Surge Teen Leadership Conference 2014 – A Recap

Many of you have heard me talking about Surge for several months. It all started many months ago, when I felt like God wanted me to plan an event that was entirely designed for the Christian teenager who wanted to be a leader. I didn’t want it to be about a single church. I have been tiring of the sense I am getting from many churches who are making it all about their church, instead of the church.

God wants us all to be a part of a local body, yes. But He wants us all to be a part of the universal body of Christ as well.

Going into this entire thing, I felt completely under-qualified. 

This was actually a confirmation that it really was from God. That it was about God. Not me.

The way He works things out is amazing. I had met a girl named Kate when she met with me to discuss wedding photography. She booked me to shoot her wedding and we became great friends.

She was my conference administrator and was absolutely incredible. She is clearly gifted with administration and she was awesome in her role.

I wanted to have different workshops, giving kids the chance to pick things that would suit their needs.

We offered 6 different workshops, and they could each select 2.

*Building relationships with the lost, Karissa Wright

*Dealing with Christian stereotypes, Jennifer Boisvert

*Dreaming big- Pushing your dreams into action, Ron Townsend

*Being confident in sharing the Gospel, Ed Cilley

*Developing a stronger prayer life, Matt Currier

*Keeping your testimony as an athlete, Zach Boulter

We also had a main speaker who spoke at the beginning and at the end – AJ Hebert, 

and Adam and I spoke at a session with just the boys and just the girls.

I wanted everything to be just right. I designed a logo so we could order shirts, notebooks, and banners.

We bought Panera for breakfast, and also had a huge amount of yogurts donated from Stonyfield Farm

We had people donate gifts and gift cards to do giveaways.

We got a discount from Front Row Pizzeria for lunch.

And we were able to use Regeneration church in Exeter for the day.

I wish I could describe how everything was.

It was amazing. 

As I walked around during the conference and watched what was happening, I was so emotional. 
I was watching these incredible adults who had driven from many distances, gotten babysitters, switched schedules, just to be a part of serving others. With nothing expected in return.
I watched these teenagers taking notes, and really listening to the speakers.
And it was all just absolutely perfect.
 
Kate said it best when she told our leaders: New England (New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont) leads the United States as being the least churched and “religious” states in the union. You taking the time out of your busy schedule to shepherd our youth and speak on something that has kingdom lasting effects is pretty amazing when you think about it! 
The leaders for the day were godly, Biblical, unselfish and loving.
 
My goals for the day were:
#1. I wanted Christian teens to know that there were adults who believed in them and supported them enough to make a day away just for them. To help them rise up, grow in their faith, and be prepared to lead.
 
#2. I wanted these kids to know that they were not alone. That there were other Christian teenagers around them who also wanted to live lives that pleased God.
 
#3. I wanted them to leave feeling inspired and fired up to serve in greater ways. 
I wanted them to Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. (1 Timothy 4:15)
 
I left this event feeling absolutely blown away at how perfectly everything had come together.
You go into something like this, and it can be so scary! What if no one comes? What if they all hate it? What if people don’t get along with each other? What was I ever thinking planning something like this? Who do I think I am?
 
But God is in complete control and He showed me that when He tells you to do something? 
You better just do it and let him control all the details. 
Here are a few of the pictures of the prep for surge, and also the event itself.
The pictures are only from various people’s phones, so for next year we should definitely hire a photographer. I wonder where I can find one of those…

Some of the testimonials from the teens who attended:

This was an amazing conference! I learned so much and I truly believe that I grew immensely in my walk with the Lord. Can’t wait for next year! -Alissa, age 14

For me, the best thing about Surge was getting to know more people and hearing their ideas, feelings, and testimonies. It also made me come out of my comfort zone in a good way by sharing my own thoughts with others. -Emily, age 16

Surge was incredible. I have never felt so close to God before. -Owen, 16

I think the surge conference was a great place to learn ways in which you can grow and use your leadership skills in a Christian environment. -Delaney, age 13

Thank you so much for organizing this event, I loved it. I will definitely try to make it to next year’s Surge! – Caleb, age 16

It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by Christian teens and leaders that were motivating me to be more Christ like even when I am not being held accountable. A quote I heard was “integrity is when you do the right thing when no one is watching” and I will forever remember that. -Madeline, age 16

Some words of testimony from the leaders:

Great conference. It was great to be a part of it. Thanks for asking me to. I thought it was wonderful in every way. It is exciting to see teens who are serious about walking with God. The thought of being used to help others move forward is exhilarating! -Ron

The best part, to me, was not only seeing the diversity in the room, from the leaders, all coming together to serve Him and bring Him glory by drawing the kids closer to Him, but also seeing the kids.  They were so “present.”  To know that they were spending a Friday in a church building, so that they could try to get better equipped to serve/share about the God who made and loves them, made me choke up.  I know that our Lord is, and is going to continue to, do amazing things through those young leaders of the faith.  -Jenn

God is so good. And the way He works and moves and brings people together is so fun to watch and so awesome to be a part of.

I am so grateful for everyone who played a part in this event.

For Kate, and all her ridiculously hard work the months before Surge.

For all my speakers, who I named earlier.

For my registration and prayer people – Ruth Grimes, Bekah Scadding, Ben Scadding, Ethan Boulter, Jenn Hebert, Brianna Currier.

For the worship leaders – Chris Bartell, Glen Cassidy.

For people from my church who sponsored many of the teens who went.

For the people who donated gifts as giveaways.

For the people who weren’t able to attend but still helped out with the administration part.       For everyone who played a part by praying and supporting this crazy dream that God gave me.

I am already planning for next year, and have the date and location selected!

If you are a leader, and looking for a way to serve, you are going to want to get on board! Please feel free to message me for more details. 

I am continuing to pray for all the teens who attended as they get ready to start another school year in a world that is getting continuously more difficult to take a stand for Christ.

I pray that you will Rise. Grow. And Lead like a crazy mad fool.

Until next year!

#surgeteen2014

 

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3 thoughts on “Surge Teen Leadership Conference 2014 – A Recap

  1. Pingback: Surge 2016

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