Global Youth Week of Prayer, an annual event organized by the department of Adventist Youth Ministries (AYM) of the General Conference (GC) of Seventh-Day Adventists, is just around the corner. With Global Youth Day (GYD) set to launch the event on March 18, 2023, this annual celebration promises to be impactful for youth worldwide. This year's theme, "Love is a Verb," is a call to action for youth to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their communities.
What are Global Youth Day and Youth Week of Prayer?
On March 13, 2013, the GC, 13 Division youth directors, Middle East and North African Union, and the Israel field came together to launch GYD with the aim of encouraging and mobilizing youth to serve others and share the Gospel.
GYD marks the beginning of the Youth Week of Prayer and unites youth from around the world in selfless service to God and their communities. Every year, divisions and entities choose community projects to focus on during the service day. In past events, young people have built homes for the underprivileged, engaged in community cleaning campaigns, donated blood, and distributed spiritual literature.
Busi Khumalo, director of AYM, highlights that GYD is meant to be a springboard for young people to continue serving their communities and growing in their faith for more than just one day. Khumalo shares, “Youth Week of Prayer serves as one of the means to lead young people to Jesus, to bring synergy among the global youth and to inspire [them] to be active participants in the mission of the Church.” He also adds that Youth Week of Prayer is intended to be a week where young people can experience revival.
Every year, at the end of the week, there is a "Home Coming Sabbath," where young people share stories of how the week has changed their lives. Khumalo shares that in Zambia thousands of youth accepted Jesus as their personal savior and made a commitment to be baptized after attending Youth Week of Prayer in 2020 and 2021.
Love is a Verb
The theme for 2023, "Love is a Verb," challenges young people to put their faith into action. Khumalo shares, "We believe that as Christians we ought to be genuine as we serve the Lord and fellow human beings. We hope that this theme will challenge the youth not to view participation in GYD as an obligation but as a reminder that they should be the hands and feet of Jesus."
1 John 3:18 says, "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” This year’s theme is a reminder that our love for God and others should be active, not passive. We are called to love not just in words. By serving others with love, we reflect the love of Jesus to the world and fulfill His commandment to love one another (John 13:34-35).
Youth Week of Prayer offers incredible opportunities for young people to connect with each other, grow in their faith, and serve their communities. Churches can get involved by encouraging young people to participate in worship services, providing them with support throughout the week, and helping them to organize community service projects. AYM encourages youth to contact their pastor or conference youth leader to see what projects their local church will be involved in on GYD.
AYM also provides a resource packet that churches can use. It features 8 sermons in English and Spanish that expand on this year’s theme, tips on planning for the week and for GYD, a PowerPoint template, flyers, banners, and promo videos.
AYM encourages all youth to participate in serving their communities, experiencing revival during a week of prayer, and inviting friends to join.
As we near Youth Week of Prayer, may the Church encourage and join young people to make a positive impact, and to spread love through action. Together, we can create a world where the love of Jesus shines through the actions of His followers.
To learn more about GYD, Youth Week of Prayer, or for more information on AYM, visit https://www.gcyouthministries.org/. To stay connected to what is happening with AYM, follow their Social Media pages. For Facebook see; @gcyouthministries. For Instagram see: @gcyouth