Youth Evangelism Conference challenges students to live Christian life as ‘More Than a Game’comment (0)
August 15, 2013
By Neal Embry
If you think the only reason you go to the school you do is to get an education, you just missed the entire Christian life,” Wade Morris said.
Morris was the speaker for the state Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC), held Aug. 2–3 at Samford University’s Wright Center. His challenge to the 710 youth echoed the theme of this year’s conference, “More Than a Game.”
YEC, hosted by the office of collegiate and student ministries of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM), is an annual event that brings in youth groups and their ministers for a time of worship and learning.
This year, students were asked to invest in their relationship with Christ and take it seriously.
“The reason why we take the Christian life seriously is because this isn’t a practice round — it’s the real thing,” Morris said.
Worship leader Chuck Hooten joined Morris at YEC, and The Big Game Show entertained the audience, creating an interactive time for students through game shows.
Youth ministers also had a chance to watch a new LifeWay Christian Resources film, “Season of a Lifetime,” which tells the true story of a high school football coach who deals with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in his final season.
Keith Loomis, an associate in the SBOM office of collegiate and student ministries, was encouraged by the leaders he saw at YEC.
“I am always humbled and blessed by the men and women who love God and teenagers,” he said. “The dedication of these local church leaders in investing in the students’ lives for the glory of Jesus and the changed lives for Christ make the theme ‘More Than a Game’ a lifestyle, not just a theme.”
Chris Mills, who also serves as an associate in the SBOM collegiate and student ministries office, agreed.
“We have a role in making disciples and pursuing Christ more so we can look like Him,” he said.
Mills said Morris, who delivered three messages, “hit a home run every time,” and several students decided to follow Christ.
Three of those students came from Calvary Baptist Church, Cottondale.
Todd Larson, youth minister at Calvary, said a conference like YEC is great for their small church.
“We have limited access to these great conferences,” he said. “With YEC, because of its low cost, we were able to go. It’s so effective, I brought eight youth and three were saved.”
While preparations are now being made for next year’s YEC, Loomis hopes the 2013 conference has a long-term impact on students.
“I hope they were inspired, challenged and equipped to return back to their missions field (home, school, community) to share the gospel with other students.”