Heeeeeey! – a small demonstration of a Mexican wave in anticipation of 2019: eight young New Apostolic Christians gave a trial run at the end of May to show just how good the mood is going to be in the Arena in Düsseldorf. 30,000 young people from all over the world are going to be here for the International Youth Convention (IYC) in less than a year’s time – and these eight youngsters are their ambassadors.
”Here I am – where are you?” asked Raphael in his Swiss dialect to the camera. The eight ambassadors were split in pairs around the north curve of the Düsseldorf Arena to make short videos, where they were gathering material for their social media accounts. Instagram is going to be the main communications platform for the “IYC ambassadors”, currently twelve in number. It’s their task to arouse and strengthen enthusiasm for this great festival of faith in 2019 – the first international youth convention of the New Apostolic Church in Düsseldorf.
Spread the light
As Raphael, the IYC ambassador for Switzerland said, “It’s especially important for me that we keep the fire burning and let its light spread, so that as many youth as possible can come to Düsseldorf on the Ascension weekend in 2019”. The others all agreed.
Élise is representing France, Pascal the Netherlands, Anna-Sophia the Northern and Eastern Germany District Apostle region, Kevin is Austria’s ambassador, Simon the Southern Germany region and Miguel for Portugal. Other ambassadors from other regions are also on board, but weren’t able to be at the first get-together.
Mediators in the preparations
The team of IYC ambassadors are tasked as mediators between the planning teams and the youth in the countries, or district Churches, which they represent. Firstly, they will be passing information on to their congregations and districts and secondly, they will let the planners know what the youths’ wishes and expectations are.
The ambassadors also see it their job to advertise the IYC as much as they can. “No one should be able to say afterwards that they didn’t know about this special weekend in Düsseldorf”, said Elias Schwenk from Frankfurt (New Apostolic Church Western Germany), who is the coordinator of the ambassador team.
Communicating through Instagram
The young Christians were equipped with the information necessary for their role on the last weekend of April in Düsseldorf: many details about the international youth convention. Frank Schuldt, leader of the Communications planning group, explained the current planning situation and the proposed registration process to them and gave them a view of the programme. Social media expert Heike Stiegler was there to organise the media concept with the ambassadors and gave them some tips on the technical aspects.
One result from their work together: the ambassadors will be communicating largely through Instagram. They will have profile names such as “IYCambassador” or “IJTambassador” or “JIJambassador” – each with their own country abbreviation.