Last weekend I went to the National Youth Ministy Conference, which is an event Youthscape run for those who work with young people. It was a great opportunity to gather as people who love Jesus and love young people, to be challenged and inspired. The theme of the week was first love, and was a constant reminder that everything we do has to come from a place of knowing God and loving him first.
A stand out moment for me was in Pete Hughes sermon on Revelation 2, where Paul says to the church in Ephesus
“you have forsaken the love that you had at first”
He challenged us to think about how often we get carried away with what we are doing, just assuming Jesus is involved in it, without every stopping to hear him or see what he is trying to do. Without even realising it we find ourselves just going through the motions. As people who love children and young people, we are passionate about the kingdom of God because we want to see young people know Jesus, experiencing freedom and thriving. But in our passion for the kingdom, do we ever lose our passion for the King?
A second highlight was a great seminar by Pete Baker from Pais, about why every youth worker should be a school’s worker. As a schools worker, this was really encouraging and exciting to hear, and a reminder that we can’t just wait for young people to come to us. Instead, we have great opportunities to support school communities, build trust and relationship, and impact far more young people than will probably walk through our doors on a Sunday.
It was such a privilege to gather, chat and pray with so many youth workers, and always so encouraging to be reminded that we aren’t working in isolation, but are part of a far bigger community and vision for young people in the UK!