Thousands of young people are flocking to Christ, reports Youth Alive

2022 is ‘one of the most fruitful years of soul-winning in 40 years’

2022 is a special year for Youth Alive as we celebrate 40 years since its beginnings on a youth camp in Portsea, Victoria. Over the last four decades, God truly has moved in our nation and we’ve seen more than 320,000 young people respond to the Gospel through the ministry of Youth Alive.

At our core, we exist to reach young people with the Gospel, raise up leaders for the body of Christ and resource local youth ministries, with the goal that God would revive the next generation through the Gospel. Outworking this mandate has always been our priority, but to be brutally honest as the director of our Victorian arm, we faced great difficulty outworking our mission throughout 2020 and 2021 during the height of the pandemic lockdowns. However, our prayer over the last few years has been that God would compensate us by way of souls saved. And after the last two years in Victoria, we were truly ready for 2022 to come around.

This year has been one of the most fruitful years of soul-winning we’ve seen in the 40 years that Youth Alive has operated.

As things began to open up, our whole team was all ready to muscle up and take the hill again. We had big faith that God would do great things and we really have seen God respond to that faith. This year has been one of the most fruitful years of soul-winning we’ve seen in the 40 years that Youth Alive has operated. This year alone, in Victoria we have already seen 2572 responses to the Gospel. We’ve been able to distribute 1800 Bibles to many of the teens who responded to the gospel and made faith commitments. In Victoria, we’ve been able to present the Gospel in person to 12,622 people.

In May and June we ran a five-week outreach campaign with 18 regional events throughout our state, reaching as far as Mildura, Wodonga, Portland, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Goulburn Valley and right down into the suburbs of Melbourne. At these events, 1256 young people gave their lives to Christ and we were able to place 1000 Bibles into the hands of young people who responded. We received reports from one youth pastor in a remote country town with a population of only 3480, who said: “My wife and I brought 14 teenagers with us to the regional event in Bendigo. None of the teens we brought were Christian. On the night, we saw half of them (seven) respond to the alter-call and give their life to Christ.”

As the year progressed, we franticly planned and prepared for our flagship event in Victoria that we call “Main Event”, which is our annual state rally. In the week leading up to our state rally, our team were in 42 high schools. In fact this year alone, our team have conducted more than 70 sessions in high schools across our state. We’ve seen local youth groups form strong inroads with schools on the back of the lunchtime performances and motivational workshops that we hosted.

In this holy moment, we saw 1000 teens in one night respond to the Gospel and give their life to Christ.

Once our tour of schools concluded, the Main Event was very quickly upon us. Saturday, August 13 was the day. More than 55 coaches plus loads of minivans descended on Melbourne, carrying teenagers from the furthest corners of Victoria. We saw 4327 young people turn out for a night that would change lives and spark momentum afresh for youth ministries near and far. On the night, the Gospel was preached with great clarity and conviction by Pastor Sam Long and when the altar was opened for teens to give their life to Christ, we were overwhelmed by the response!

There were so many teens who responded that our volunteer response team were flooded. It truly was a beautiful moment, as the altar was so jammed that key business people who had given finance toward making the night possible were asked to help hand out Bibles. Even the singers and musicians on stage put down their instruments and pitched in to help hand out Bibles.

In this holy moment, we saw 1000 teens in one night respond to the Gospel and give their life to Christ, and we were able to put 800 Bibles into the hands of many of the teens who responded. That night really was a restorative moment for youth ministries in Victoria after the last two years of lockdowns.

The Youth Alive band help hand out Bibles

The Youth Alive band help hand out Bibles at the 2022 Main Event in Victoria

Here’s what some youth pastors had to say about Main Event:

“We brought ten kids … Five responded and went forward. It’s the first Main Event I’ve been to for over 20 years … and it’s the best Youth Alive I’ve ever been to, out of many.”

Every single youth from our youth group went down for altar call, every new person/person who hasn’t been to youth for a long time gave their life to Christ.”

“One of the youth girls didn’t want to go to Youth Alive’s Main Event. She said she has anxiety with big crowds. Her mum wanted her to come, yet she told us that she has social anxiety. Our youth leaders prayed for her for two weeks … A day before she decides to sign up! At the event, she told one of the leaders that she has no anxiety at all. She recommitted her life to Jesus that night and was set free from the chains of anxiety.”

“We’ve got a 15-year-old [whose] parents are former pastors. He’s backslidden and they fought hard to get him here tonight. He went down the front to the altar. Parents are unbelievably thankful. Just one of hundreds. It’s awesome to see lots of worship, not just games.”

In closing, let me say this. The day of the harvest is now. God is moving in our nation and lives are being changed. Please continue to pray for the next generation that as the Gospel is preached, it would land on fruitful soil.

Dave Edgar is Director of Youth Alive Victoria.