I am a youth leader, and also a coordinator for the Chosen Youth Conference. The reason I am so involved in youth ministry is because I desperately want to see this generation make the best choices for their lives, be as successful as they possibly can be and to help them avoid making some of the same mistakes I made growing up. Youth ministry is one avenue in which I can reach a lot of teens.
This past weekend, we held our youth conference in Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario. There were over 200 students in attendance at the Bible Fellowship church. This year’s theme is “Livin’ the Dream”. The speakers, James Scheer, Drew Spanding and Johnny V, all talked about what “Livin’ the Dream” really means…our dreams vs. God’s dreams for our lives.
As the conference unfolded Friday evening, the teens, as well as the adults, were all hyper and excited for this year’s event. Previously, the Chosen conference was in the Sault in May of 2009, for the very first time, for a one day event. This time, we were there for the two day event. The conference opened with some high praise by the Chosen Band, then going into worship. The keynote speaker, James Scheer, gave us a hint of what “Livin” the Dream” means and what to expect during the conference. He used video and some very well thought out messages to get the kids ready for the weekend.
Drew Spanding, who was also the emcee, talked about every teen’s favorite subject…sex. What I like about Drew is that he is so real. Drew is not a professional speaker, though he very well could be. He tells us right away that he’s nervous, that he might stumble over his words and that he’s just a guy with a heart for teens and wants to help them make right choices, that will benefit and add value to their lives. Drew spoke from his heart, not from “the bible”. He explained why God invented sex, why God wants us to have “good” sex, and the only way to have “good” sex. That’s all I’m going to tell you. If you want to know more, you need to attend one of the conferences, or contact me so we can discuss bringing the conference to your church.
Johnny V…aka John Vermilya, gave two very relevant message on Saturday. The first one, he talked about how as Christians, we don’t have to go door to door to tell others about Jesus and that God puts things into motion to help lead others to Him. Very powerful, especially for our teens, because so many times we think in order to be a Christian, we have to go knocking down people’s doors, or that we have to stop every person we meet in the mall or at the grocery store and tell them about Jesus, and frankly, that just freaks people out, and causes them to run away from church all together. But, that’s not the way God works. God sets things in motion so that at the right time and place, you will be where you’re supposed to be. In other words, we’re all dominoes in this thing called life, and if we’re living God’s dream for our lives, we will be on the right track.
John’s second message was even more powerful, especially for today’s youth. He taught us how to explain God’s existence without ever opening the bible. So many times, people shy away from Christians because we tend to want to shove the bible down the throats of non-believers. For some reason we think if we can just get them to read the bible, they will want to become a Christian and turn their lives over to Jesus. But, how often do you see that really happen? Not very, if at all…not in the US anyway. So, he gave us some practical, very scientific ways to prove God’s existence. Awesome.
The bands that played, in addition to the Chosen Band, were Sargent Avenue and The Mark White Band. The teens rocked it out to Sargent Avenue and worshiped God in their own style to the Mark White Band. I think it’s awesome how God uses music that we like to speak to us. No matter what style of music you like, there is Christian music available for your listening, or rocking, pleasure.