January 8, 2020

New President Says GYC Will Work to Engage Generation Z

Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review

Andrew Park, incoming president of the Seventh-day Adventist youth organization Generation. Youth. Christ. (GYC), said in his first address in his new position that the board he leads will strive to engage new generations in the mission of the church.

Park’s remarks were delivered after the introduction of the new, streamlined board during the 2020 GYC Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on January 4.

“We want God to show us how to challenge young people of this generation to get activated for Him and to get activated for His cause,” Park said.

Park’s introduction by GYC co-founder and board member Justin Kim took place as part of a new, streamlined executive committee, which reduced the number of members and saw only three of them as incumbent officers.

“We are currently going through a restructuring of the executive committee, and we are also going through a big transition in terms of leadership,” Park acknowledged. “In all transparency, we are still working through the future direction of GYC. Things may look very different, or things may not change very much. We are still not sure at this time.”

Kim reported that the new GYC board includes members whose ages range from 20 to 32, with an average age of 25.34.

According to the organization’s website, every member of the GYC executive committee volunteers of their time, making up “a diverse group of Adventist young people, including young professionals, university students, pastors, and Bible workers, who are committed to the message and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

Park said they consider it a privilege. “We as a team are very excited to volunteer for GYC in this capacity,” he said.

GYC is “a youth-initiated and youth-led movement of Seventh-day Adventists from diverse backgrounds, united in a common commitment to serious Bible study, intense prayer, uncompromising lifestyle, and boldness in sharing Christ with others,” its website states. Park reminded the audience that the movement started in 2002 to inspire young people to commit and to have excellence in their Christian walk.

“Now we have just entered into 2020,” Park said. “We recognize that the society of young people is different in 2020 from what it was in 2002,” he said in reference to Millennials and Generation Z. The challenge for the organization in the upcoming years, he said, will be how to engage these new generations in the mission of the church.

Park said that the present, however, makes him feel hopeful for the future.

“I have seen many amazing things here in Louisville — many people making decisions, a lot of people coming for decisions about baptism and also for missions, and I see the Holy Spirit working on this place,” Park said.

He asked for everyone to pray with and for the new executive members, so that God may help them to move forward.

“We ask that you may pray with us, that God may help us to understand His vision for GYC, on how to inspire people to take sacrificial initiatives for Christ, and to help hasten the coming of the Lord in this generation,” he said.

GYC leaders reported that the next annual convention will take place December 30, 2020 through January 3, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio.