“Thanks again for your passion and power at SHINE Bayreuth! A young girl (Sophia) has come to our church every Sunday since the event. She was at SHINE Afterglow on Saturday with a friend. You guys are blessed, and God is using you in amazing ways!”
- Kai Flottmann, Pastor in Bayreuth, Germany.
How many kids will really turn up? Will the location be big enough? Did we forget anything?
The final moments before the doors open at a SHINE event are always the most exciting minutes of every city tour, because each town is different. Each school concert has its own dynamic. Every one of our school groups has a different level of involvement, and churches in each city are involved in their own unique ways. We give our best too, but in the end, it’s only God’s grace and love that move young people to attend a SHINE event.
Our team had given its best over the final months leading up to the event in Bayreuth. We were able to launch a “New Generation” student ministry with groups in about 7 schools. Young Christians were encouraged through SHINE Light Night events. We organized a special outreach week together with local churches that included street evangelism, worship services and workshops. Our band Good Weather Forecast performed at 7 schools in the Bayreuth area, and 1,500 free tickets were distributed for the SHINE event in downtown Bayreuth. Once again, we were all surprised by God’s favour and blessing on our efforts.
On that Friday night, in the final minutes before the event, we were overwhelmed when a flood of teens stormed the hall, forcing us to close the box office, because the workers were worried they would be forced to close the doors since so many people were trying to get inside! Nothing like this had ever happened in the downtown concert location, which is typically the most sought after venue in the city. (It was also a first for us at a SHINE event!)
The room’s official capacity of 800 was stretched to nearly 900 by students and volunteers, who filled every bit of space in the hall. The number of students who used their free tickets to attend the concert was unbelievable – over 700 young people, most with no connection to any church, and many of them without any kind of Christian background! The audience enjoyed breath-taking performances by the band Staryend and an English colleague, Guvna B, who played together with Good Weather Forecast.
No SHINE evening would be complete without a moving talk as part of the concert. Band member Flo shared a story of a friend whose life was radically transformed by God’s love, so that he went from a youth detention facility to becoming a university student! Hundreds raised their hands to indicate a first-time faith decision after hearing the message. We made personal contact with 160 young people that night, and lots of teens took advantage of the opportunity to receive personal prayer and lay-counselling from the local ministry team. What an amazing evening!
But that wasn’t all for SHINE Bayreuth. In the days that followed, we held our “Afterglow” follow-up events, where we invited everyone who had indicated a faith decision at the concert. These events took place with the support of local churches and youth groups and with the participation of the members of our existing SHINE student groups. The event hosted by the one new group at a local high school was especially moving because more than 40 students came. Just one week before the pastor only had 8 teens in the group!
Agape Europe joins our SHINE Germany staff in praising God for His blessing to help make an impact among young people through their outreach.