I never really noticed that I used the words “all set” so often until my friend from Tennessee was visiting one summer. If my waitress asks if I want anything else at a restaurant, I am quick to reply “No, I’m all set”. If anyone asks if I need help with something, it’s “nope! All set!” And she started saying how funny it was that we are all set in NH!
I guess it is kind of a New England thing to say, and it turns out it’s kind of a New England way to live.
I do not say that proudly.
I feel like New Englanders can tend towards pride a little bit more because of the hard winters.
Ya know what I mean?
We work hard. We deal with the cold, with the snow, with the mean people and we don’t ever need nobody else for nothin! We are just all set. We think we can do anything and everything by ourselves.
It’s a really bad habit actually, and sadly I have seen so many churches start having this mentality.
Last year, I organized and ran my first Christian Teen Leadership Conference, called Surge. You can read about it here.
My goal was simple:
It was designed to empower Christian teenagers from the New England area who are serious about their relationship with Jesus. I wanted to give them a chance to network with other like minded teens, learn from godly leaders and make purposeful strategies on ways they can be used to change the world.
The problem with our churches “all set” mentality, is that the local bodies of Christ sometimes forget that they are a part of the universal body of Christ as well. It becomes more of a contest and a my-church-is-better-than-your-church kind of deal with every event planned.
I contacted one pretty good sized church and was told that they do their own teen conference so did not have interest in being part of ours.
Here is the thing…teenagers need to know that they are not alone in serving Jesus. I mean, we all need to know that. But as a teenager, connecting and feeling that camaraderie is so important!! What do you think gets them through the temptations that they face every day? What do you think inspires them to dream big and set huge goals?
Other godly friends, and other godly adults who are showing them by example!!
And what better way to give them those godly friends and godly adults than to bring them together in one place where they can meet each other!
Last year we had 28 teens from many churches and our speakers were from a variety of churches as well.
It’s not about us, people. It’s not about us.
When are we going to figure out that we are better together?
When are we going to figure out that it takes all of us to reach all of them?
Why do we feel like we need to do everything on our own? Is it so we can get the glory? Is it so we can get the recognition and the numbers and the pat on the back?
That is a bad habit that needs to be broken.
Working together is not a bad idea. It’s a good idea.
This year, I started planning much earlier and had things in place a lot sooner.
We have 9 break out sessions for the teens to choose from:
*Dealing with doubt (learning to trust God more)
*Keeping your testimony while playing sports
*Discovering where your treasure is (managing your money)
*Organizing your quiet time to get the most out of it
*Developing a stronger prayer life
*Digging deeper into God’s truths and living them out
*Being godly in an ungodly world
*Starting your own ministry
*Leading peers to Christ and growing them
I am so excited about these sessions as well as my main speaker this year!
It is going to be amazing!
While I started planning a lot earlier this year, I have also faced a lot more struggles.
I have lost several volunteers that I had thought were already in place since last year, I have had some financial struggles and I have just felt so much resistance with all of this.
Even just a couple weeks ago, I was thinking I should just cancel the whole thing.
I know God doesn’t want this! I know that the more of us that stand strong together, the more we can change the world. I am passionate about that, and I will keep on fighting for it.
My challenge to you tonight is this. If you are a teenager, or if you know a teenager who loves Jesus, make the decision to come to this event!!
Really. Stop thinking that you are going to be all set this school year.
Stop thinking that you can just do everything on your own.
WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER! You need me! I need you! We need each other!
Let’s stand together!
And if you are interested in volunteering for this year’s event or next year’s, please email me here for more information!
You can sign up and find more information about this year’s event here.