By Mike Jentes
More than one hundred Grace Brethren gathered at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, for the FGBC’s first young adult conference June 15-18, 2005. DRIVEN, as the conference was called, had the theme of Engage, Accelerate, and Incarnate.
Wednesday night kicked off the conference and started the Engage portion. At an introductory plenary session the seven young men who provided the leadership for DRIVEN each shared his heart about the theme and his passion for DRIVEN.
Then attenders were encouraged to partake in a variety of “experiential” worship expressions–varying from time alone with God to a re-creation of a medieval prayer labyrinth. A late night “coffee talk” gathered people to converse with GBIM missionary Barb Wooler about “Your Wildest Dreams are Too Small.”
Thursday morning’s slate of workshops covered topics including “Society’s Lies About Women,” “How to get a Book Published,” “HIV/AIDS, Africa and Orphans,” “What is Truth?,” and more.
The morning main session was headlined by Dr. David Hoffeditz, professor of Bible at Cedarville University, as he spoke on “Rules for Successful Engagement” from the story of Annah in Luke 2. Roundtable discussions of the message followed during lunch time.
The afternoons each day were free for people to mingle, chat, nap, or play organized sports. Late afternoons had another spread of workshops available. After supper there was another main session.
Thursday evening, the “Accelerate” theme was launched with main speaker Jeff Bogue from the North Campus of Grace Church (Akron, OH). Jeff delivered a powerful message of running with abandon toward Jesus, including a challenge around singleness and marriage from 1 Corinthians 7.
A meaningful time in round table discussions carried on into the night. A couple of late night options were a “coffee talk” with Dr. Tim Boal about “What does it mean to be called?” and an open mic/poetry reading time led by John Shirk from the Urban Encounter team in Chicago.
Friday morning continued the “Accelerate” theme during the main session as Neil Cole of Church Multiplication Associates laid forth a challenge to live the adventure of the Christian life and start a movement from 2 Timothy 2:2.
The musical worship for the week was outstanding. Ezra Wimberly and a team from Grace Church Norton and recording artist Marc Andre served to catalyze the music during the main sessions. Prior to and after the main sessions, Chi-town DJ Sasha spun some records to set a fun tone. A sprinkling of video testimonies and punchy clips in each main session were created by Kate Ward and DRAW productions. In addition there were a couple of late night concerts from grassroots artists.
A huge highlight for the conference was communion on Friday evening. A short gathering and explanation about Communion and the Love Feast was followed by one of the most special meals of the weekend–starring prime rib as the main entr