Students and adults from nearly 125 churches, 19 of them new churches, descended on Indiana Wesleyan University last week for Momentum Youth Conference 2019.
The theme was The Reason from 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Keith Minier, lead pastor of Grace Fellowship in Pickerington, Ohio, kicked off the conference. During his Tuesday evening main session spot, Minier told students that the “engine” of their faith is reverence. Understanding reverence will help them understand the reason for their faith.
New to the Momentum stage was Tony Livigni, campus pastor of Grace Church, Medina, Ohio. Livigni told the conference Wednesday morning that the answer is Jesus. “People may not like that answer”, Livigni said. Boldness is “unreserved-ness in speech.” The Bible is a bold message, students learned.
Also new to the Momentum speaker lineup was Dimas Salaberrios, co-pastor of Infinity Bible Church and author of Street God, now a major motion picture. Salaberrios told the Momentum audience Wednesday night the story of his journey from the streets to God and back to the streets of New York.
Sean McDowell, long-time Momentum speaker, took the stage Thursday morning. In classic McDowell form, the scholar and teacher showed students how morality must be based on objective truth.
McDowell returned Thursday night and presented the reasons Christians have to defend the Bible. “Let the truth of scripture transform us first,” he said.
Friday morning, Christopher Yuan, teacher, author, and speaker, talked about his journey out of the gay community and into the loving relationship with God.
Two-time Grammy Award winning American rapper and actor Lecrae Moore spoke Friday night. “If you live for acceptance, you will die for rejection,” Lecrae said. This is Lacrae’s first appearance at Momentum Youth Conference.
Steve Kozak, vice president of youth ministry for CE National, and Stephanie Taylor, Breathe Partners Ministry missionary, spoke Saturday morning. “You can’t leave here until you love your neighbor as yourself,” Kozak told the students. Taylor talked about how she said, ‘Yes’ to God to small decisions which has led her to serve God in Haiti.
Saturday night, Jeff Bogue concluded the conference. Bogue camped on the word ‘always’ from the theme verse of I Peter 3:15. “When you revere Christ in your heart…then from a place of reverence be prepared to give an answer,” Bogue said. “Be able to say ‘I am ready.’” Bogue invited the Momentum attendees to ask God, “Will you help me with my ‘always’?”
Throughout the week, The Jordan Howerton Band led students to worship God through songs and testimony.
Despite the excessive heat, students had a great time participating in afternoon events on campus like art classes, water kickball, a foam slip and slide, slime-fest, and sports tournaments among other free time options.
Each afternoon, groups went off campus for ministry in the neighboring areas. These ON MISSION activities were hands-on to help students interact with people and put into practice sharing their faith.
Visit the Momentum Facebook page for photos and video clips.
The Momentum and CE National staff are rejoicing in how God used the conference to impact the lives of students and youth workers. We are now busy planning for Momentum 2020 which will be back to Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, July 14-19. Registration opens February 1, 2020. More information coming soon at buildmomentum.org.