London, 16 February 2018/IHQ/ – RUNNING from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 March 2018, an exciting worldwide event is intended to recognise and develop the role of children and young people in fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). Taking the theme ‘Shine!’, the weekend will encourage younger members of The Salvation Army to take the lead in reaching their communities with the love of God.
Last year’s inaugural ‘GoMoCY’ children and youth weekend was an outstanding success, with 52 of The Salvation Army’s 128 countries taking part. From painting parties, sports events, neighbourhood clean-ups and service at various community events, to leading and speaking at Sunday worship services, the youth of The Salvation Army around the world stood up and made some noise for the Kingdom of God – and their voices were heard!
The 2018 theme ‘Shine!’ comes from Isaiah 60:1 NIV: ‘Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.’ The Salvation Army’s International Youth Officers Majors Keith and Shona Pike share their vision for the weekend: ‘We pray that God’s light will shine in every corner of our world as children and youth respond to God’s call to “arise and shine!” because the glory of the Lord has risen on them. We want to see the youth of our Army transformed by the power of the gospel and in turn become a transforming influence in the communities in which they live.’
As in 2017, the implementation will vary depending on local needs and resources, but a suggested outline for the weekend is:
Friday 23 March
• Outreach events
Saturday 24 March
• Prayer events
• ‘Messy Church’ activities
Sunday 25 March
• Main worship service led by/including youth and children (with young people leading worship, prayer times, preaching the Bible message, giving their testimonies etc.), providing an opportunity for every Salvation Army corps/church to hear the dreams of their youth and children
The resources, created by the Canada and Bermuda Territory’s youth department, are available to download from https://sar.my/gomocy2018. The downloadable material is separated into categories for children, youth and families, and features devotionals, activities, prayer stations, ideas for service projects and sermon outlines, as well as graphics for social media. They are available in PDF and editable Word document formats, allowing for translation.
Majors Keith and Shona Pike add: ‘One addition to this year’s resources is the inclusion of family devotionals and activities. We believe this part of the weekend will help to reinforce to our youth that their faith is lived out in community and that it begins at home. This year we want to continue to mobilise our youth to shine their light and allow the world to see Christ living through each of them.’
Participants are encouraged to share the highlights of their ‘Shine!’ activities on social media, using the hashtag #GoMoCY2018. The Whole World Mobilising will provide regular updates throughout the weekend, across their website and social media platforms.
Report by Laura Booth
The Whole World Mobilising team, International Headquarters