November 27, 2022
Last week our team traveled to Johnstown, PA!!! And what did I learn from this trip?
We Christian teens and kids don't have to be the church of tomorrow.
We're the church of today.
The Overflow Conference
It's about 8 hours from Salisbury to Johnstown, and we usually make stops on the way, so Wednesday was mostly traveling and settling in. Thursday and Friday we practiced for the weekend, and by Friday evening we were ready to minister to these kids!
Unlike most trips we do each year, the Pennsylvania trip is one we do each November. Why November? This is when the Overflow Conference is! The Overflow Conference invites churches from the area to one big church for services. KidzAblaze has administered the kids' side of things for several years now, making us the "Overflow Kidz" team! We've always seen amazing things from the trip, and this year was no exception. Even cooler (yes, even cooler than all the snow up there--brrr), this year, KidzAblaze's theme is "Come Alive!" Imagine our reactions when we learned the conference's theme was--I'm not joking--"Come Alive." Yes, this was going to be awesome!!
We did plenty of games, lessons, workshops, and of course, our new musical. Everything went smoothly! Besides that, several kids were filled with the Holy Spirit, and many of them were prayed over throughout the weekend.
What God Did Sunday Night
What may surprise a few of you is KidzAblaze is definitely not limited to kids' ministry. Sunday night we started out our kids' service like normal. Halfway through, however, we finished our prayer time and filed into the adult service. This night would mark something different for both our team and the adults!
After the main speaker finished talking, our team did what we call our "cast dance" onstage. Then we transitioned into a prayer time, but it was little different than just praying for people. I was ecstatic stay onstage with five others from our team as we continued into the next part!!
Basically, there were several groups of people, our six and a couple others, who would pray and deliver a word from God. Some would get a word for the congregation, but mostly we would find one person in the crowd, pray for them, and tell them what God said.
It was powerful.
Everyone before our team went a little long, so three of us were unable to give words with the mic in front of everyone, but the other three did an exceptional job. Or rather, God did an exceptional job through them!! Each person we prayed over received the words well, and I believe two started crying. Pastor Randy's vision for KidzAblaze that night was fulfilled--everyone there saw us, mere teenagers, giving words just like the preachers before us did.
That's the cool thing with God. KidzAblaze isn't just shaping us for the church of tomorrow.
We're already part of the church today.
The rest of the night, our team organized 4 prayer groups, which would pray for anyone who wanted prayer (basically the whole conference--the lines were insane). Pastor Randy had put me mostly in charge of my group, which made me feel a little nervous. After all, I'd never led prayer for 8 people in a row at a big conference! But I had a great group, and another one of our leaders was there, so we worked well together.
And everything turned out amazing!
I wish you could've seen the faces of the people we prayed for. Some cried, some acknowledged the words we gave were spot on. God worked through each of us, and though pressed for time, it seemed God wasn't, because all four of us would get words for each person who came up. Sorry, those at the back of the line!
The Church of Today
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV)
Pennsylvania really showed me this. When Jesus told the disciples to let the little children to come to Him, He knew they had power no one else saw. Likewise we, both teenagers and kids, have something beyond what most people see.
This generation struggles with a lot, but because of that we, both KidzAblazians and strong Christian teens, can overcome even more.
This generation lives in more darkness than ever before, but because of that our light shines even brighter.
This world seems to be farther away from God and church more than ever, but instead of leaving, we've filled many of the gaps people have left behind.
God's moving in us, and while we may not have the same abilities or experiences as most adults, it's clear God isn't letting that stop us.
We're not the church of tomorrow.
We're the church of today!!