My Experience At World Youth Day Lisbon
1.5 million young faith-filled young people gathered in Lisbon, Portugal earlier this month for an event called WORLD YOUTH DAY. This event was established by Pope John Paul, II in 1985 and takes place in a new country every 2-3 years! WYD was created to pour into the young church and encourage them to step into the calling God has on their lives!
What’s up, youth leaders? My name is Joe Melendrez and I had the opportunity to be a part of World Youth Day as an Artist and Youth Minister!
WYD is actually a week of amazing faith-filled activities. From church services with 1 million people, to Bible studies, Catechesis, concerts, meditating on the way of the cross, and so much more! World Youth Day concludes with a massive prayer vigil and Church Service / Mass at a centralized location. 1.5 million gathered Saturday evening to spend intentional time in prayer and adoration to God. After the vigil was over everyone pulled out their sleeping bags and camped out to wake a few hours later to celebrate Mass with Pope Francis.
To be honest, you’d have to see it to believe it! Seeing that many people coming together united under the name of Jesus stirs up tremendous hope.
Youth Leaders Only, in its 38th year, helps youthworkers in thousands of churches be aware of the music their students are listening to, use all forms of music in their ministries, and equip their students to make wise choices about the music & media they have in their earbuds 9 hours every day. A membership costs less than the price of a pizza each month! The theme of the current YLO is “Missions And Service: Crossing Boundaries To Make A Difference.” Click here to get it!
The phrase, “You are a part of something way bigger than you!” came to me as I was leaving the final mass site. It’s true though… often times we see our small youth group and hope and pray that other youth will come to know the Lord. Well, I’m a witness and God is up to something BIG. We all have a place, role, and mission in the body of Christ! It was exciting to see so many people from all over the world praising God.
The theme for WYD, “It’s Time To Rise” was taken from Luke 1:39 where Mary rises up and goes in haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth who is with child (John the Baptist). We too are encouraged to rise up quickly and tell the world about JESUS!
The next World Youth Day will be held in Seoul Korea in 2027. Hope to see you there!