So, my much awaited Youth Congress analysis, Day 1:
- There was a palpable excitement during registration (yes, registration) this afternoon before they closed the doors around 3:30. That excitement is what makes Youth Congress what it is.
- The attendance must be high. Word Aflame lost the booth lottery this year, being positioned less favorably in the past, yet the number of people rushing past rarely abated. That's an early indicator that we might be breaking records this year. The Sommet Center holds 20,000 people with a center stage configuration . . .
- There's no internet cafe this year, which is a huge disappointment.
- Should I mention the interracial couples? Not many, but more than in the past. I know you just thought, "who cares?" but I'm a reporter on what's happening in the movement and this was interesting. No one seemed to care here.
- Lots of classy ladies. Not even Hollywood starlets know how to dress up like our Pentecostal ladies!
- Lots of long obviously uncut hair too, says one of my spies.
- Some elders in attendance, but not many.
- It's just an impression, but it appears that a huge percentage of attendees (30%? 40%?) are first-timers. It's not just the tiny girls in enormous heels that can't walk straight or whose own heels are clearly a half-inch from the back of their shoes (see pictures), but the timidity in how many acted during service and how they failed to interact in the hallways. I'll keep an eye on this one, as it could prove significant.