By Caleb Spacht, youth minister, Happy Valley Baptist Church, Glendale –
The LIFT Tour on Jan. 26-27 was a great experience for our church. From the very beginning, our students were engaged with the music and the atmosphere of the night, but God was also at work in their hearts.
It’s funny that on many occasions I find myself looking for the “right event” or over-spending time and my church’s resources to be able to put on a “big show” for our students, totally neglecting the Spirit’s work. I’ve fallen into that trap many times and try to learn from it each time. The problem for other youth pastors like me is that we swing that pendulum a little too far to the other side and totally avoid big events, because we now label them as empty.
At first, I anticipated that the event would be somewhat like that, but I was very wrong. The LIFT Tour was a high-quality weekend for our students and was clearly bathed in prayer. After talking with Jeff Wallace, one of the LIFT leaders, it was made clear that the organization was not about profit or self-promotion, but about equipping students.
On the first night, the gospel was presented in a clear and challenging way. Three of our students responded and 60 students total from all the churches made a commitment of one sort of another. The follow-up that the event provided was a great accountability tool and allowed me as well my church leaders to find out about our student decisions. On the second day, Jeff Wallace took time to pray with and invest in the youth pastors in attendance. It’s very clear to me that our convention made a great choice in partnering with Student Leadership University. The rest of the weekend went well, and our students left encouraged and energized.
I’m very thankful that our student ministry team of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention partnered with such a great organization like Student Leadership University and look forward to how our relationship with them will develop in the future. The Cooperative Program giving of Arizona Southern Baptist churches helped fund this event. The Cooperative Program works!