Wednesday night at the National Youth Convention (NYC) featured callbacks from the Christian Band and Percussion, Unconventional categories live on stage along with some encouraging testimonies from youth leaders at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.
The top five from each category performed with 10 performances in all. The top 5 of 50 Christian Bands registered included: Albatross from Pathway Church in Gahanna, Ohio; The Affirmed from The Church of Corinth in Corinth, Texas; The New Mexican Anacondas from Faith Assembly of God in Orlando, Florida; The Ransomed from Generations Church in Tallahassee, Florida; and The Undefeated from Harvest Ridge Assembly of God, North Ridgeville, Ohio.
In between performances, videos and leaders spoke to the NYC crowd. Missionary Jamie Kemp told of the calling he received as teen.
"I was at a national youth convention when a missionary was sharing his heart and he challenged the young people at this convention. 'Would you pursue a life of missions overseas?'" he remembers.
"It's one thing to serve God here in the United States, but he challenged the young people in the crowd and said, 'If you'll go overseas to serve God, would you stand to your feet?' So me - being a teenager and wanting to serve God with my whole heart - I stood to my feet that night and something happened. It was this call; this sense in my heart. No voice or writing on the wall. Just a sense in my heart that this was a calling for my life."
Kemp also shared how Speed the Light helped them on the field when a volcano erupted on October 30, 2010. "While all the other vehicles and NGOs and organizations were driving down the volcano, we were driving up the volcano in our Speed the Light vehicle to deliver supplies to refugees," he says. "So that's one of the cool and unique ways that we were able to use Speed the Light to deliver aid to refugees."
He encouraged students to be open to God's calling in their lives and use the gifts He has given them to serve.
Percussion, Unconventional also performed live on stage Wednesday night. Of the 37 registered, the top five featured: 1st Street Stomp from Assembly of God in San Jacinto, California; Triplefold from Full Life Assembly of God in Franklin, Tennessee; Decibeats from Assembly of God in Allison Park, Pennsylvania; Trashy Nerds from First Assembly of God in Muldrow, Oklahoma; and Beaver Patrol from Faith Assembly of God in Orlando, Florida.
During setup, students and leaders learned about the opportunity to take an AIM trip to El Salvador next summer. Incorporating gifts discovered and developed in the Fine Arts Festival, students will be able to deploy their gifts on the field while teaching and reaching El Salvadorians. Leaders may contact National Youth Ministries to find out more information about the trip and help take Fine Arts around the world.
Toby Schneckloth, Nebraska District youth director, also brought an encouraging word to Fine Arts participants. He told how God spoke to him during the Denver 2005 festival. The DYD saw a young man presenting in the Short Sermon category, fumble a few times in his message, then give up and walk out of the room without finishing. Receiving a message from God that this young man was anointed, Schneckloth wrote a letter to the student's pastor.
"I just wanted you to know he has a strong anointing on his life," he said. "If he does not give up, then God will use him for great purposes because God has a plan for his life."
Schneckloth told how he forgot about the letter until a speaking engagement at the Southern New England District camp a few years later. There, he met the young man who was now a youth pastor. The young man had given up, but upon receiving the letter, God broke his heart. He recommitted his life to Christ, attended Central Bible College and became a youth pastor in Massachusetts. The youth pastor showed Schneckloth the letter and said he carries it in his glove box to remind him God has a plan.
"Keep going because God has a great plan for your life," Schneckloth told the students.
Results from the evaluations will be announced during the Celebration Service on Friday Night in the KFC Yum! Center. The service and results may be viewed online at louisville12.ag.org Friday evening.
Tonight, Worth Dying For will return to the stage for worship and Rich Wilkerson Jr. will deliver a message for students as they prepare to head back to school. Log on to louisville12.ag.org/live at 6:25 EDT to watch the service live.