Zurich/Dusseldorf. “Variety” will be the magic word at the 2019 International Youth Convention of the New Apostolic Church. That much is clear. Otherwise, the topics and schedules are still being developed. And what do the participants want? Here are some initial results.
From 30 May to 2 June 2019 up to 40,000 participants are expected at the huge exhibition grounds in Düsseldorf (Germany). The city on the Rhine will be the meeting point for young people from across the world—as was the case already ten years ago at the European Youth Day 2009. Right now, the organisers are busy with the preparations.
They are currently compiling the programme for the three-day event. More than 3,000 young people between the ages of 11 and 34 participated in an online survey, asking them about their preferences. Classified according to age groups—group 1 (11 –17 years), group 2 (18–24 years), group 3 (25–34 years)—the organisers were able to evaluate the responses quite accurately.
Divine services are popular
The survey showed that there are big differences between the age groups in terms of what kind of music they like. The approach to topics is also different: the preferences range from serious biblical subjects to parties. Ninety-six per cent of those surveyed look forward to the divine services that will be offered on Ascension and the Sunday after. The respondents also agreed on seminars, panel discussions, and street music. Whereby seminars and panel discussions are more appreciated by the older ones.
Social media, one of the topics, is of special interest to young people aged 11 to 17. Topics such as “Marriage and Family”, “Planning your future” and “Personal crises” seem to be more interesting to those twenty years and older. About eighty per cent of all respondents voiced an interest in “The practising Christian”, “Life after death”, and “The return of Christ”. In fact, faith-related topics are welcome.
Have you submitted ideas and contributions yet?
What ideas and specific topics do the participants themselves have? The Church leaders would like to know. Everyone can still submit ideas. To submit specific proposals, it is necessary to register in the system. To do this, you need to enter a few contact details, as well as the regional affiliation to a District Apostle Area. After all, the organisers need to be able to clarify details: What is the name of the contribution? Can the content be specified? For which age group is the contribution intended? In which languages can it be offered?
As a matter of fact, language is very important. After all, we are talking about an international youth convention, even if the organisers assume that most of the participants will come from Germany and the surrounding European countries. But young people from other parts of the world have already signaled that they want to come. So the content will at least be offered in the English language.
The motto: Here I am
The motto of the youth convention is “Here I am”. It is both God who addresses these encouraging words to man and vice versa. And therefore it applies to the participants of the youth convention in a very personal way and stands for: “I will come. I want to participate and help along!” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider and several District Apostles were given a tour of the exhibition grounds in November 2017. They were very pleased with what they saw.