A group of young adults (pictured below) gathered recently for GC Next 2017. Here is a report from event coordinator Andy Rooney (and click on the picture below for video highlights).
Thanks to the Holy Spirit working through the prayers, support, guidance and encouragement of so many in GCI, GC Next was a tremendous success! 61 young adults (ages 18-30) from 16 different states (in the US and Canada), and 43 different churches came together at a retreat center near Durham, North Carolina, on MLK weekend (January 13-16) to worship, fellowship, sharpen ministry tools, and encourage one another towards fullness of life, love and community in Jesus Christ.
GC Next was unique in the sense that there was little delineation between leaders and participants. This was possible because the leadership team intentionally sought to proactively empower and facilitate. We offered 24 different workshops and had 23 different workshop leaders. Put another way, 43% of the participants at GC Next led a workshop! In addition, 31 different people (58% of participants) had some sort of leadership role in the planning and/or executing of the weekend. GC Next was a weekend of passion, sharing and collaborative learning. It was a picture of the Body of Christ utilizing its diverse gifting to function in unity with one another.
Our workshops were small group (12-15 people) discussions with interaction focused on themes of putting our theology into practice. We discovered indestructible peace, shared our testimonies, discussed sexual wholeness, served people at a nearby homeless shelter, practiced spiritual formation, developed tools to love others well, brainstormed ideas for sustainable ministries and much more. In addition, we had a night for games and fellowship, a night for dancing and celebration, and a night for prayer and worship (shout out to Revolution Cry for an incredible job leading us in worship!). It was a wonderfully enriching weekend where strangers left as family and young adults left inspired. God is certainly working in this next generation of GCI leaders!
Here are quotes from GC Next participants:
- “GC Next changed my life. I feel uplifted and encouraged to live life better.”
- “This past weekend was AMAZING. It was one of the best weekends ever. Bringing all those people together was absolutely magical. It made so many people so happy.”
- “I felt loved, accepted, and deeply challenged by people I just met.”
- “Very informative, eye-opening, and practical discussion.”
- “GC Next gives me hope. We can do a lot of good with this group.”