From not growing up in a church I had no idea what a Fine Arts convention was until I had the opportunity to lead last year. In disbelief of how AWESOME the event is my inner teenager had a severe case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). To better create an image for you guys, imagine it similar to Americas Got Talent but for Jesus. Youth Groups from all over the New York District come together to compete in categories such as art, performance, & check out potential college booths. The students who participate have a chance at scholarships as well as moving on to nationals. Besides exercising their God-given talents with other youth groups & leaders, they also are exposed to experiencing the Lord in a new way. This year we again had the blessing of taking our youth group & Boy, did God move!
Usually, when preparing for these types of functions, I ask God to answer questions for only myself. Lately, the Lord has been presenting occasions where I am forced to be more selfless. A few days before leaving for Youth Convention as leaders we felt prompted to really seek the message God wanted to speak into our group. Through prayer, our goal was to be sensitive to the spirit, making each move over the weekend intentional. Early Thursday Morning, cars packed with 20 sleepy-eyed kids drove off anticipating the days ahead.
Entering a stadium holding over 4,000 teens you are probably either buzzing with excitement or getting flashbacks of what it felt like walking into a high school cafeteria (Yikes). One of the many things I LOVE about Convention is whoever steps through the doors is instantly considered family. My heart couldn’t help but flood with joy watching young people interacting & coming together under the name of Jesus.
To best describe every service, dare I say it, LIT ( hypothetically on fire haha). Listening to pastors speak came in alignment to even what the Lord spoke into the leaders that weekend. God wants to meet this generation where they are & challenge them to not only say YES to Jesus but also start living on fire for HIM. As the Holy Spirit freshly laid upon the bleachers, God ignited their young hearts through worship & sermons.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Working with a youth group one is always hopeful to witness all those sleepless nights & prank full days (oh man the pranks smh) will not have been done in vain. From all weekend services, the second evening was my personal favorite. Why? You may be asking, the worship made us praise, the word was reliable, but nothing could top the altar call.
“Will all youth leaders come to the front?”, The pastor spoke out to the crowd. Following up he then asked those who felt a calling to ministry or missions to join us for prayer. I kid you not, it looked like an army! Young warriors came from all directions saying YES to their callings. God just rocked the socks off of some of those kids, and it was a real honor to be a witness.
Either a teen in a youth group or a youth leader overall attending the New York Youth Convention is totally worth it. I am so thankful that besides my hesitance with leadership (God is working on me haha) the Lord continues to use me to pour into the next generation.
Keep the peace & God bless!
Drinking: Coffee With Almond Milk
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