Helping Central Coast Youth Meet Jesus
Coast Youth Revolution is a large youth event that I was given as a task to head up as part of my apprenticeship, and the whole process of organsing the event was challenging, exciting, and taught me a lot!
When I was first given this project, I had no idea of the amount of liaising and organizing of different volunteers and teens that it involved! I only knew that the vision of the night was to cultivate community across central coast youth groups, to mature our youth in Christ, and to challenge the many “fringe” youth to consider the gospel.
Through the process of organizing the event, I learnt that the opinions of others you work with can be frustrating but helpful, that they will test your patience, and that it is hard to work with church volunteers who don’t have as much time as they would like to give! Also, with the time spent on researching and activities, the pulling together of a huge youth event can quickly turn into a quest to have “the most fun event”, and quickly lose focus on the gospel vision. Through the stress of the organizing process, I prayed for a lot of patience, I prayed for wisdom as I spoke into areas that I didn’t have the best expertise on (e.g. how can the band be playing songs that best reflect the sermon, glorify Jesus and be easily accessible for multiple youth groups), and I cried a bit. I felt overwhelmed that I was in control of things like budget, risk assessments, volunteers cancelling and vendors not getting back to me. I wondered if we were too concerned with a “big event” and looking good, and was this event worth it?
My trainer was really helpful in reminding me to keep looking back to the gospel vision of the event, and letting that dictate the decisions I was making. She also asked me to self-reflect why I kept feeling so frustrated with people who thought differently to me, or who perhaps didn’t respond to me as quickly as I’d like. She also prayed with me, and shared the scriptures with me.
The end result of the night was – it did run! We ended up seeing 600 teenagers from across the central coast gather together at EV church, with 6 different youth groups attending. It was so encouraging to see this event as a place that our teens and other youth groups could make new friends and express their identity as part of the wider body of Christ.
It ended up a pretty fun night, with outdoor laser tag, glow in the dark dodge ball, live music, chicks corner, drive-in-YouTube, shnack café, fire pits and a massive dance party! And this was important, because we had advertised this, which meant it was a really easy invitation for teens who had never considered coming to youth before- and it was great to see a new crowd sitting under great gospel teaching.
But best of all 4 teenagers put their trust in Jesus and became Christians! The theme of the night was “Satisfaction” and guest speaker Tim Clemens challenged the youth to see that nothing in this world will truly satisfy- only Jesus can do that. Additionally, 21 youth indicated that they were unsure where they stood before the night- but were now convinced that Jesus is their Lord and Saviour. Praise to our powerful and saving God, who uses the efforts of weak people to accomplish his purposes!