How To Have the Most Fun at GYC

Or at least, my take on it.

When I first started coming to GYC, I would remember every message, every speaker, and every conviction felt during each session. I would even remember who sang which special music for which evening. I learned so many new things, heard so many fresh thoughts that I had never heard before. My hungry and ignorant soul needed those sermons.

But if you’re like me and will be attending your n-th GYC conference this year, you may have more difficulty in remembering the messages you heard in previous GYCs. It takes me a few minutes now to distinguish between GYC 2008 and 2009, and I honestly can’t remember what happened in 2010. The conferences, plenary sessions, and workshops blend together in this one big blob of memory where I picture multitudes of people entering and exiting the auditorium.

If that is so, I want to suggest that listening to 7 sermons straight each day may not be your greatest need in coming to GYC. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t come, though. I’d like to submit that your greatest need may be to serve others at the conference and volunteer.

Early this year I wrote about my volunteering experience at GYC 2011, about how much fun it was. As a result, I couldn’t attend most of the sessions and seminars, and I remember almost nothing from last year. But I assure you, I was spiritually fed and refreshed.

If you have never volunteered at GYC, here’s my attempt to canvass you to do it this year.

First, you get to work with people who are like-minded and passionately determined to give the best for God. The resonance in thought, feeling, and mission is at a level you will rarely see elsewhere (and if you’re in a secular environment – never). As a result, the kind of synergy in teamwork that takes place is simply invigorating.

Second, you get to be involved in a short-term project that will very likely end well, and with low chance of interpersonal conflicts because everyone is so nice. Even if there’s conflict, the prevailing custom is to be Christ-like. Basically, a happy ending is guaranteed and you will gain that rewarding feeling from a job well done.

Third, you get to appreciate the complicated orchestra that is GYC. The details that go into actualizing an event for 7000 people are simply astounding, and not one person involved in the project has superpowers. Have you thought about what goes into moving 7000 people from the auditorium to the dining hall without confusion? GYC happens because of individual contributions from young men and women whose lives have been touched by the Gospel. And THAT is simply amazing.

Fourth, you get to see how God covers glitches. Because there are so many pieces that need to come together, mistakes happen. And you get to practice that Christian love and humility you hear about in the seminars, because it may be that God covers some of the glitches throughyou. What about practicing patience during complaints when registration is down? These things do happen, because we’re imperfect human beings in an imperfect world.

The machinery that makes the conference happen is not faultless, but it so happens that God’s grace is enough to cover our–yes, all 7000 of us–shortcomings and weaknesses.

You may get sore leg muscles from running back and forth delivering water bottles. Or you may get blisters from rushing to print handouts for speakers. But there’s a storehouse of blessings that will not be unlocked until you are engaged in service.

“in our life here, earthly, sin-restricted though it is, the greatest joy and the highest education are in service” (Education, p. 309)

So, volunteer! Just remember to do stretches each night and that blisters heal. But that joy of service will do something more lasting to your soul. See you in Seattle!

Email volunteers@gycweb.org

Ms. Elia first attended a GYC conference in 2004 in Sacramento, California. She will be co-presenting a seminar at this year’s GYC conference in Seattle. If you are interested in volunteering your time at GYC this year, please email volunteers@gycweb.org.

This article was originally posted on Ms. Elia’s personal blog. You can find it here.

  • Alnela

    I couldn’t agree more 🙂 Volunteering is a most rewarding experience! Your intent is to give as much as you can of yourself so that others may benefit, but somehow you end up with the most abundant rewards by default. The first and only GYC i’ve attended was in 2010, and naturally I decided to volunteer. I couldn’t have enjoyed the conference more than when working “with people who are like-minded and passionately determined to give the best for God.” And would you know… I am still reaping the benefits! 🙂

    • Josephine

      That’s great to hear, Alnela!!

  • GYC is like a annual spiritual oasis for senior youth & young adults.
    Look for new ways to share Christ when you go home.
    Look for new Christian friends from all over the world
    Reconnect to your best friend Jesus through prayer ,worship , seminars & outreach .
    Get the most out of every minute @ GYC by showing up to everything offered
    Remember soon you will go home where others are thursty and hunger for the gospel
    They need you to help build them a spiritual oasis to meet there needs
    Ron Whitehead – a GYC supporter

  • Simply Stacy

    This was my first time at GYC. I’ve never heard of it before this year. A couple of my friends introduced me to it. The whole experience is something I’ll never forget! I’ve never felt a spark in my spiritual life before this conference. I am truly humbled, honored, grateful and blessed to come to GYC! It’s like I really want to just dive in and be involved in my church, and do devotions, and start projects that have only ever been ideas. I’m ready to step up, and make a change. But I know that change has to start with me. Thank you to all the Volunteers, Staff, Pastors, Speakers, and everyone involved for making this Conference an unforgettable Spiritual Renewal that I desperately needed. As for having fun, I totally had a blast! I thank God that everything worked out for me to go!

    From the bottom of my heart,
    Thank you so much

    P.S. I hope come to GYC next year, Hello Orlando!