5,400 people, made up of high school students and youth ministry leaders, packed the Orlando World Center July 9-13 for the bi-annual LIFE conference.
LIFE is a gathering of the next generation Alliance family to experience God and expand His kingdom locally and globally. We seek to GLORIFY God in worship, word, and community; EXPOSE God’s heart for the lost; INTRODUCE Jesus Christ into the whole life of each student; and INSPIRE students to join the global Alliance family.
This year, 77 students and 15 leaders from Alliance New England churches traveled to Orlando for this transformational week focused on Jesus Christ through worship and scripture in community. The theme for this year was “Awaken” – Awaken to Identity, Wonder, Fullness, Presence in Pain, Community. Awaken a Generation to Simplicity, Mission, and Kingdom.
Ryan Baker, ANE District Youth Point Person, provided a few of the highlights from the group’s time in Florida:
- Over $120,000.00 was raised for Silver Lining Foundation in Myanmar (Marketplace Ministries) through the Life Conference offering.
- All aspects of the event, from worship to main stage speakers and their content, as well as seminars helped set the table for community, learning and growing as disciples of Christ.
- Several surrounding communities were served and blessed through 41 service projects. Every group participated in at least one of these.
- The Justice Experience was an interactive walkthrough experience that placed students in the middle of modern day slavery and injustices to inspire action and change.
- Conference-wide Statistics: 34 new decisions for Christ / 108 re-dedications / 333 students attended the next steps seminar for those who responded to a call to ministry.
“From New England youth groups, there were salvations, re-dedications, and 20 of our students felt the call into ministry. We also had former students come back as leaders who themselves, felt the call to ministry in previous Life conferences,” Ryan added. “Overall, the conference was a blast with tons of laughter and tears as students experienced the full range of emotions that accompany a gathering like this.”
Supporting students after their return from LIFE is going to be different for each church and each student. “For those who sensed a call to ministry, many are attending the Called Ones Gathering in two weeks in Providence,” Ryan said. Students still interested, can contact Andy Geffers or Shelley Moulton at the district office for more information on ministry opportunities. “Youth leaders should also use the LIFE conference to help build momentum in their youth groups, springboard new program initiatives, develop student leaders, and continue to help students walk in obedience to the decisions they made at the conference.”
Video recaps of each day at LIFE as well as the messages from the main speakers can be viewed here.