calling to go back and reach their campuses and
communities for Christ.”
Students were enthusiastic, not only about the worship experience, but about their relationships with Christ.
Two seventh-graders of New Hope Baptist in Choudrant, Emily Allen and
Bria Jones, both daughters of youth leaders and both on the verge of
turning 13, were among those born again, these two together, at 2:10
a.m. on Monday, Nov. 20, after YEC’s first night.
“We had the head knowledge but we didn’t have the heart knowledge,” said Emily. “We got it right last night.”
“Last night I realized I couldn’t handle my problems alone,” said Bria. “I can’t be happy without the Lord.”
“Before this I didn’t realize how important a one-on-one relationship
with God is. I’ve learned that it’s key to get to know Him as my
friend,” said Sam Mitchell, 16, from Dry Prong, La. where he attends
Hudson Creek Baptist.
“I have one student in my group who made a first-time profession,” said
Steve Bryan Student Pastor at first Winnsboro and a YEC leader. “In my
case, that was worth it all, right there.”
Nolan, the keynote speaker for the event, focused on Matthew 7:21-23 during his Sunday night sermon.
“You can’t get to heaven your way. It is God’s way or no way,” he said.
“You’re gonna get your chance to speak before God but He will always
have the last word.”
Spur58, worship band for the event, encouraged the teens to get up to
their feet and lift their hands in praise of God, in line with YEC’s
theme this year, DOXA, which is the Greek word for dignity, glory,
worship, honor, and praise.
Excitement continued to swell Monday afternoon as Lou Leventhal, an illusionist, wowed students with tricks.
Leventhal told students that he doesn’t change reality, but merely changes how others perceive reality.
One illusion involved a guillotine and a student volunteer who was willing to put his neck under the blade.
The student volunteer this year walked away from the trick unscathed.
“God will never ask you to do something that won’t build his kingdom
and be best for you and everyone else involved,” Leventhal encouraged
students. “Don’t be afraid.”
“It’s fun to come here with everyone and worship,” said
three-year YEC veteran Amber Bassett of Amite Baptist in Denham
Springs. “It’s great to pump you up right before Christmas right in the
middle of the school year.”