Students watch last year’s Move Conference held at the Macon Coliseum. While such a crowd won’t gather in a singular place this time, leaders anticipate just as much involvement among three locations as well as churches and individual homes.
DULUTH — Families looking for a student ministry event over the Christmas break can depend on one that will continue after 35 years.
Move, the annual student evangelism conference sponsored by Georgia Baptists, will look different Dec. 29 as it will be held primarily at three locations as well as individual churches and families wanting to take part remotely. As such, the associated hashtag #NotCancelled points to the event’s stability in reaching students.
“This year we are gathering with as much intention and excitement as ever!” said Mike Ricks, Georgia Baptist state missionary in Student Ministry Groups and Faith Development. “On Dec. 29 churches from all over the state will gather for worship with the united goal of seeing 300 students come to know Christ and be baptized in their church by March 3. Imagine the impact of over 7,000 students worship together with one goal of seeing 300 make a decision for Christ and be baptized!”
For years Move has drawn large crowds to the Macon Coliseum. This time the three main locations will be Midway Church in Villa Rica, Bethlehem Church in Bethlehem, and New Providence Baptist Church in Forsyth. The worship leaders for each location, respectively, will be Edenfield, Joel Goddard, and Ben & Kaitlyn. Speakers joining via live-stream for Move will be Chad Poe, Ed Newton, and Nick Person.
“God had something better in mind this year,” Ricks continued. “In addition to being in three locations, Move will be live streaming to hundreds of churches and homes.”
Safety protocols will depend on each church, he noted. Masks are encouraged but not required. Through the live-stream option, Ricks is confident Move’s impact will be felt further than ever.
“Our focus is on reaching and baptizing the lost in local communities. We are also moving beyond our state-wide attendance to a global audience. Churches from all over Georgia and world will join the Movement, from Athens to Rome, Ty Ty to Hoboken, Waycross to Hiawasee, and Bethlehem to Damascus.”
Registration for the event costs $55 until 1:59 p.m. on Dec. 3. Church kits will be $125 through Nov. 19, going up to $150 thereafter. Home kits cost $19.
“Each of these options provides a unique and intentional way of going beyond our cancel culture that has plagued 2020,” Ricks said. “Move 2020 is a one-day event designed to meet churches where they are in their unique ‘reentry’ process.
“The local viewing parties will be hosted by local churches and we will provide the streaming resource or the recorded resource that churches need to make this a success in your context. This is their call. Churches control the variables, the distancing, and with our recorded options, the content.”
With many students staying home, the role of parents for events such as Move has taken on an even bigger role.
“During the pandemic we have heard from many church leaders, youth leaders, and families that we need to do more to help parents disciple their children,” Ricks explained. “To that end, we are providing unique tools in our Home Kit for families to engage with their kids. This can look like a day of streaming event or a time where families share a family discussion or ‘talkback’ time after a message.”
An often-hostile culture needs to hear the message of a Savior who loves them, he added.
“In 2020 we have seen groups of people so eager to dismiss a brand, void a person’s plea, smear a reputation of last week’s friend, disregard a cry for help, or reject the creator of the universe based on a human failure,” Ricks noted. “We want the next generation to look at what Jesus did and why He came.
“Did he look at our failures and come to cancel us? No, He came to call us! And that’s what this next generation needs to hear. God is calling them into the family.”
More information can be found at MoveConference.com or by contacting Ricks at (800) 746-4422.