How has your summer been? I know that many of the young people across our area have been having a great time, attending all kinds of christian camps and festivals. Soul Survivor alone has seen well over 1200 young people come to Christ over five weeks this summer, how wonderful is that! And that is not including Newday, New Wine, CYCC and all the other national or local events that have been happening. Much to praise God for. I loved the way J John defined evangelism – inviting people to a party that is out of this world (1) and I love that so many have accepted that invitation this summer.
And there is more, much more to celebrate. One thing we do in our church during ‘silly season’ (ie summer time when you don’t know who is going to be away on holiday from one week to the next) is open up the pulpit for people who are trying out in preaching for the first time. The last couple of weeks we have had two 19 year olds preaching, and what a blessing they have been. The first was a young lady who has taken a gap year before going to University, and spoke to us about her year in Uganda with YWAM and wove into it her take on ‘ taking risks in God’. The second was a former NISCU/New Wine intern who has just finished his year with us, delivering a mature, well researched and inspiring word about the Holy Spirit.
Two excellent messages for our church, but for me there was another lesson to take away and its this. While we hear all the negative press that young people get on a regular basis, and we hear so much about how young people are leaving our churches in droves, here was a very different reality. Here were two young people who love Jesus, are confident in their faith and are passionate about sharing it and are developing very real gifts in doing so. They are not unique, far from it, through our work in NISCU we regularly meet young people like this. And what I have learned this couple of weeks and indeed over the whole summer, is that Jesus is raising up a fresh generation of gifted and passionate young people and that His Church is going to be in very good hands indeed.
I think that is something to celebrate.
(1) J John What is Evangelism? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WibKBDJsMBE&feature=youtu.be
What are your stories from this summer – either as a young person or as someone who has been blessed by a young person in some way. Send us your stories to include in a future blog – or even a video blog if you’re willing! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org