As President of GYC, I was sent to the GC Session to represent the vast network of young people who make up GYC. But it’s from the perspective of a regular Seventh-day Adventist layman that I want express my views. And that’s because, of all that I saw, few things touched me more than the fact that, however impressive our church structure is – it’s the lay people, youth included, who are the heart and soul of God’s Remnant.
For starters, unless you’ve been to a GC Session, you can’t even begin to grasp the sensory overload. Even for a young person such as myself – immersed amid the sights and sounds of smart phones, iPads and iPods, laptops, etc. – it was, at times, overwhelming.
It was overwhelming in an inspiring way, because amid all the energy and hubbub, you could sense the dedication, the commitment and the enthusiasm of our members. And though the place was teeming with “church bureaucrats,” I still came away convicted of the role laity has in doing the work that God has called us to do.
I was also impressed by the sheer volume and diversity that makes up the Adventist church. It’s amazing, laypeople and church leaders from all over the world, from all walks of life, people who would have nothing in common were it not for the truths that we have been given.
I also couldn’t help be amazed, too, at how the church operates. It was the democratic process at work, big time. It was fascinating to watch, in fact, the delegates – which included lay people – vote down a measure that the church leaders had really wanted to pass! That’s democracy, and our church without a doubt has it.
The highlight, though, was Elder Wilson’s sermon Sabbath morning, and his appeal to the church to move forward in the truths that we, as a people, have been given. You can read the sermon, you can see it online, but it was thrilling to experience it in person. The place sizzled; that’s the only way I can describe it.
There’s a lot more I could talk about. But, again, in the end, it’s the lay people working with our church leadership who are going to accomplish through God’s grace the mission that we have been given. Thus, I appeal to all the young people involved in GYC to dedicate themselves to the mission Elder Wilson outlined that amazing Sabbath morning at what was, truly, an epochal General Conference Session.