Assemblies of God (AG) is hosting its National Youth Convention (NYC) in Detroit's famous downtown Cobo Hall. The event will be occurring August 2-6, 2010. You can still signup and attend or stream evening events live from your browser.
Why are they here?
The promotion of this year's AG NYC has resounded a trumpet call to come and save Detroit through the power of God. Not only are they motivating youth to heed the desire of local church leaders to spearhead a revival in the Detroit area, they are entertaining them with relevant CCM artists and comedy shows to keep them motivated and goal-oriented to make a profound change in one of the nation's worst cities, at least, while they are in town.
Local hub church attendee, Detroit native, and AG NYC featured musical guest says, "I've felt in my spirit that God was going to launch something big in this city. My heart's cry is for the youth of Detroit to start a massive revival." (AG.org News & Information)
The FAQ page on the AG NYC website lists several questions and answers very relevant to visitors who are currently attending, or en route to the event. One of them asks, "why Detroit?" The AG NYC organizers state that the Holy Spirit quickened and motivated them to have a conference that shines the light of the Gospel. This is in cooperation with the claim that an 'outpouring of the Spirit' will occur are just a few of the bold statements organizers claim will occur. (Detroit 2010 AG NYC FAQ)
What is so interesting?
The AG NYC not only anticipates drawing some 13,000 attendees this year, but it also generates motivation to visitors and the resident population to care about Detroit as a whole. The event will produce outreaches in strategically chosen locations, provide local grocery distribution, and strive ardently to impact Detroit for Christ. It is interesting that the AG NYC ironically resembles most motivational arena events that have become a hallmark of major Christian 'outreach' extravaganzas and wreak of charlatanism to the publc, unbelieving population.
What does the Bible say?
Jesus taught his disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every living creature, make disciples, and baptize them (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15). He also taught them that whoever does not take up their cross, a sign they would have known to be one of Roman capital punishment and certain death, cannot be His disciple and follow Him. This was a requirement for discipleship. This was not a clever usage of hyperbole that described the stresses of strategic planning, and social action, this was proclamation of sin, righteousness, and judgment to a lost and dying world, this was facing certain death for proclaiming a message that brought eternal life.
What is the best part?
AG NYC lays claim to catalyst status when it states that there will be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and 'souls saved.' These are lofty claims that Detroiters could benefit from eternally. But merely motivating an arena full of youth to call social action 'revival' is an atrocity worthy of repentance. Maybe the organizers could do well to study the result of 'social' action and its pitfalls from late Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young and his predecessors.
If you decide to finish reading the entire FAQ section its closing paragraphs highlight what may be the perfect summary of what conferences like this really are about. In address of the ills that come with the blight and crime Detroit is so well known for, the organizers saw fit to include a personal testimony of their scouting missions. It reads as follows,
"The worst thing that happened to me during any of my visits to downtown Detroit was being approached by a homeless panhandler - but that happens to me in rural towns in the Midwest!"
That lays out simply the disparity between true Christian living, and nominal evangelicalism that is riddled with rock concert revivals and faux discipleship that creates more false converts than lovers of Jesus. After all He did say 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself' (Mark 12:31), but in this case, the Holy Spirit is probably not interested in panhandlers.
Pump up the youth, claim revival, and schedule a mighty move of the Holy Spirit for distribution to ticketholding patrons at Detroit's Cobo Hall. And remember, to avoid those pesky panhandlers.
For more info: Visit the AG NYC website or read the RSS feed on this particular subject