Great Week at MOVE #kingdomworker

IMG_0001Last week we took some of our high school students to the MOVE Conference held on Cedarville University’s campus. Christ In Youth has been producing weeks of conference for nearly 50 years and it seems like they just keep growing in number and getting better in quality.

This year’s theme was “You Are Here” and was based on the first six chapters of the Old Testament book of Daniel. Kind of a funny thing about the theme – anytime I saw the theme “You Are Here” I assumed it was about those of us who were going to be at MOVE. Once we got rolling in the week, it was obvious that the “You” was not a reference to “me” or to “us,” but to God. God was present with Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and He is present with us. That thread ran throughout the week of conference – You (God) Are Here!

Over the past few years, there has been an intentional move on the part of the coordinators of the week to challenge students to take what they experience at conference and live it out at home. They use the phrase #kingdomworker. All of us, no matter our age or location, can be kingdom workers. Several of our students accepted specific challenges to be kingdom workers at home. I’m excited to see how they work out those specific tasks in the coming weeks and months.

One of the benefits of MOVE (or any summer camp or conference) is time spent with students. We had two times each day that was focused on talking about and applying what was happening during the week. We also had free times and meals together, which provided times for conversation and getting to know each other.

On one particular day, the students had a chance to write encouraging words to each other. It was cool to sit back and watch them think through what they could write to encourage others in the group.
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There were several fun elements included throughout the week. In the book of Daniel, there is a unique event that involves King Nebuchadnezzar. The king has become quite arrogant, so God warms him that if he doesn’t change, God would humble him. Nebuchadnezzar ignores the warning so God caused him to live as an animal, complete with long nails that look like claws and long hair that grows to resemble feathers. You can read the entire story in Daniel 4. To highlight that event, students were encouraged to come to morning session in animal outfits. Here’s some of our group:
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It was a good week to see God move in the lives of students and adults and send us out to be kingdom workers. I’m looking forward to see the commitments made this week become a reality.

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90 Day Challenge- Habit Formed?

GOYOThe 90 Day Challenge is now complete! That certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t continue in your reading or even start it again (or for the first time). Back in January we put out the challenge to read through the New Testament in 90 days to be a kick off to 2013. If you stayed on track, you finished a few days ago.

The big question is did you form a habit? The purpose of the challenge was to help each of us develop the habit of spending time on a regular basis in God’s Word. To grow on our own in our relationship with God, we need to carve out time in our day to spend with Him. Corporate worship, small groups, youth events are great, but they don’t replace our time with God throughout the week.

We are putting together some other (free) resources to help you continue in the habit. If you don’t have another plan after the 90 Day Challenge, make sure to pick one up.

This is a good reminder to us as we apply it to our spiritual growth: “We are made up of the commitments that we make over our life and the habits that we develop.”

After Summer Camp Talk

One of the challenges that youth ministries face after a big summer event (camp, conference, retreat, etc) is the emotional letdown.  We use phrases like “spiritual highs” and “mountaintop experiences” to describe the emotions and experiences from the event.  Then, we come back to “real life” and have the challenge of putting into practice what was committed during the week.  Josh Griffin, High School Pastor at Saddleback, posted this video on his blog.  Kurt Johnston is the speaker and he does a good job of helping students work through the “after camp” experience.

This is good advice for both students and adult.