GA Postponed Til September 2021

Please direct all GA questions to [email protected]

Dear Youth for Christ Family:
“COVID-19, Social Distancing, leveling the curve.” Terminology we had never heard of a month ago is now used every day. And “Zoom call” is now competing with “Google it” for a most-used word in our vocabulary! This crisis is real and affecting each of our nations and the operations we undertake for our ministry.
As most of you know, we have a leadership team with representation of the nations from around the world. It is twelve (12) people including two from each of the four Areas (one from Asia Pacific at the moment), plus John Bastian, CFO; Mike McCarthy, Director of Communications; Thomas Speckhardt, Director of YouthCompass; Chris Kozacek, Director of Care, Training and Prayer; and me. Your National Directors report into Regional Directors who report into a member of this group. We call it the World Leadership Team or WLT. After praying and sharing together with this team that represents each of you, it became abundantly clear to me that we need to postpone our General Assembly to September 2021. Our Handbook seemed to foresee situations such as this because it specifically says that we should have a GA every three years whenever possible. It is almost unprecedented in the history of Youth for Christ, but I believe that our global situation calls for this now. Specifically the following five reasons were mentioned, among others, at our recent leadership meeting:
  • No certainty of when travel will be possible and widely available again
  • Inability to get visas right now for many, as embassies are closing
  • Funding available should be used to support programs in crisis
  • Will be especially difficult for our young leaders from many countries to attend this year
  • Our movement should be focusing during this crisis on how to reach and help the young people of the world
This decision was not one that was easy or taken lightly. It’s always a bit more challenging when it affects our beloved Youth for Christ family.  Your General Assembly planning team has been notified of my decision in advance of this announcement. The international board of trustees is also in full support. Please pray for grace and wisdom as our GA team works to shift and reschedule everything by one year. We will be adding to the FAQ section of the GA website as well sending out updates via the GAzette in the future that will answer many of the questions you may have.
And as a family, let’s care for each other in every way possible, share stories of God’s grace and provision, share ideas of how we can help and reach the youth of our world with Christ’s love and the hope of the gospel during this crisis.
Imagine the laughter if I, as your leader, suggested that I had seen this coming and knew exactly what to do, and had all the resources to do the best thing. You would be either super impressed or totally in disbelief, and most likely that latter! Now let me remind our hearts today that Christ is our leader and He knew this was coming, knows exactly what each of us should do, and has no lack of resources. So for us it is a matter of trust and discernment. Let’s be in prayer together, not glued to our source of news or favorite games for hours on end, but rather making the best use of our time to intercede for the youth we love, and then to serve them and communicate with them, sharing the gospel with renewed energy and hope.
Katy and I send our love to each of you and please be assured of our daily prayers.
Serving with you with the strength He provides,
If you have time, please read my PS after my signature for some scriptural reflections…Jesus is coming soon!
In Christ,
Dave Brereton
International Director
Cell: +1 514 705 6823
“Serving, loving, leading the global YFC family”
Following are two unpopular but relevant scriptures. I simply quote them here for your personal reflection with a brief comment in the middle. My charge to us is the last verse quoted.
In Luke 21:25 to 38 we read:
“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” Then he gave them this illustration: “Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” Every day Jesus went to the Temple to teach, and each evening he returned to spend the night on the Mount of Olives. The crowds gathered at the Temple early each morning to hear him.
It is fascinating to me that in most Christian circles it is now frowned upon to read these passages of scripture. Have we become a people who promote Christianity as a good lifestyle choice but don’t want to talk about judgement, Christ’s imminent personal return, and end times? It’s strange that the prophetic gift as to our personal lives is making a comeback but biblical prophecy as to how this whole world ends is definitely out of vogue. Of course the Bible prophesies that it will be so…
2 Peter 3:1-14
This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.” They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed. But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.