How can you justify cleaning streets on Sabbath for Global Youth Day?

Questions & Answers April 8, 2017

Q: I love the idea of Global Youth Day (GYD), but was greatly disturbed by some of the activities that took place, such as young people cleaning the streets. I can’t find anything in the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy that would justify this type of activity on Sabbath. I’m afraid that some countries which have ruled in our favor on the issue of Sabbath-keeping might reverse those decisions, citing the very reasons given for these types of activities on GYD. What do you think?— Rosalia, from South Africa

A: Global Youth Day offers the opportunity for youth around the world to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a practical but also spiritual way.

My wife, Nancy, and I had the privilege of participating in GYD with several young people in Washington D.C. These young people, I believe, illustrate some of the best ways young people can reach out to their communities.

It was a joy to see them giving out books such as Steps to Christ and other literature, providing health counseling, giving out bread and hot chocolate, handing out water, giving roses and hugs to people, praying for people, and standing on the sidewalk next to a busy street holding signs with messages such as, “Pray Until Something Happens,” “Honk If You Love Jesus,” and other signs of spiritual encouragement to motorists.

It was a real privilege being with Seventh-day Adventist young people who are so committed to sharing Christ and their own personal experience with others in Total Member Involvement—Total Youth Involvement on Global Youth Day!

Activities on Sabbath during GYD should be very consistent with our keeping of the Sabbath. Cleaning, painting, and repairing are general items that can all be done on another day than Sabbath. Do things that are appropriate Sabbath activities and a blessing to people. God will bless your GYD activities to His glory. What a great way to participate in Total Youth Involvement.

By God’s grace, may the outreach of young people and all of us not just be one day or during one week but for a lifetime through the Holy Spirit’s power. Bible study/prayer and service/outreach mission to others are some of the greatest spiritual objectives for our young people.

Please pray for our young people and Youth Ministries leaders worldwide, as they face many challenges today.

See related question: Is it proper for Adventists to engage in Global Youth Day on Sabbath?