Why Plug In?
It was a cold, slightly grey day in October, 2019, when we sat down around a table in the Lahti Fair Centre to start dreaming about our next youth congress. And by we, we mean all 30 Division and Union Youth Directors in Europe.
Youth congresses have a long-standing tradition in our territory; the first one took place in Germany, in 1928. They are a joyous occasion: a place to connect with other young Christians, to share and celebrate our faith together, to be strengthened and motivated in our personal spiritual journey, and to be challenged to make a real impact in our communities and surroundings.
Having that in mind, we set about to decide on the theme of the congress. We wanted it to be real, relatable, current and practical. Something that would truly speak to all of us. We found the answer in our pockets, in that small device 5.27 billion people use daily.
We cannot even imagine our lives without a mobile phone next to us. We use them to work, to communicate with others, to network, to read the Bible, to play… you name it! They literally keep us plugged in, at all times.
It was that idea of plugging in that captivated us. On the one side, our phones need to be plugged in and charged daily so that they continue to function. On the other side, they keep us plugged in to society, family, friends and people in general.
And that is how the congress theme, Plug In, came to be. We want AYC22 to be the place where you can plug in to God and recharge with friends, so that when you return home with a full battery, you ignite your local church with your involvement and leadership.
John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
We need to abide in Jesus, to plug in to Him so that we can lead truly fruitful lives. And bearing fruit is all about showing love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23). These are all things we cannot do on our own. We also need to plug in to others.
We invite you to join us in 2022. It is our hope and our prayer that with this congress:
- you feel at home, and you have such a great time that you share your experience with others.
- you feel we listen to you and empower you.
- you have the freedom to shape the congress of your dreams with the different options we offer for you.
- you are inspired, motivated and challenged to get involved in your local church, to make a significant difference in your world.