David and I both attended large universities and were active in campus ministries. One event that both of our ministries were involved in, that we both very much enjoyed, was what David and I are calling “All Campus Worship.” This was when all the campus ministries, the Methodists, the Baptists, the Catholics, the Presbyterians, the Non-Denominationals, the Inter-Denominationals and everyone in between gathered together and held one giant worship service. We thought it would be fun to carry this idea into Ukraine and host an “All Campus Worship” of our own.
We talked to our student leadership team and they thought it was a great idea, and we all decided that Youth to Jesus would organize and host the event. So we rented a space that seated about 100 people, we contacted friends, other ministries, and we prayed for people to come, relying on the fact that even if only our regular 40 or so showed up we would still at least not be swallowed up by the larger auditorium. It was scary trying something new on such a large scale, having no idea which direction we were headed or where we might end up.
Our worship band practiced, our people with connections advertised, David prepared his sermon, lots of cookies were bought and lots of sweet tea was made. We also involved another youth group in the planning and they were in charge of the prayer time at the end of the service. We posted our greeters at the door at 6pm and the first few people started arriving (other American missionaries of course, but we were still excited). We also started receiving phone calls at 6pm asking again what was going on and where was it going to be happening. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.
About forty or so minutes later, we had standing room only, we think around 120 people. We think about 10 different college groups and youth groups from churches around Lviv were represented. The music was fantastic, David’s message was original and inspiring, the prayer time was well received (we prayed for Lviv) and the time of fellowship afterwards went so well that we had to kick people out. Our students said they can’t wait until we do it again. We hope to do it again next year around Easter and possible involve a few more groups. We’ll pray and see.