Our Youth Councils are a fantastic time for our young people to come together from across the country to hang out, worship God and go a little bit crazy. Here’s a few highlights from each of the four divisional events in New Zealand.
This year our theme was ‘Covered’. To be covered by God’s grace is to be protected by the Father and concealed or hidden in his love. We desperately wanted the rangatahi of Tāmaki Makaurau to get the message that they’re ‘covered’ by God’s grace and that he loves them, no matter what! His grace covers your sin and calls you forward into a deeper relationship with him, and into holiness and mission.
With over 200 rangatahi attending, the event was appropriately dubbed ‘Mud Councils’ as it was impressively muddy under foot—with gumboots the fashion ‘must have’ of the weekend.
We were honoured to be inspired by guest speakers Envoy Stu Irwin, Meredith Akuhata-Brown and Major Ian Gainsford. Highlights included hanging with friends around the bonfire and cafe, worship led by Besorah from Westgate Corps, the Church Boiz concert, the Walk of Grace prayer trail, prizes won playing #tag, red shield socks, workshops, Ben Maxwell and much more!
By Jules Badger
Central’s theme for 2018 was ‘Reckless Love’. MC Bevan Sanders hosted a range of food-focused games—including leaders receiving flour from a leaf blower and delegates eating shaving soap disguised as minties! Thankfully, Bevan was punished for the challenges he put people through by being made to suffer in a hot sauce eating comp.
Awesome insights were gained from speakers Major Shar Davis and Miramar Corps’ Niven Patel. Chocoholic Shar ended up being the one to find a chocolate block hidden in the venue by Ben! Plenty of delicious milkshakes were enjoyed, along with mosh pits that shook the Wellington CBD. But, most importantly, encounters with Jesus were had which transformed youth and leaders from storytellers to history makers!
By Gabi Gardner
Our theme of ‘10:10’ was based on John 10:10: ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ So what does ‘life to the full’ in Jesus look like when you’re a teenager? A variety of speakers showed us the way …
Embracing our identity—Majors Rob and Julie Cope helped us look at who we really are in God. He is a good God and our true identity is in who he says we are; not who the world says we are. Embracing the ‘sucks’—Captain Mat Badger helped us look at what to do when life is difficult. Jesus promised that in this world we would know hardship—so how do we find peace in the storm? Embracing our destiny—Captain Hana Seddon shared her story of what God has for her, and that each one of us can embrace our destiny.
Other elements of the weekend included a ‘tough questions’ time with a panel of wise beings, laser tag, slack-lining and more.
By Robert Cope
Holy Moly! Youth Councils went off with a kapow, shazam and a bang. Our superhero-inspired camp theme ‘Holy Moly’ aimed to explore holiness and what that looks like in our world today—too much of our ‘moly’ can get in the way of God’s holy.
Speakers for the weekend included Captain Mat Badger, Young Adult Pastors Amy and Ben Kendrew (from Arise Christchurch) and Major Earle Ivers. The weekend had plenty of games, breakout sessions, an engaging panel, human burritos eating custard, donut fishing and more.
But best of all, the weekend had young people meet with Jesus. Please continue to pray for them as they live out their God given potential in their own worlds.
By Ben Maxwell