An air-conditioned auditorium made little difference for the hype that pulsed in the gathering for the opening night of Momentum 2016 at Cedarville University campus. It was felt from the moment the doors opened to Doden Field House and youth groups, spanning from fourteen states ran to find their seats. Only to get back up again and join in the conga line that weaved in and out of the aisles. All before the Jordan Howerton Band came out on and raised the roof in praises to Almighty God!
But once the conga line and the hollering of 2,176 exhilarated high school and junior high students calmed down, it was time to get real. Introductory speakers, Jeff Bogue and Ed Lewis encouraged the students, group leaders, and Momentum staff members to take this week to listen to God in a different way. Lewis pointed out how Momentum is a unique week dedicated to young people coming together in a sacred isolation, coming to discover their purpose in life.
With those words, the mic was then passed to the energetic and passionate Clayton King. The pastor from South Carolina who claims that coffee makes him a better Christian. King was excited to be setting the tone for this week’s theme of YOURS. This centers on the questions of ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What is your identity in Jesus?’
“I’m gonna tell you something right now.” King was firm to state. “Memorize it, etch it on your skin with ink if you have to; When you know who you are, you will know what to do.“
King repeated this phrase throughout his sermon over 1 Peter 2:1-12, where he highlighted about our identity in Christ. He explained how psychologists have proven that our identities are wrapped up in what other people think about us; the positive and the negative.
This year, attendance at Momentum is at a record high. This year, the challenge is to recognize God as the one and only other person you need to be worried about when it comes to your identity. The tone was set tonight with I AM CHOSEN. It will be continued over the week with Power Trax on the world’s identities, beliefs, and popular cultures. Clayton King will be joined with speakers Don DeYoung, Jason Holt, Bree Kramer, and more.
Haley Bradfield is a staff writer for GraceConnect and is covering events at Momentum this week.