The inaugural year of the Impact Youth Summit was a leap of faith for Jacob Sandholm.
The leap paid off as about 120 teenagers attended last year’s initial youth conference at the RiseFest grounds put on by Sandholm, who is the youth and technology director at Sheldon United Methodist.
“Last year I thought the Impact Youth Summit went very well,” Sandholm said. “It was above my expectations. The speakers we had, I thought they blew it out of the water. It was a great and powerful event. A majority of the kids said they very much felt the power of the Holy Spirit, and that’s all that really counts.”
With last year’s success, Sandholm set some new expectations for the nondenominational Impact Youth Summit on Saturday in Sheldon.
He is hoping for about 200 teens to attend the youth conference, which will once again be hosted at the RiseFest grounds.
“This year we are adding a couple of new things and just making it so there’s more reason to come,” Sandholm said. “Also, so there’s more power to the event itself.”
The Impact Youth Summit is a couple of hours longer this year as it starts at 4 p.m. with games and fellowship followed by the opening at 4:30. The rest of the evening will consist of some youth testimonies, breakout sessions, a supper and worship along with a few speakers before the closing at 9 p.m.
Sandholm is working to get the word out about the youth summit.
“I want all of the youth around the area to know that they are invited,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, we want you there. I’m hoping the word gets out a little bit more the next couple of weeks, but the more we do this, the more the word will get out.”
Tickets for the Impact Youth Summit $12 online at impactyouthsummit.com. Tickets go up to $15 at the gate the day of the event.
“We went to encourage people to buy thickets beforehand because then we have an idea of how many people we are getting,” Sandholm said.
Like last year, there will be two speakers for the Impact Youth Summit, and both have a different technique for spreading the word of God.
Jaron Myers is a Christian comedian, and he will be on stage at 7 p.m.
Sandholm wanted to find a comedian or someone along that extent for the summit this year. After an agent mentioned Myers to Sandholm, he looked up the comedian online.
“He’s fun, he’s real, he’s a great role model and he’s younger as well,” Sandholm said. “I thought he would be really good to connect with the kids that are coming. He’s really popular on TikTok with a couple of fun dances, and he has a couple of popular music videos that he created on YouTube.”
Shawn Singleton II will help close out the evening’s activities. The speaker and author actually reached out to Sandholm because of the Impact Youth Summit and said he wanted to have a chance to speak at it.
Singleton speaks on leadership and likes to motivate, and he will be specifically talking about his faith at the Impact Youth Summit.
“He’s been able to speak to a variety of people about leadership and motivation, but he’s never been allowed to speak on his faith,” Sandholm said. “He’s really excited for that chance to tie in his leadership and motivational things as well as his faith in everything so that will be good.”
Sandholm will once again have area youth give testimonies throughout the evening and will have a former Sheldon resident Mallory McQueen, a 2017 Sheldon High School graduate, help kick off the evening’s activities.
“She is coming back to speak about her experiences and how God has worked in her life,” Sandholm said.
One of the main differences from last year are the breakout sessions for the youth. There will be three different spaces on the RiseFest grounds near the stand where people will go. Singleton, Myers and Madison Van Meeteren, a 2020 Sheldon High School graduate, will be giving messages to the groups.
The worship will even be a little different this year since it will be led by the worship team from Dordt University.
“We got in contact with them right before RiseFest because I saw they were going to be at RiseFest,” Sandholm said. “They are local, and I know we have a couple of youth interested in going to Dordt, so I gave them a call. They were more than willing, and I’m looking forward to worshipping with them.”
It takes a good amount of work for Sandholm to put together the Impact Youth Summit but for him, it’s all worth it when he sees the youth having fun and being filled with the Holy Spirit at the event.
“This is simply an event to share the truth of Jesus Christ,” Sandholm said. “All denominations share that same common goal and that is to love and worship. That’s what we’re going to do in this event, we are going to come together with one goal, and that’s to praise Jesus and to just feel the power of the Holy Spirit. Everyone is welcome.”