Each year Lendrick Muir plays host to the ever-growing Free Church Youth Conference. This year Hamish Sneddon, Associate Pastor at St Andrews Free Church, was our main speaker and we looked at the theme “Life in Christ” from Paul’s letter to the Colossians.
The four main talks took us on a journey through 'Jesus Christ Our Deliverer', 'Jesus Christ the Head of All Things', 'Jesus Christ The Victor' and finally, 'Jesus Christ our Life'.
In these talks, we explored the reality of what it means as a Christian to have union with Christ and how that truth impacts our everyday life. We were challenged to examine where we find fulfilment, and whether we find that in Christ Himself or whether we are finding it in worldly pleasures. Hamish reminded us of Christ’s redeeming love and encouraged us to consider how we are to serve Him. Were there ways in which we could be better using our gifts for Christ, whether that be in school, university, church, work or ministry.
The conference itself has a wide demographic, 16 – 30, which encompasses people who are very young in their faith along with more mature Christians who have had a lot more life experience.
This itself is a huge challenge to any speaker when considering how to apply a point, but we were blessed to have a speaker this year who navigated this challenge exceptionally well. I spoke to people across the age spectrum who all commented on how much the talks had impacted them.
On Saturday we had seven seminar speakers come and explore a number of different Christian topics in a more informal manner.
We had topics ranging from “The Proof of The Resurrection” and “Help! I’m Wandering Away from Jesus” to “Social Media” and “Mental Health”. These are often topics that we rarely get to hear about in our church settings and are current issues that young people (and not so young people!) in the church today have to deal with.
It was so helpful getting to hear a Christian perspective on these topics and how we should approach them as followers of Jesus.
One of our focusses this year was looking at ways in which the conference could provide opportunities for the attendees to serve the church. It was great to be able to have Operation Mobilisation in attendance at the conference and they were blown away by the number of young people that were interested in serving the Lord on the international mission field. We also got to hear from Iver Martin about ministry opportunities through Edinburgh Theological Seminary and finally from Neil Macmillan through our Sunday seminar about Generation and ways we can serve the local, national and international church.
I would be doing a dis-service to the conference if I didn’t mention the food. We had a brilliant team of cooks led by Beth MacIver who provided the highest quality, tasty meals over the weekend. They are gifted beyond belief and the way they serve is a beautiful picture of Christ, we are so thankful for them.
This was my 6th year at the conference and is undoubtedly one of my favourites. If you are between 16 and 30, I would encourage you to come next year. I received the following message from a friend the day after the conference was over which filled me with such joy, “Hey man. Just want to say thanks for convincing me to go to the Youth Conference. It was one of the best and challenging weekends I have ever had. Hope you are well rested”
This is exactly what we were praying for before the conference and it is a real encouragement to know it has been blessed to those in attendance.
I would recommend to anyone, of any age, that you check out the talks from the weekend on the youth conference website: www.freechurchyouthconference.com/recordings.
Keep up to date with information on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/freechurchyouthconference, why not like or follow us and tell the younger ones in your church to come along next year!
This is my last year on the organising committee so I will be handing the baton over to the highly capable team who love Jesus and who will organise a fantastic conference next year.
Youth Conference Convenor 2019