Archive for September, 2010

I Love This Stuff

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I love Church youth conferences.

Let me be clear. It’s not because I’m young. It’s because God still has plans for His Church beyond our generation, and young people are a big part of it. As it happens, it’s often at these youth conferences that the Lord fills, envisions and equips those whom He calls to do great things for the advance of His Kingdom on this earth. I love seeing that. And the fact that God is still calling young people to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers is a hopeful sign of His love and care for His Church, now and into the future.

Back in ‘96, I was asked to speak at a week-long Salt & Light youth conference called “Nailed.” The Lord showed up memorably and powerfully there, leaving planned post-session activities empty while young people chose to stay in the chapel, worshiping the Lord and praying for one another until the wee hours. The cool part of me being so old is that I have been able to see that many of the young people who attended that conference are now in positions of leadership in the Church today. What a privilege to see the good, lasting fruit of power encounters with the Lord!

Which brings me to Consumed 2010. It’s our Salt & Light Central annual youth conference, which happened at Mount Zion Church in Bemidji, Minnesota over the September long weekend. One hundred twenty-five people gathered to hear from the Lord, and respond to Him. We had great times of worship, and we heard excellent, practical messages from Andrew and Norm. I spoke about God the Son, Ron spoke about God the Father, and, after a challenging message about repentance from Brian, God the Holy Spirit spoke about Himself. That night there was a corporate power encounter with the Holy Spirit, with most of the young people at the front praying, worshiping, crying, laughing… it was a sight to behold. And the good fruit of this manifestation of the Holy Spirit began to be seen immediately. A bunch of the young people who had never been baptized felt that they must. And so, off they all went walking a quarter mile at midnight to the lake to be baptized. Ron MacLean, who presided over the baptisms, happened to have his handy headband light, which solved the pitch darkness issue. But nothing could solve the water temperature issue. But hey, they’re young. And Ron is intrepid.

Of course, there was great food, great worship and great friendship at the conference, but it was all eclipsed by our great God, who showed up in love and power in an amazing way during the weekend. The result for me and for many was refreshment, joy and hope.

And so passed Consumed 2010 into the history books. The young people who were there will be talking about it for some time, because many have never seen anything like it before. But I have, and I eagerly await the emergence of a new generation of leaders in the Church, whom the Lord is calling to serve Him wholeheartedly in the advance of His Kingdom in the days to come.

May the Lord bless you,