Hello YCNL Family,
I hope your summer is going great and you’re getting to enjoy family and friends and maybe even some sun! Some time has elapsed since our YCNL announcement on January 23 and we thought it would be a good time to update you on our journey.
In 1998 God gave us a beautiful and adventurous dream of bringing together youth and young adults from communities all over Newfoundland and Labrador and from every denomination and church for His glory. Has it been easy? No. Has it been worth it? 100%. In the 19 years of YCNL these are just some of the things we have seen:
- Over 40000 attendees,
- Over 2000 commitments to Christ,
- Hundreds of children sponsored,
- Over $300 000 raised for missions projects around the world,
- Annual food drives blessing our local Community Food Sharing Associations at a difficult time of year with significant donations of food and money,
- Mission teams and events launched at home and abroad from Labrador to Lilongwe,
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what God has done in lives changed, ministry callings, youth ministry growth, and the mission engaged in schools and communities. And who can forget some of our friends who have joined us in our little province to challenge us: Reggie Dabbs, Jeanne Mayo, Duffy Robbins, Preston Centuolo, Joanna Hyatt, David Nasser, Roosevelt Hunter, Eileen Hunter, Eric Samuel Timm, Judah Smith, Danielle Strickland, Mike Pilavachi, and our own Doc Noel, to name a few. And who can forget some of the artist who have travelled far to celebrate with us: David Crowder, Switchfoot, Vicky Beeching, Bluetree, Salvador, Tree 63, Lincoln Brewster, Newsboys, Paul Baloche, Desperation Band, Kutless, Amanda Cook, Tim Hughes, Hillsong United, Unhindered, Ben Cantelon, Starfield, Tim Neufeld, Leeland, our own Matt Maher, and so many more!
What a ride!
So where is the Youth Collective today? I’ve been blessed to lead this movement for all these years…yes…I’m getting old 🙂 Late last fall, God was leading me on a new journey that meant the YCNL world would be impacted significantly. Although I began YCNL as a volunteer and local church Youth Pastor, for the last 13 years I’ve served the Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland and Labrador in a leadership role that allowed me to serve also as the YCNL Director. My decision in the fall to step out of that PAONL role also meant that I would also have to release my ability to lead YCNL back to the organization that has granted us spiritual, financial, and ministry covering. A number of our Lead Team also determined it was also an appropriate time to finish up which led us to make the difficult decision to pause YCNL for 2019. Trust me, no one wanted to hit the 20-year marker more than the Lead Team and the guy who started this whole thing. But more than celebrating an achievement we believed God was calling us to be obedient. In Genesis 22 God asked Abraham to lay his dream on the line by being willing to sacrifice his own future. It was through the obedience that God’s dream was eventually fulfilled for His people. We felt that this was an Abraham-Isaac moment (see Genesis 22) for us to be obedient to what God was asking, to be sensitive to our realities, and in faith to stay in step with Him. Easy? No. Worth it? 100%
So what does this all mean? We have taken a giant step into the unknown as a team, as individuals, and are waiting for clarity and direction. So this fall there will not be a YCNL event but here’s what can happen:
- PRAY: you can join us in praying and asking God for direction for the future and offering hearts of gratitude to Him for all He has done over these 19 years.
- PARTICIPATE: there are local/regional youth events that are planned for this fall that we would encourage you to support. If you haven’t committed to one yet you should! I’d invite you to check out THE CALL happening in Gander on Thanksgiving Weekend (https://www.thecall.ca) with some great ministry guests and an opportunity to come together for God and for this generation.
- Plug into the YCNL heartbeat of impacting our communities and the world. Consider a Thanksgiving Food Drive IN and FOR your community. Find a mission project or promote a new one. Plug Alpha for Youth into your school or youth group. Do something this fall to expand the Kingdom in your area.
So will there be another YCNL event in the future? We don’t know what the future holds at this point but what we do know is that YCNL was never intended to be an event. It was meant to be a movement of young people and youth leaders who believe God has more for this generation. If we creatively plan, sacrificially give, and collaboratively lift our voices in unified worship the Youth Collective Newfoundland and Labrador will go on uninterrupted. We also know YCNL was never ours. It’s always been His. So we’ve attempted to hold loosely to it while at the same time gripping His hand for all we’re worth. Let’s continue to do that and see what He will do with our obedience.
Last year in Corner Brook we brought the theme HOME. This year the theme is up to YOU. Thanks for letting us play a small part in your life and spiritual journey. This year it will be up to YOU to be the movement known as the Youth Collective Newfoundland and Labrador. YOU got this!