Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Youth Alpha Training Summit - RockPointe Church

Youth Alpha Training Summit - RockPointe Church
I'm afraid I can't claim a lot of credit for this one. Most of the credit goes to Brent Sellers of RockPointe Church who has stepped up as an Alberta Youth Champion. Much of the credit for the establishment of the concept of Alberta Youth Champions goes to my friend and Associate, Amy Croy. So I come in a bit down the line for accolades. I did, however, deliver the banners and the Big Question Mark to RockPointe in the middle of a snow storm at great risk to my life and person.

On Saturday our Alpha Teams hosted the first ever Southern Alberta Youth Alpha Training Summit
--a gathering of youth, pastors and leaders, school christian clubs and individuals to prepare to run Youth Alpha in their circles of influence.

A message from Brent:
We had 50 people present, representing 6 multi-ethnic churches from five denominations, plus representation from several high schools. Our student teams opened the day by sharing their testimonies of God's faithfulness through their obedient efforts from last year. One group of adults in the room said to me "It strikes us that we could have everything perfectly planned, but what we've learned from these kids is that what we need most is faith."
We watched the NEW training videos that Alpha Canada provides--which are exceptional, by the way. I love how the opportunity for a mock discussion is built into session 2, and the opportunity for prayer is built into session 3!
Jason and Shauna Caldwell--parents of Evan and Jordan who died in the sledding accident at COP last February--shared a powerful challenge about the importance of taking the gospel out into the world for the sake of those whose souls are on the line. One of the most profound parts of the challenge was when Jason said "That bobsled track is like a metaphor for life, nobody knows when you'll round the next corner and your time will be up." His plea for urgency was profound!
Finally, we spent a time in prayer for one another that included anointing and commissioning. Some youth pastors/leaders took the opportunity to commission and anoint their kids... but the most moving part for me: I saw two girls who came separately BY THEMSELVES, and just happened to know one another, one from her Catholic School and one from her Public School, laying hands one each other and praying for God to use them for His glory.
Many people left having shared ideas, learned new techniques, and having made contacts that will lead to stronger partnerships in local schools. For instance, Notre Dame High School is running Alpha--they sent one girl to the summit. Harvest Hills Alliance, which is right around the corner came, too. Harvest Hills has numerous youth group kids at Notre Dame, but had no idea they were running Alpha. So, now Harvest is making sure all their kids are present, inviting friends, and leading groups at Alpha in Notre Dame!
At RockPointe--We have one team running Alpha at Calgary Christian School right now, and all our other teams (Cochrane, Thirsk, Manning, Bowness, Arbour Lake) are aiming to re-launch in January. Please pray for our youth on these teams, as the Lord's story in all this continues to unfold! Please also pray for a location for our Arbour Lake team, as we look to partner with local families or even the nearby Catholic School (Mark Richards is helping me with this).
Thanks be to God for His saints who so willingly and eagerly use the gifts He has given them. What an honour it is for me to be associated with such a team! What a joy to be involved in Alpha's ministry, equipping the body of Christ, the local church, to reach our nation for Christ.

Blessings,

John

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