Afterglow, a new feature of this year’s GYC convention, has been enthusiastically embraced by teen and young adult attendees.
Led by Stephen and Felecia Lee every evening at 9 p.m., the unique meeting has helped everyone shake off their nervousness and get to know one another through a variety of icebreakers, games, and a small workshop.
Icebreakers such as “Would You Rather?” on Wednesday night invited participants to make hypothetical decisions about some serious and also some funny life choices. Interesting discussions emerged from questions such as, “Would you rather make a little bit of money doing what you love, or make a lot of money doing work you hate?” Laughter characterized another question that was posed: “Would you rather be stranded in a submarine at the bottom of the ocean or a spaceship in the middle of the galaxy?”
On Thursday evening, participants were broken up into groups by birthday month and given a list of questions to discuss together. According to one young woman, Danielle Acosta, from Tillamook, Oregon, “The questions were more than your typical icebreaker questions. These questions were deeper.”
Questions such as, “Who was the most influential person in your life so far?” and “What is your mission in life, and how do you see yourself fulfilling that mission?” pushed the groups to go deeper in their conversations. “As we discussed and shared with each other, it was fun to laugh, listen, and encourage each other [in the ways] God is leading [our] lives and how we’ve become a blessing in our home, school, and workplace,” Acosta says.
After icebreakers, attendees could co-mingle. Luckily, self-identified introverts were not left to fend for themselves as Felecia led a workshop providing advice and tools on how to make new friends. She talked about the importance of good posture, eye contact, a strong handshake, and avoiding mental roadblocks such as “the negative voice in your head.”
Felecia said of the workshop, “I wanted to do a session for people on the shy and introverted side to help them learn how to interact with others. Even though [Afterglow is] all about networking, some people need tools to help them learn how to do [just that].”
Her husband, Stephen, added: ”It is powerful to come and listen to sermons and presentations to receive the Word of God, to be inspired and convicted for Him… but,” he continues, “I believe God desires just as much [for us] to have a close relationship with each other.”
“Afterglow,” he says, “is a small step but huge impact and step in the right direction for our people to come together.”