By Matt Hampson
This past weekend Motion Student Ministry went to the annual Districts Youth Conference in Green Bay at the Resch Expo Center. In total we had 20 students and seven leaders attend. The theme for Districts this year was "Reintroductions.” The students and leaders were being “reintroduced” to Districts because there was no Districts last year due to COVID.
Our speaker this year was Justin Wevers. Justin serves as the national director for EFCA ReachStudents. He spoke about how Jesus has a different kind of kingdom and is a different kind of king. He brought us through different stories of Jesus showing the kind of kingdom that Jesus came to establish and how that kingdom is a kingdom that will last forever. One of the biggest takeaways was that the throne of our life is not big enough for two butts. We cannot serve two masters, we cannot live a life for ourselves and also live a life for Jesus. Justin encouraged us to serve Jesus with all that we have and be willing to not seek after things in this life that will not last: things like popularity, status, living for ourselves, etc.
Justin also asked us a difficult question, he asked, “when you feel anxious, sad, depressed, hurt, where do you turn for help?” Often times where we turn is what we value in our life and what we find most important. We should turn to Christ for that refuge and comfort. On Sunday morning Justin encouraged us to continue to seek after God's will for our lives and live for him with everything that we have. He encouraged us to not serve two masters and not to have two butts on the throne of our lives. He also was honest in saying that after we leave Districts, following Jesus will not always be easy. Districts is like a mountain top experience; following Jesus will get difficult. It was good to hear the honesty and the encouragement to continue in following Christ as the master and king of our life through the good times and the difficult times.
We were led in worship by Woodlands Worship. They did a phenomenal job of keeping worship focused on Christ and creating an environment where students could unashamedly worship God. Along with worship we were shown various testimonies by students and adults that were incredibly powerful and gave God all the glory. It is always great to see how God is working through people in a bunch of different ways.
Along with the main sessions there were breakout seminars that covered a variety of topics. Some of the seminars students went to were about sexuality and the image of God, the origin of the Bible, a Christian worldview in the presence of evil and pain in the world, how a global pandemic shifted our thinking, and how the Christian worldview can exist along with science.
There were a ton of takeaways at Districts and students learned a lot. There were small groups where students were able to ask questions and talk about what they'd learned. These breakout small group sessions are where some of the real discipleship happens.
My personal favorite part of trips like this is the relationships that are built. The main sessions and breakout seminars and the worship are incredibly important but my favorite part is the down time that we had between sessions, or at meals, or on Saturday night after the main session when everyone was playing games together and being goofy and laughing with one another until 12:30am. It is during those times that memories are made and relationships are made stronger. It is such a joy to watch students interacting with each other and growing closer to other students who take their faith seriously.
This past weekend was a blast and I look forward to seeing the fruit of this weekend in the coming weeks and years. Please pray with me that students will continue to grow closer to Christ and use what they learned at Districts and apply it to their lives every single day.