We’re back in Belfast!
13:30 – Doors open

14:00 – Session 1: 
15:15 – Break (treats provided)
15:45 – Session 2: 
17:00 – Break (buy your dinner in Bangor)
18:30 – Session 3: 
20:00 – Close



We want the annual Irish Youth Convention to be a gathering where God’s Word will be proclaimed faithfully, clearly and creatively, so that God’s people (in particular young people) are encouraged to become faithful followers of Christ. At the heart of the Irish Youth Convention is reading, hearing and understanding what is in the Bible and applying it to life as a young person, in the 21st Century.


Shane Deane

Church Planter, Cork

This year we are delighted to welcome Shane Deane to be the main speaker, at both our parenting evening and annual Youth Convention. Shane is our first ever speaker from the island of Ireland. He was born and raised in Co. Cork. He became a Christian at Munster Christian Camps, the place where he also met his wife, Luana (a native of Brazil).

Shane and Luana have three children, two girls, and one boy. They are members of Passage Baptist Church (Cork), which Shane helped plant in May 2021, and where he serves as one of the elders/pastors.


Jonny Beare – Chair of IYC

Husband to Susanna, father of 2 and Director of Volunteer Training at Growing Young Disciples

Today’s teens were only kids when the movie Frozen hit the screens. I’m sure you remember it well – Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf (a snowman who dreams of experiencing summer!). One of the songs, sung by Elsa, became something of an anthem for Generation Z, being viewed on YouTube over 1.5 billion times. Do you know the song? “It’s time to see what I can do / To test the limits and break through / No right, no wrong, no rules for me / I’m free!” 

It could easily be the soundtrack to the Book of Judges, which we’ll be digging into at this year’s IYC. Judges describes the Dark Ages for God’s people when, “all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17.6, 18.1, 19.1, 21.25) “No right, no wrong, no rules for me / I’m free!” In the Book of Judges we see the chaos this way of living leads to. But there is hope in the chaos – because God is faithful to his people and sends a Saviour / Judge to rescue his people and give them rest.

Our prayer is that through the teaching of Judges our teens will see the folly of living life apart from God and would be encouraged to put their faith in the Saviour God sent, “not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Amongst the fun at IYC, we want our teens to know that Christ Jesus is the one who brings hope in the chaos.

Church leaders, youth leaders, parents…please do send your young people along to IYC 2023. If we can help you in any way please do get in touch.

Yours in Christ

Johnny Beare


About IYC

The Irish Youth Convention is an interdenominational group of evangelical Christians, with a desire to see generations of young people raised up to be disciple making disciples of Jesus Christ. The IYC committee shares the basis of faith of Christian Conventions. Above all, IYC shares the belief that “all Scripture is God breathed” and is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3: 16). Our desire is to see God’s Word communicated faithfully, clearly and creatively so that generations of young people are raised up to live out their Christian faith in their homes, their schools, their local churches and in the wider community.

Committee Members:

Keith McIlwaine
Involved in local church youth work for 10 years at Hamilton Road Baptist. Married to Ruth, father to 3 boys and longing for Sheffield Wednesday to return to the Premiership.
Matthew Campbell
Born and raised in Ballymena and is a member of Newtownbreda Baptist Church. After studying Maths at Queens University for 3 years, he began a Theology degree at the Irish Baptist College and has been working as Baptist Youth Director since January 2016. His dream is to see Arsenal win the Premier League title in the next 3 years.
Peter Wright
Youth Worker in Hill Street Presbyterian Church from 2009 to 2021 before joining Growing Young Disciples. I studied Theology at Union Theological College before completing a MTh in Theology while working part time in Hill Street. Married to Linda and have 2 children and a schnauzer pup called Watson!
Hannah Dowling
Before starting a family, Hannah was Assistant Youth and Children's Worker at St Elizabeth's Church, Dundonald. She had been on the staff team there for 6 years and before that she studied Theology at Union College, Belfast. She is married to Thomas and spends most of her free time eating pizza with him!
Aaron Douglas
Aaron was Youth worker at Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church for 7 years and is married with 4 of his own children. Specialises in bad jokes and videography
Johnny Beare
Been involved in full-time youth ministry since 2000 and currently Director of Volunteer Training at Growing Young Disciples.

Also  Rachael Gamble, Jonny Thompson and Jason Nicoll.