IPHC Student Ministries officially announced the cancellation of YouthQuest 2020, due to the COVID-19 crisis. Stephen Jones, the team leader of the Student Ministries Advisory Team, addressed the decision in a brief video announcement on Tuesday morning.
MESSAGE FROM STEPHEN JONES:
“Can we have a conversation about fine arts?
With all the current cancellations related to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve had a lot of questions about whether or not we will host our national Fine Arts festival and the YouthQuest event this summer in July.
I’d like for us to first step back and reexamine the purpose, mission, and vision for Fine Arts.
- The Purpose of Fine Arts … Fine Arts is all about…
- students responding to the call of God in their lives,
- leaders recruiting students for ministry, and
- local churches raising up the next generation to build the Kingdom of God in their community.
- Fine Arts is not about what happens on a stage—it’s about what happens in a person when they surrender their hearts and leverage their gifts for the empowering Presence of God to accomplish His plan.… And we believe that He DOES have a perfect plan, and that this pandemic has NOT caught Him by Surprise. For that reason, we don’t cower in fear, nor do we settle in despair… but we recognize this season for what it is… it’s…
- The Opportunity of a Generation… It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in the news about…
- Epidemics that foster fear and anxiety about the future
- Quarantines that isolate from our friends and families
- Restrictions that disappoint our hopes and expectations
- BUT WE have the great and precious promises of God,
- the salvation and freedom found in His Son Jesus,
- the hope that does NOT disappoint,
- the knowledge that God is Sovereign, and
- the reminder of Isaiah’s prophecy that “the Lord Almighty has PURPOSED, and no one can thwart Him.” (Isa 14:26-27)…
- AND the privilege of serving Him during this season.
- Just like every other generation, we have been tasked with carrying the Gospel to the ends of the earth, to make disciples, and to leverage what He has given us for His glory.…For that reason, because we don’t want to miss what God is doing in spite of our circumstances, we need to rise to the …
- The Challenge of this Moment… Let’s ask ourselves the questions,
- Where is the opportunity in this moment?
- How am I maximizing the gifts God has given me, RESPONDING TO HIS CALL?
- How am I listening to the heart of God, RECRUITING WORKERS FOR HIS HARVEST?
- How am I RAISING UP THIS NEXT GENERATION TO SERVE CHRIST?
- We have an INCREDIBLE chance to dig deeper in the truths of Scripture, to soar higher in prayer and communion with God, and to invest our time in His service…
- Have you asked God what He would have you do with this opportunity?
- Taking what He has given you and obediently submitting it to Him in service is the ESSENCE of Fine Arts, and it’s the challenge of this moment.
We’re all saddened to officially announce that the National Fine Arts Festival and YouthQuest 2020 has been cancelled, and we will not be meeting this summer in Jacksonville, FL to corporately celebrate what God is doing in us, in our churches, and in our communities.
BUT—we cannot forget about this opportunity, this privilege we have to serve God in this moment, in our context, in this crisis.
Let’s ask ourselves the questions, “What are we doing with what we have to build God’s Kingdom where we are?” and then let’s listen with obedience to the leading of the Spirit.
Yes, YouthQuest is cancelled, but
NO, this is not an excuse to ignore the call of God.
This is the clear-call of the voice of God to prepare yourselves for the doors that are about to be opened, to recognize the needs around you, and to steward the gifts God has given you.
If you have questions about YouthQuest, Fine Arts, or how we can resource you and your local church in student ministry, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact me and the Student Ministries team.
If you have questions about scholarships, please reach out to our colleges; they stand ready to help you. If you’ve not already made up your mind about where to further your education, or even if you have, still let me invite you to consider one of our IPHC schools.
In the meanwhile, keep honing your gift, keep sharing your testimony, keep pursuing His Presence, and “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.'”
**If you have questions, please contact the National Discipleship Ministries office (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ron Fredericks, National Fine Arts Coordinator (email@example.com).**