Youth Choose to Listen to Jesus

Two actors delivered simultaneous monologues with Jesus beckoning and the devil questioning an audience of more than 600 youth, parents and youth group leaders who had to choose who they would listen to during the drama performance.

When Jesus asked the audience to stand if they wanted to follow Him, young people and mentors alike stood to their feet in the midst of taunts that the devil would be waiting for them outside.

The drama, presented by Happy Feet, a ministry group from Walla Walla University, summarized the experience young people face every day: who they will listen to in life.

The spiritual tone was woven throughout the programming at the Washington Conference Youth Rally in Burien, Wash., in everything from worship songs and thoughtful drama to honest preaching and engaging, interactive afternoon workshops.

Reggie Dupard, keynote speaker and former football player, challenged the high school-age audience to spend more time with Jesus, to have daily devotions and to pray for others.

"God wants to use young people to change the world," says Dupard. "It's time to be serious about your relationship with Jesus."

Youth attended a variety of afternoon workshops, including filmmaking, a collaborative art project, campus ministries, issues teens face, learning to listen (as a leader) and how to be a real Christian. Additionally, a group of 50 participants distributed GLOW tracts and conducted a community survey where young people found 22 Bible-study interests.

"Our challenge to youth is to go home and make a difference in their church," says David Yeagley, Washington Conference youth director. "Involvement in ministry will change their lives and the lives of others."

Youth groups, including young people in Bellingham, Wash., are already taking this challenge seriously. "The drama presentations really hit home with our kids," says Diane Vyskocil, youth leader. "Our youth are developing their drama presentations to share at our church."

A Youth Rally photo gallery is available at bit.ly/soonago2011.

March 01, 2011 / Washington Conference
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Heidi Martella, Washington Conference communication director