Success of the Youth Conference
The First ever CMJ Big House youth conference was held alongside the CMJ Annual Conference and was a great success from which we can grow and develop this new event.
We have had a vision… A vision to see the next generation reached with the love and passion of God’s heart for the Jewish People. A vision to see this "Israel thing" seen as normal in our Bible study and outreach. A vision to see young Jewish believers connecting with non-Jewish believers.
And this year, we are starting to see this vision being realised!
Still buzzing from an incredible weekend at our first ever CMJ Big House youth conference, we wanted to try and put across a small vibe of LOOKUP! A step out in faith with the handful of Youth groups we have been steadily developing a relationship with, we invited the God TV Presenter, !Audacious Church leader, and singer song-writer, CHIP KENDALL to speak to the young people for the weekend.
As the weekend dawned, we were so excited to see the number of young people jump up from the five we have consistently had over the last couple of years, to nearly forty for our first ever conference! There was some trepidation as to how the five would feel having more young people "gatecrash" their weekend, but the buzz of having so many youngsters hanging around The Hayes Conference Centre immediately changed the feel of the full conference, as was testified by the many who spoke with Steph throughout the weekend.
Our first evening was led by Sammy Salter, who devised a number of discussion questions looking at the theme of what it means to LOOKUP! in our daily lives. In the group I was in, it was interesting to hear how tough it can be for our teenagers to stand up as a Christian in the current anti-Christian attitude of our society, on the other hand, this causes me to feel a sense of pride in the way that the young people are becoming more and more ready to stand up for the Biblical truths they believe. This is something we really need to pray for and to find ways of how we can encourage the generations being raised up by God to be a voice of authenticity to a world questioning what is real.
The Saturday morning was the first of our sessions with Chip, and his theme was to encourage the youth on the importance of not looking in… not looking at… not looking around… not looking down at any of the situations we face, but to LOOKUP! and see things from a different perspective - God’s - because He can see the bigger picture. See things from God’s perspective because He can see the end result. See things from God’s perspective because He will do a new thing…
Throughout the weekend, Chip encouraged the young people to live out their faith adventure with God! To take a leap of faith? To make that stage-dive? To start something new with God and see where He will lead them.
How many of us have had to make that choice to lay aside our fears and to just take that first step of running with some of the incredible adventures God has given to us. Some of you have been missionaries in other countries, some of you have been in the presence of leaders and influential people. Some of you have travelled the world, sharing the gospel of Jesus. Imagine if all the things we have achieved could be surpassed by the next generation and they go on to witness the incredible power of Jesus as work here and now in Jerusalem, Israel, the UK and the ends of the earth!! Imagine if some of the young people really stepped into the fullness of a life with Jesus prayed revival in our nation and across the Jewish world. Imagine if some of our young people became the bridge between the Church and God’s chosen people on a leadership level…. Who knows what God can achieve through the history makers who attended the first ever CMJ Big House conference!
And for some, this was a true life-changing experience! Those who responded to the altar-call Chip gave during the final session before the gig! Those who had never seen Church so alive, as it was at the Saturday night gig! Those who had never seen older people smile at them or encouraging them! Those who hadn’t stepped inside a church building and encountered the reality of what "church" is really all about! Those who had never sung anything not normally played on the radio, but who were so impacted by the worship led by Lindsay Spampinato, that they asked to sing one of the songs with her after the sessions finished! This went beyond anything we thought we could accomplish when we set out to hold the youth conference….but it was what God had in mind all along!
Please pray for the young people who were there, that they would know the plans and purposes God has for them, and they would keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, that they will always LOOKUP! to Him in every situation and will enjoy the incredible faith adventure with God by their sides!