Maybe I’m ever so slightly biased, but it’s definitely one of the best examples of youth ministry there is.
And the reason Youth 2000 is so successful at enabling young people to encounter Christ, taste what life is like in Him, and so allow the Holy Spirit to transform their hearts – is because it’s all about Him – Jesus!
No gimmicks, no clever marketing strategies, (almost literally) no money… just young people passionate for their peers to experience the healing, transforming, beautiful love of the Lord.
This video is a wonderful example of exactly this – young people super-keen for others to experience the love they have experienced:
I’ve known Youth 2000 over the last ten years, and what has convinced me of the Lord’s guiding it, is the fact that – against all odds, with no official funding from dioceses, with extremely limited resources, and overcoming many difficulties – countless young people meet Christ, are converted, are transformed, through these retreats. Each year, the team of young people leading the retreat gets bigger, better, even more awesome. This year, over thirty young people aged 16-25 met for a weekend to pray for and plan for the Walsingham Festival – see more about Walsingham here.
Too often, we experience (still!) in churches – often at the parish Confirmation Mass – well-intentioned, older generations heartily singing ‘Here I Am Lord’ on the guitar, thinking that this is what young people like. What is unique about Youth 2000 is that it is all about peer ministry – young people evangelising young people themselves.
If you know any young person aged 16-25 – don’t hesitate to invite them to Walsingham this year (22-26 August).
As with any great work within the Church, it is often the hidden, little, under-resourced initiatives that are the most spiritually powerful and effective. This is definitely the case with Youth 2000. (Follow the new YouTube Y2konnected channel and see some of the testimonies or like the page on Facebook)
And finally, if you are too old for the festival, but have a heart for bringing young people to Christ – Youth 2000 finally paid off the bills for last summer’s Walsingham festival this spring. At the moment, young people are organising all the fundraising events you can think of (football tournament, music ministry night, a star-studded ball) to raise funds for this year’s festival (which in total costs £80,000 – participants are asked for a donation of £100 each, but many are students). If you are in a position to donate to this year’s festival and directly contribute to the evangelisation of the young, please contact the National Office who can advise you of a secure way of donating: firstname.lastname@example.org.