April 17 saw 800 – 900 youth gather at Broadway Church in Vancouver for ONE.3, the third annual gathering.
Facilitated by the Hope Vancouver Youth Network (HVYN), the interdenominational event’s main speaker was CRY Canada’s Faytene Kryskow.
HVYN’s Mika Kostamo told BCCN: “At the altar call, over a hundred youth came forward to consecrate themselves to God. For others, commitment to the Lord was a new thing.”
Kostamo noted the participation of Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals – a wide representation from the church, coming from all over the Lower Mainland.
“There is a ONE event planned for next year along with a New Year’s gathering, he confirmed. hvyn.org
Historymaker, one of Canada’s largest Christian gatherings of youth and young adults, will take place May 15 – 17; it will mark the first use of the brand new Langley Events Centre. Organizers anticipate a capacity crowd of up to 6,000.
Historymaker started back in the 60s, and was originally based in Kamloops. In recent years, the size, scope and location of the event has changed. Over the years, more than 100,000 young people have attended the gatherings.
According to Historymaker’s director Ben Johnson, “We are encouraging youth to take action, not just to have a head belief. [We’re] calling people to faith and works.”
Although birthed and supported by the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, the event is primarily self-funding and highly multi-denominational. Historymaker’s Marc Poitras confirmed this, adding: “HM’s vision is to support youth in the local church, and be part of a movement to empower youth to discover the presence of God.”
This year’s event features New Zealand’s Parachute Band, As One, Revolution Band and Ontario rapper Manafest. The main speaker is author Lisa Bevere. historymaker.ca
Eight years ago, six teen Christians found themselves churchless; their congregation had dissolved under them. With some mentoring, they began their own ‘church.’ Co-founder Simon Gau told BCCN: “We started a church for youth, run by youth — somewhere I can bring my friends.”
Called simply ‘Youth Church,’ they now have a main congregation of 300 — 400, almost all 15 — 25 years old. They meet at People’s Church in Surrey, 7 pm Sundays.
In addition, there are four other campuses (East Vancouver, Cloverdale, White Rock and Abbotsford), with another soon to start in Chilliwack.
On May 31 at Life Church in White Rock, various church members will gather for ‘Six in the Mix’; they expect around 800 youth. Youth Church is an independent endeavour. Although mentored by Rick Ellis (a 50 year old leader), they tend to be “entrepreneurial,” according to Gau — not necessarily joining in with events like Historymaker.
Asked what accountability they have with the wider church, Gau told BCCN that they meet weekly as Youth Church leaders, and he is connected to the Surrey Youth Pastors.
“I have been asked that question a lot. But since we’ve now been going over eight years, questions about our legitimacy have diminished,” he said.
Youth Church is very ‘seeker friendly’ according to Gau. “Every week we do an altar call.”
They anticipate the Chilliwack church campus starting in the summer. preachitliveitworkit.com