The Front Page

Welcome to the Front Page, the digital cover of the Wayne Press.  Here we will share with you things that can't be captured in our newsletter--videos, music, color photographs--as well as articles that reflect on faith and life.  

 

Epic Truth

A few weekends ago, Andrew and I took a few youth to a conference outside of New York City called, “Acquire the Fire.”  We decided to embark on this journey because last year I took a large group of girls to the Revolve Tour in Philadelphia, and sadly we were informed, that the Revolve Tour only occurs every other year.  Growing up in youth group, we went to many conferences, and I can remember what it felt like to have thousands of youth my age raising their hands to praise God without a care in the world about who was watching.  I can remember begging God to forgive me for the things I had done, and promising Him I would change when I got home.  Little did I know, this conference was about to change the hearts of our youth as well. 

The theme for this weekend was Epic Truth.  The speaker Ron Luce, began talking about how in this generation our youth are faced with so much overstimulation from the world around them, and so many influences that keep us from the truth of Christ.  These barriers hold us back from really knowing and feeling God.  When we walked into the IZOD center in New Jersey, the arena was filled with youth, from walking through that black curtain into our seating section I knew the lives of our youth were going to be shaken.  I knew this was going to be a different experience that our youth have ever stumbled upon, and  they were going to encounter true conviction from witnessing the hearts of many other youth their age.  These youth are faced with the same motivations of media, sex, drugs, alcohol, and the lies that this world feeds our young people. 

One of the first few questions the youth asked us were, “Why are they raising their hands, why are they crying, and what language are they speaking?”  From these questions maybe you have gathered that our quiet, reserved, mainline children had just entered into a space of people who are truly are in tune to the Holy Spirit.  At this point we realized we entered into a very charismatic space.  In the first hour of worship, I looked over at our youth and slowly one of them had their hands out at their waste raised slightly, then by the second day, they had one arm raised, and by the last song of Worship before we had to pry our youth out of this arena, they had both arms up and tears streaming down their faces.  This was conviction that they were experiencing, this was epic truth, realizing the truth of Christ coming to this earth as a human and sacrificing himself for us little people.  

Although, some things said may not have completely resonated with our youth, they were able to discern what they believe by interpreting their faith for themselves.  When they questioned one of the speakers, Andrew and I sat with them and allowed them to process the reasons for their questioning.  We were proud to sit there and hear them begin to interpret what Christ means to them in their lives, and not just taking our words, the speaker’s words, or their Sunday School teachers words, but were deciding for themselves what they believe.

When we asked them at lunch on Saturday what they remembered most about the day, a few of them responded with a story they remembered, when they went down front to pray with others about someone they needed to forgive.  They specifically remembered this one moment, where this very large football player was weeping uncontrollably.  It was so loud that it echoed in the auditorium, and there were 4 other built football players laying their hands on him and crying right alongside him.  Our youth noticed that he wasn’t looking around to make sure no one was watching, he wasn’t hiding, and he certainly was not quiet about his convictions, this empowered them to want to ignite their faith, and to share this Epic Truth with others. 

Saturday night we had to leave early, because we had a long drive home, and promised the parents we would be home by 11pm.  This was not easy, our youth wanted nothing to do with leaving this Holy Spirit filled arena.  We started by saying we were going to leave by 6, then that moved to 7, and in the last worship song at 8pm there was no leaving.  The worship band sang their last song, walked out, and the speaker came out, but the crowd was not ready to stop Worshiping, they just sang louder.  So the band came back out, and began playing alongside the crowd of believers.  This was that moment, that our youth were crying out, their hands raised high, voices singing loud with no care for who was watching, and tears strolling down their faces.  This was that moment that will resonate in my heart for the rest of my life, seeing their convictions, seeing their vulnerability in front of thousands of youth whom they do not know, this is that moment where this truth of Christ active in their lives became real.

Here is a video that exhibits the power of worship that we experienced this weekend, through the eyes of a Youth Pastor.  Thank you for your prayers as our youth entered into this space.





Posted by Sarah Hostetter at 7:30 AM
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