Sean McDowell returned for a third session on Friday Morning to challenge students to count the cost of following Jesus.
“40-59 percent of high school Christians disengage from church one they get to college,” he informed the students. “It’s easy to be a Christian at a place like Momentum,” he said. “But the question is: where are you going when you get home?”
He stressed that the difference between someone who stands up for their beliefs under pressure and someone who doesn’t is a prior resolve and practice: “Daniel showed no hesitation. Why? He had already decided to follow the Lord.”
He also reiterated the importance of each individual knowing the reasons behind thier faith: “Some of the challenges you face will be intellectual. Do you love God with your mind? If you have not thought through what you believe and why, you are going to get stumped when people question it. You need to be ready with an answer.”
Jeff Bogue agreed: “We work at what God’s word says. We discipline ourselves. If Jesus is King, if we believe the Bible is the source of truth, then just like a sport or a [school] paper or dance, learning this part of your faith is going to take that kind of work.”
The afternoon was filled with Your Day Your Way activity options, including a Color Run — a two mile fun run where participants were doused in colored powder — which garnered 400 participants. Bible quizzing finals took place in the early evening, pitting the North Eastern Ohio team against the North Atlantic Division. North Atlantic Division took home the championship, winning by just a few points.
During the evening session, Jim Brown, pastor of Grace Community Church in Goshen, Ind., spoke about boldness.
“It requires great faith to be bold,” he said, stressing that many Christians aren’t bold because they forget their true identity in Christ: “We see ourselves as constantly fallen – but Jesus sees us as righteous. We need to see ourselves with the Lion of Judah sees us – holy, righteous, forgiven. If we did that, our lives would be turned upside down.”
He issued a challenge: “Will you stand for Jesus Christ, even if you stand alone?”
He asked students who resolved — like Daniel — to stand, face the audience, and say aloud, “My name is ____ and I will stand for Jesus Christ even if I stand alone…and I will continue doing so even after I go home.”
“Don’t stand up unless you follow through,” he challenged as hundreds in the audience stood. “Don’t forget what you just declared before the living God.”
This year’s Momentum Youth Conference, sponsored by CE National, is being held July 14-18 at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. Speakers include Kondo Simfukwe, David Nasser, Clayton King, Jeff Bogue, Sean McDowell, Keith Minier, Jackie Hill Perry, and Naghmeh Abedini.