Seven events. Seven cities. One weekend. It was a crazy challenge for some of Elim’s finest young leaders, but they pulled it off, as Serious4God Director Tim Alford explains
Anyone involved in youth ministry knows that planning and running a youth event is hard and tiring work, so imagine doing seven of them in seven different cities in just one weekend! That’s what the Rise Up youth ministry students from Regents Theological College did recently to raise money for the vital ministry of Serious4God.
The team travelled to Bristol, Gloucester, Birmingham, St Helens, Glasgow, Leeds and Letchworth, delivering fun games, dynamic worship, powerful testimonies and insightful teaching, covering 961 miles as they went!
I couldn’t be more proud of how all the students endured through many miles, little sleep and a lot of tiredness to show up at every venue and bring their best to God and the young people in attendance. They did Elim, Serious4God and Regents proud, and I can’t wait to send them out into our churches once graduate to do it every week!
Also, a huge thank you is due to everyone who sponsored us and the churches who hosted these events and generously gave. And it’s not too late! You can still give by visiting justgiving.com/s4g.
But that’s enough from me, here are three of the students themselves to share their story with you…
Gareth Blount, First year student
“Rise Up On Tour was an unforgettable experience! I had the great privilege of leading the worship team for the weekend.
This involved myself and the team leading and facilitating worship at each of the seven events.
It was extremely encouraging to see a multitude of different young people encountering God, whether for the first time or the tenth. One of the highlights for me was being able to be part of such a brilliant team; everyone continually gave 100 per cent of their effort and used their gifts and abilities in such a God-honouring way. The experience taught me a lot about having a continual disposition of expectancy for God to move.
With each of the seven youth services being different in attendance, culture or environment, it challenged me to give my all to God no matter what the circumstances.”
Kris Forster, Third year student
During Rise Up On Tour I was part of the preaching team and I was also one of the guys who was privileged enough to share my story on the ‘comfy chair’. God spoke to us and used us as a team and brought a real sense of unity and togetherness for the tour. It wasn’t a bunch of individuals but a team and a family. One of my biggest highlights was travelling to Glasgow.
I had never been there before and after the long journey we were welcomed and had a really nice reception from them, as we did from all the churches we visited. But Glasgow was a particular highlight for me because God stopped our tightly scheduled service to minister to us in a powerful way. It really empowered us to keep going through and finish the tour with a bounce in our step. Seeing all the young people over the weekend was really great and to be given an opportunity to speak into their lives was a massive privilege.”
Amy Witherden, Second year student
“Rise Up On Tour was an amazing event which consisted of loads of fun and bonding as a team. Personally, I was able to do a fun icebreaker game in Gloucester and a short talk in Bristol. I had an amazing weekend and saw God answer our prayers in amazing ways.
Even when the minibus broke down at the service station, my friend and I prayed and then it started up again, but most importantly we saw six young people give their lives to Jesus! It just shows that by putting the hard work in, listening to God and persevering no matter how tired you may be feeling, God can use you to do amazing things for him! It has been an absolute blessing to be part of this team and tour and I would do it again tomorrow if we could!”