At the start of this month 12 young people, 11 adults, 6 tents, and more chocolate brownies than you can count, packed up and left Kingston upon Thames, to join thousands of others around the country, for Newday!
Newday is a week-long camp that provides the opportunity for young people to get to know God better. Throughout the week there is excellent teaching, vibrant worship and opportunities to step out in faith. The afternoons host sports activities, creative arts workshops, dance, drama, seminars and cafes to encourage friendships and help young people explore how they can glorify God through their skills and interests.
Every year I get excited about going to Newday, but this year I was particularly excited. I really felt that God had put something on my heart about him raising up a generation of young people who are more concerned about the world around them than they are themselves. I felt Him speak to me about young people being released into new gifting and having a greater measure of faith; about young people who will have influence for Him in their schools and communities; about young people who will be His mouthpiece.
I was not disappointed.
This year 297 young people responded to the Gospel for the first time, 281 reported experiencing physical healing and £91,262 was raised for church planting and missions across the nations. God is moving among young people! It was incredible to see thousands responding to challenges to forgive, to be generous and to be bold. Amongst our own group God was stirring, encouraging and motivating. One of our young people spent the week going along to the ‘Outreach Bootcamp’ to be trained in evangelism, another stepped out in faith and brought prophetic words to two of our leaders and still others received a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit bringing peace, joy and the reminder that they belong to Him.
Coming back from Newday is always the challenge. It’s easy to be inspired and motivated in an environment that is set up to do just that. It’s much more challenging back at school where friends and teachers do not share our faith and where being bold is on a whole new level. It is our privilege as a church to continue to encourage our young people that they would be equipped to stand firm in their faith in their schools and amongst their friends.
I want to encourage you that the young people of King’s Church Kingston are amazing! There is so much more I could share about Newday. About the godly conversations we had over meals, about the enthusiasm from our group to be early for meetings, the respect they have for us as leaders and the patience and joy they displayed when we had to wait 7 hours in the hot sun for a bus home! And that’s just at Newday. I and the others on the youth team have the privilege to regularly hear stories of how our young people honour God in their day to day lives. It is often said that young people are the leaders and influences of the future. This is not true. They are leaders and influencers today! The tagline for Newday this year was ‘Rise up, take courage and do it’ (Ezra 10:4). Please pray that our young people will rise up, take courage and be a mouthpiece for God in their generation.