Youth Conference

"I can't think of a youth movement that connects people more profoundly across demographic lines. This is a movement of cowboys, skaters, punk rock kids, nerds, drop-outs, cheerleaders, goth kids--you name it. And they all talk about how their faith and their faith community gives them a sense of identity, pupose, and community, which they say they can't find outside Christianity."

"...many of the members of this Disciple Generation I met are extremely
articulate, thoughtful, creative -- they are quite astute, I believe in
many of their criticisms of the secular world as empty, consumerist,
and purposeless."

"I met pastors, students, organizers, you name it, with rhetorical power
and quick wits which would put many people I know to shame."

"...there is no doubt that this generation are finding very valuable and powerful things in their modes of living."

"This is a movement that is more of a grassroots movement than one that follows a few national leaders. "

"This is typical of periods of great Awakening like the one we are in
now. You tend to get guys thumping bibles and preaching old time
religion who get the movement off the ground, but it really takes a
youth movement to translate faith into their venacular and culture to
bring it to critical mass, and that's what's happening today."

"Great Awakenings tend to grow out of periods of cultural and social
chaos felt on a national level. It's no surprise then, in this era of
global terror, when people are redefining their nation's role in the
world and perhaps their role in the nation, that this is happening now... when a religious revival hits the
youth culture, it usual is a harbinger of a massive national religious
awakening."

These quotes are not from a conference speaker, a religious leader, or any sort of youth leader.  In fact these quotes are not even from a Christian.  These are the words of Lauren Sandler, author of Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement.  She is  a self-proclaimed "unrepentant Jewish atheist."  She made these quotes in an online chat forum at washintonpost.com

She has many negative things to say about the emerging evangelical youth movement too, but I was amazed to see such an assesment from a non-believer. 

Today we finished a conference organized by area youth leaders held nearby.  It was great.  We only took three students, but what I saw there was amazing.  Jr. high and high school students were leading worship and passionately, sincerely expressing worship to Jesus.    There were hundreds of them.  I read the article on Sandler's book just hours before going to the conference on Thursday.

Friday night we had such a great time of worship.  One of the songs we sang was Awesome God.   I remember singing this song when i was in youth group and thinking, "This is the coolest thing."  At that moment I wished that all my friends and youth all around the world could appreciate that song the way I did.  And that has been the prayer of so many for so many years.  Could this be the time?  Could this be the generation that experiences not just a week of revival from God, but a movement that affects history?

Please, pray for our church this week as we have a time of revival emphasis.

And when you go to church and see youth, pray for them.  They may be up to more than you suspect.  Try asking them how their life is going.  They probably won't tell you, but they won't forget that you asked.

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