This summer, twenty high school students jumped at the chance to fly across the country and attend CHIC 2018 in Knowville, TN. CHIC is the Covenant denomination’s triennial youth conference, where high schoolers from all across the United States (and Canada!) unite together for worship, fun, and spiritual growth. One highlight of the CHIC experience is Mainstage, the nightly session of word and worship where world-class speakers and musicians lead thousands of students to marvel at the great God we serve.
In reflecting on CHIC 2018, a seemingly small moment keeps being drawn to my mind. Let me tell you about it: After the Mainstage last session, thousands of high schoolers flooded out of the arena and onto the spacious riverwalk between the arena and the parking garages used for sporting events. There, on the banks of the Tennessee River, was one more surprise waiting for them. A loud pop cracked the humid night air, and faces turned upward to see a giant firework pierce the dark sky. Amidst gasps of surprise and cheers from the students below, another colorful firework shot up, followed by another, and then another. It was truly a breathtaking sight: the beautiful sparks trickling across the sky; rainbow light reflected in the water underneath; and faces turned eagerly upward, illuminated by the bursts of radiance. This was one of my favorite moments of the whole week at CHIC.
When I think about God’s work in the lives of his people, I’m reminded of fireworks. The ways God transforms us and blesses us, day by day, are like those fireworks: beautiful and surprising; illuminating the darkness with radiant color and light. But unlike fireworks, God’s work in our lives is not fleeting. It doesn’t disappear when the loud noises fade and we are left once again in the still night. God remains with us, molding and shaping us as we strive to be more like Christ. God’s work, if anything, is enduring.
The work I observed God doing in students’ lives at CHIC surprised me, like those surprise fireworks. God tends to keep me on my toes, moving in powerful and new ways through his Holy Spirit. And I get the privilege of observing the enduring work of God throughout the years I spend with the youth at Mac Cov. If you’ve got a high schooler or a middle schooler in your family, encourage them to join in with us at Mac Cov youth ministries this fall – one of the best ways we have to experience God’s work in our lives is through a community of believers.
Middle school youth group, which we call RUSH, meets on Tuesday nights from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. High school youth group, called The Vine, meets Wednesdays for dinner, games, and growth from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. I hope you’ll join us as we learn to see God’s enduring, surprising, and beautiful work in our lives.