That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16a

Monday, March 21, 2011

Youth Conference

Last Monday and Tuesday, I was able to take three teens from our church to a March Break Youth Conference.   There we also three other kids from our church who went down with their father. The theme of the conference was "A Chosen Generation" from I Peter 2:9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. I was really excited about going to this conference.  I enjoy hearing good preaching, and the main emphasis of the conference was on Bible preaching.  You can't go wrong with making God's Word the focus :).  Of course, there were other activities too.  Tuesday afternoon was spent playing games at a gymnasium.  Basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, and sumo wrestling and jousting.  There were also team challenges, sword drills, Bible trivia, skits, and lots of special music. 

There were two main preachers, and the pastor of the host church also preached one sermon.  Pastor Tim Hicks was from North Carolina.  He's from a rather large church that has it's own separate "Teen Church" of which he is the pastor.  They have around 350 teens each Sunday in their Teen Church!  Pastor Brett Pennell was the other special speaker, and he is the youth pastor in Barrie, Ontario.  They both preached some excellent sermons.  I'll just share a few things that they said that were a blessing to me.

In the Christian life you don't stand still.  You're either going forward or backward ~ Pastor Hicks.

If we just try to be a little better than the world, we will constantly drag the banner of Christianity lower ~ Pastor Pennell.

Our priorities are evidenced by our actions ~ Pastor Pennell.

Your actions will determine whether or not you really trust God ~ Pastor Hicks.

God has a plan for your life, BUT it's your choice to follow it ~ Pastor Hicks.

When we choose to obey God, we gain freedom from sin ~ Pastor Pennell.

I could go on and on about the preaching for a really long time.  The sermons were all excellent, but I'm sure no one wants to read a hundred page blog post about preaching :).  Much emphasis was put on living for Christ, and giving your life to God.  Young people have so much potential.  They have their whole lives ahead of them.  They can live for God and avoid so much heartache if they only follow the Bible!  I'm so thankful for the choices I made as a teenager that have brought me to the place I am now.  I'm also thankful for God's grace in my life that has kept me on the right path.

Here are a few pictures.

Pastor Hicks

Peter and Curtis (Mark's not looking at the camera)

Pastor Jupp and his son singing

Girls from a church in Toronto singing a special.  They had beautiful 3-part harmony

One of the team challenges.  It was a hot dog eating contest.  

The theme and theme verse at the front of the church

Shawn: Thanks for smiling :).

Team challenge: basketball.

When we got there, we were all divided into 4 teams based on I Peter 2:9:  A Holy Nation, a Chosen Generation, a Royal Priesthood, and a Peculiar People.  We were grouped with another church from Toronto on the Holy Nation team.  At the end of the team challenges Monday night we were dead last.... by a lot!  Then on Tuesday, we had an amazing comeback and ended up winning! What did we win?  Nothing really.  Only the honour of saying "we won." :).  Yay!!!!! :)

1 comment:

  1. What a great opportunity for you!
    It sounds very much like our annual youth conference. It's spring break next week here, and our 'Teen Lightning' is March 31 & April 1st. We're all looking forward to it as the evening sessions are open to the whole family.