Sabbath, March 15, 2014
In September of 2012, the General Conference Youth Ministries Department consulted with the 13 Division youth directors, the GMEU, and the Israel field and received overwhelming support for experimenting with the concept of a “Global Youth Day.”
Sabbath, March 16, 2013 was chosen as it marked the beginning of the Youth Week of Prayer globally. Although some Divisions of the world field host their Youth Week of Prayer at a different time of the year, they would still unite as one on that day for a common purpose.
Global Youth Day 2013 proved to be a blessing that exceeded our wildest expectations. Almost four million people were reached through the social media campaign and we received more than 10,000 video uploads from all over the world that portrayed our youth in action. Three live studio uplinks from Australia, Germany, and the United States took GYD to the rest of the world.
GYD 2013 was such an overwhelming success that the global youth ministry team unanimously voted to make GYD a permanent feature of the youth ministry annual calendar of events.
GYD 2014 will involve 20 live sites around the world for 24 hour coverage.
The objectives of Global Youth Day are to:
1. Recapture the reality of the Seventh-day Adventist Youth as a Global Movement;
2. Lead our youth to rediscover the sense of belonging to a global army;
3. Reposition mission at the heart of global youth ministry;
4. Provide a much needed positive and constructive response to perceived fragmentation.
Grounded in the concluding words of Jesus in the parable of the Good Samaritan, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:25-37), the theme of the Global Youth Day is
“BE THE SERMON”
Our eight million Adventist youths are called to mobilize on the streets of our villages, towns, and cities around the world to be the hands and feet of Jesus through acts of kindness. A Simple, Global, and Relevant strategy has been devised.
On Sabbath, March 15, 2014, youth will hear one less sermon in the morning. THEY will be the sermon. They will step out of the building to be the Church and reach out in the name of Jesus.
There are six elements to Global Youth Day:
1. Young people from local churches, regions, or conferences/missions meet for a time of consecration before spending the best part of Sabbath reaching out in local communities.
2. They are involved in Sabbath friendly acts of kindness that are chosen and planned for in advance.
3. To provide a focus for the day after their diverse acts of kindness, youths around the world donate blood as the symbol of the ultimate life-saving act of compassion.
4. To complete the day’s activities, young people congregate in their local churches, regions, or conferences/missions for a time of worship and sharing of experiences to mark the beginning of the Week of Prayer.
5. Youths around the world are connected through technology and live coverage as stories light up the world progressively through the different time zones.
6. A specially designed T-shirt provides identification with the global initiative.
The Global Youth Day is an annual event with a different emphasis each year.
The Global Youth Day repositions youth at the center of the Church’s life and mission. It has the potential of being the dawn of youth ministry’s finest hour.