“They trusted in him and defied the King’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.” ~Daniel 3:28
The theme of this year’s Momentum Youth Conference is Relentless, inspired by the book of Daniel. The conference kicked off with an air of excitement last night during the first evening session, where Grace Church, Ohio pastor Jeff Bogue welcomed over 2,100 youth and staff from over 100 churches to the event.
“The most important thing about this week is that we have to encounter Jesus,” he reminded his audience. “I know that if you make a purposeful decision this week to open up your mind to hearing from Christ, a lot can happen. Your lives are going to be changed. You have to…be ready to receive what God wants for you.”
After a rousing worship session lead by The Jordan Howerton Band, a Christian worship band returning from last year’s conference, CE National Executive Director Ed Lewis welcomed the audience with an exhortation:
“Today’s young people HAVE to be bold,” he said. “A lot of young people today are learning to be quiet. They feel like [speaking up] is going to be too harsh. So we are looking in Scripture to…Daniel — a man who is bold.”
The main speaker for the evening was Kondo Simfukwe, pastor of Mission Point Community Church in Winona Lake, Indiana. He preached from Daniel chapter 3; introducing the audience to the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who refused to worship a golden image of their Babylonian king and determined to worship the one true God alone.
“I cannot think of a more significant story for our generation,” he stressed. “At the heart of this story is a question: is Jesus really my most? Is Jesus really most supreme in my world? We are going to have to answer this question now more than ever: is Christ most supreme?
“I’ve been watching it become increasingly illegal to be a Christian, for [someone] to say there is one supreme lawmaker — one supreme king. Because we choose to say he is supreme and his law comes first, I think we are going to be called dissenters, antagonists.
“We are going to have to settle the question: is Jesus really supreme? So the story of Daniel is not just a story — it is a story for our time. When the law is written – will he be our most?”
Simfukwe ended his message with a simple challenge to each student: for three minutes a day during the Momentum week, in groups of three, pray for each other and with each other for the Holy Spirit to make Jesus most supreme.
“How do you stop a generation of people to whom Jesus is enough — who have declared Jesus is Most? What can you take from us?” — by MariJean Sanders