There are many things about my ministry among Georgia Baptists that thrill my heart, but none more than being a part of the SuperWow experience with young people and leadership from churches all across Georgia as well as some from other states.
It is exciting to see a thousand teens praising the Lord through a very vibrant worship experience. The music is loud, vibrating the room with sound. The beat, loud enough to shake the walls, is just the way the young people like it, so I join right in. I don’t know the words on most of the songs, but at this point I’m not as interested in singing the words as I am in watching our youth worship and praise Jesus.
There are several parts of the program for the morning and evening worship. The music is a huge part of it, but also that part I think of as the “lighter side,” which sometimes involves an illusionist who always concludes his mind-twisting feats with a strong spiritual lesson. At other times, it may be a skit with a life lesson performed by a group of Christian dramatists.
Then, comes the message for the hour. Some would call it a sermon, but it is definitely on the level and in the language of our youth. It is more like a Bible study with strong, relevant life applications. Following the message is the invitation. What an amazing moment it is when many respond by moving forward or going to their youth leader, who moves with them to the counseling room.
Every summer there are many first-time professions of faith, others surrender to full-time Christian service committing to ministry here or across the world. These are our finest young people making life decisions for Christ. I will never get over the thrill of it!
There were four SuperWow camps this summer. Two were in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, one was on Jekyll Island, Georgia and one was at our Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa. I want to thank Doug Couch and his team, Mike Ricks, Ricky Smith, and Kimberley Outz. Also, coming back this year to join the team was Cindy Fruitticher, who left the staff of the mission board to join the staff of Bethlehem Baptist Church near Winder.
Never has youth ministry been more important to all of our efforts. U2019 is our theme for the next three years as we strive to reach more young people age 19 and under for Christ through the year 2019.
Baptisms among Southern Baptists have fallen off in recent years. A careful study of the trend indicates that a very large segment of our losses is among our children and young people.
What we are asking you to do is get geared up with us to emphasize reaching the next generation with the Gospel. U2019 will become more and more referred to as “Reaching Next Gen.” It is apparent to all that this effort cannot stop with 2019, but reaching the next generation must be a priority for years to come.
To learn more about “Reaching Next Gen,” please go to https://reachingnextgen.com/. You will discover a lot of information and help for your church as we ramp up our efforts to reach youth for Christ.