What started out as an idea in a youth meeting culminated in a powerful event which included eight diverse churches from several local communities. It was an incredible evening of praise and worship, anointed preaching and fellowship. It was a testament to what God can do with willing vessels.
We are a small, but growing church in Central Florida. There really aren’t many youth here, but the ones we have are growing in grace and knowledge in Jesus; they are ready to step out in faith to accomplish great things in the kingdom of God. Their youth pastor is not the typical one, either, but that has not been anything but positive for our young people. It really doesn’t matter what the mold looks like as long as God is allowed to direct our journey.
The young people wanted to put on an event geared toward reaching the younger generation in our community. They came to the conclusion it wasn’t going to be something hastily thrown together to fill a time slot; rather, it would be on a grander scale. It would be challenging, lots of hard work and would have to bathed in much prayer and preparation. We would use the facilities on our church campus, too.
Many of our people were involved in preparing our old structures for what was to be an event unlike this church had ever seen. Fresh paint everywhere was the order of the day, cleaning on a grand scale, running cable and wire for sound and video are just some of the tasks undertaken by a dedicated group of our own church members. When joy is in the house, it’s much easier to get work done. There was even some hands-on training for altar workers.
We had packed the old sanctuary with chairs and had several rooms downstairs set aside as overflow in case we needed them. If that weren’t enough, we had the capability to run video and sound to our main sanctuary just in case. There was a good crowd and it was a good thing rooms had been prepared ahead of time.
One thing that still amazes me is the fact so many churches worked together to make this happen. There were four singing groups and four drama teams. That is eight churches represented in an evening when so many teens could have been at other places. What an incredible night. The groups had one common purpose, and that was to lift up the name of Jesus Christ and purposefully affect the lives of those who listened to the message they presented.
Our featured singing group was Julian Drive who hales out of Athens, Georgia. This ia group of guys who are loaded with talent and possess a powerful anointing to minister to people of all ages. Their story if fascinating, and full of a sense the hand of God led them to where they are now. You can read their story here. They really are a great bunch of guys, and I had the privilege of meeting their families during their short stay with us. If you need someone who is all about ministry, you would do well to contact them.
Bishop Jonathan Zeigler is an exciting preacher, to say the least. He has a heart for worship and a message to deliver, and he was our guest speaker. I don’t believe it was an accident he was chosen by our youth group. They had seen him at the Florida Campmeeting a couple of years ago as he preached the Friday Youth Night service. He brought a powerful, on-time word right from the throne of God. Many lives were impacted by what the Lord put on his heart to deliver that night.
Bishop told the incredible story of how he got to our neck of the woods, and it was nothing short of a miracle. He was tired and worn out from a great revival and all he wanted to do was go home and rest up for the next meeting. Well, when God gets in the arrangements, anything can happen. His office manager told him he needed to go to a youth meeting in central Florida, and he told her he was the boss and he wasn’t going. Well, she insisted and he knew it was the hand of God directing the orchestra. He didn’t even know where “here” was, but under the anointing of the Holy Ghost, traveled to “here” on assignment from the throne of God. It is an amazing story, and the word he delivered was indeed powerful. I wish you would have been here.
Our church and youth group are not done yet. We have begun making plans to do this all over again next year, but with a different focus. Some of the people are interested in Southern Gospel, and we can do that, too.