This July 19 of our First Alliance youth, along with two friends, and four adults, participated in LIFE conference. We spent five days in Orlando with 6,000 other Alliance youth from around the world. Many of you prayed for our travels, our youth, and our time there. It was obvious! Thank you.
Awaken was the theme of this year's conference. Each day focused on a different aspect for us to Awaken to: Identity, Wonder, Community, Simplicity, and Mission. The seminars, main sessions, service project, and worship time all contributed to the theme of Awakening to God.
It would be hard in this brief space to capture the vibe of the late nights, the energy from thousands of people, volume of the worship, charisma of the speakers, emotions, laughter, and conversations. We packed a lot into just a few days! Through a variety of means; teaching, songs, in depth conversations, and certainly the activity of the Holy Spirit, many of our students heard from God, took steps of obedience, experienced healing, and embraced truth. The particulars aren't my story to tell. I was there as a witness, and a coach of sorts. But their stories are important. I would encourage you to find a student that went to life and ask them what they experienced.
What happened at LIFE conference is important. What's most important, though, is for the work God has been doing, and will continue doing, to be nurtured. Our young people are a vital part of our church body. As we invest in them they draw out of us more experienced disciples the fruit of prayer, faith, love, hope, encouragement, unity, and grace. We become a better body. And as their faith, maturity, and gifting grow our church body is infused with new life and fresh spiritual vitality. It's a win/win!
So, yes, LIFE was an amazing experience! But really it is a launching point. An opportunity for us to continue investing in the lives of the young people God has blessed us with. Here are three ways we can do that:
Get to know our young people, all of them, the ones who went to life and the ones who didn't. Ask what God is doing in their lives and how you can pray for them. And certainly ask those who went to life about their experiences and what they learned.
Pray for our students. Pray about the things you know God is doing in their lives. Pray they will find their identity in Jesus, they will love God's word, that they will be guided by the Holy Spirit. Pray for endurance, courage, and wisdom for them at school, work, and other activities. It's hard being a young person in our culture today.
Last, ask God if he would have you invest directly in the youth of our church body. We have space for volunteers on Wednesday night, in our small group ministry, and for mentors. You can talk to Pastor Chris about next steps if that's something you're interested in.
God is calling this next generation to Awaken to the wonder of knowing Him, to embrace community, and to live on mission with Him. It's an exciting thing to witness and to nurture! Can you see it?