Youth Quake: Was it worth it?
By Rob Schellenberg
Front banner: Matt Maher leads worship at YQ '10. Photo by Viktor Karklins.
AJ Crocker works the crowd at YQ '10.
Photo by Viktor Karklins.
That was one of the questions people were asking before Youth Quake 2010 kicked off.
For the organizers, it was more than worth it.
“Oh yeah,” Glenn Runnalls, the VP in charge of Youth Quake, said. “The work itself is worth it because it is good work. We are training people for lives of service, and this was a weekend of service.
“I think that what we have is a really good Gospel event—a kingdom event,” he added.
Rachell Runnalls, Briercrest College and Seminary’s director of Core Events and one of YQ’s main organizers, agreed.
“I think there’s absolutely nothing more exciting than working with a team for kingdom purposes,” she said.
AJ Crocker, Youth Quake’s “party planner,” also agreed. He spent many long days travelling to promote Youth Quake, and he said that every bit of work became worth it when he saw the reactions of the 1,200 Youth Quake retreaters.
“At times it can be frustrating to invite so many students and connect with so many students and not see them come to Youth Quake,” Crocker said. “But on that Saturday night when you see kids from four different camps that I was at and students from CHS coming to the front who you wouldn’t suspect that they would go to the front and you see students who you’ve had connections with in the past taking something from the cross home with them and understanding what Sid [Koop] is challenging them with in terms of taking up their own cross—that erases any of the stress or any of the hard work—any of the frustration that comes with the logistics of running an event of this size.
“To see lives changed and to see students making decisions to change their lives and to glorify God with what they’re doing, instead of trying to glorify themselves or to chase comfort, that makes seven years of work worth it,” he added.
The victories Crocker talked about wouldn’t have happened without the efforts of a lot of people.
Glenn particularly appreciated the high school, college and seminary students’ involvement, highlighting the efforts of the Here 4 U Crew, a group of student volunteers.
“That’s the most important story here,” he said. “You see our senior students that get our mission. They are just here to serve. They get no glory—they just get a pink t-shirt.”
The volunteer work went beyond the student body as well. Crocker said he loved the way the whole organization came together to make for a great weekend. He recognized the efforts of all of the departments and individuals that worked behind the scenes to make the weekend a success.
“It’s just wonderful to see the community living out lives of service,” he said. “To get a chance at that kind of kingdom work all together is just amazing. That’s one of the highlights for me.
“I’m just blown away at how great the community was to come alongside us and to own this with us.”
While YQ was a great party, Glenn was also pleased with the “clear call to kingdom living and dependence on Christ” that Sid Koop, the event’s speaker, presented.
“At Briercrest, we are intent on seeing the Gospel go forth,” Glenn said. The retreaters saw many of the wonderful things happening at Briercrest.
“They got exposure to some of the things the Lord is doing here,” he continued, adding that this year there was more exposure to the professors than ever before (Click here for related story).
YQ organizers hope that professor exposure will bring more students to the school, something that is especially important to the Admissions team, who worked all weekend.
“Great weekend,” Kyle Matthies, who oversees the Admissions department, said. “It’s a win all the way around. I think it’s more valuable than people appreciate.
“It's the one event we run that brings our target market to the school.”
Sixty-two college applications and nine high school applications came in over the weekend. One application came in even after the scholarship draw was done and the buses were loading up to leave.