This past weekend was Acquire the Fire, and it was one of the best I’ve been to. I’m working on getting some of our video and photos together, the biggest problem is that one of the students can’t be in anything we put online, so I have to do some editing before I can add any of the stuff the student appears in.
I can, however, add my personal notes on the event. Friday night Ron Luce spoke. This is the first time I’ve heard him speak. He related our relationship to God to an experience he had with his son rebuilding an old wreck. The car was in really bad shape, barely a frame to speak of, so they had to do a lot to it, it took time, and it was not a painless process, but in the end they had a gorgeous ’67 Mustang convertible.
The next day they had the main drama broken into 3 parts, it conveyed the story of a young man that pressured his best friend (a young lady who had lost her father) into a sexual relationship. Of course things spiral down hill. The young man ends up seeing parts of his near future with the help of a cinemaphile angel. The videos and dramatic scenes were pretty well done, but I think last year’s was better. If you are wondering, the young man rejects what he has been shown at first, refusing to take responsibility, but in the end he does the right thing and all is well.
The sessions were great though, the morning session was on the “Great Sex Guarantee.” The “sex talk” and I think they did a really good job dealing with some difficult topics including pornography and “friends with benefits.” I went to a short session for Youth Pastors and missed the same sex discussion. I asked some of my students about it later and they said it was really pretty short, basically affirming the Biblical perspective but also encouraging love and respect over hate, callousness, and judgement as the means to reaching out to friends dealing with same sex attraction.
The afternoon session was about dealing with failure, I loved that they included this session because it is really difficult for students who have these great “mountain top” experiences at conventions or camps, but then have to live their lives in between. Learning to keep getting gup after failing is huge. The big quote was:
The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.
Basically, the idea is that a godly (or righteous) man isn’t credited on being perfect, it is about not giving up. That’s pretty powerful.
The last session was cut a bit short (more on that tomorrow). It was about living a “He” life, not focusing on me. Mike (the speaker) talked about how much impact some young men and women had when they decided to follow God and put their own concerns aside. Around teh turn of the previous century a movement of missionaries without modern transportation or communication began reaching out to the world at large, bringing all of their belongings with them in a casket knowing they likely would never return home. He then challenged teh students to realize they have so much more, and to know they could do exponentially more if they let God take complete control.
I felt the main lacking point was reaching to those around you now while you prepare for what God is moving your toward. “He who is faithful over the small things I will make ruler over the great.” I believe that this is why Jesus sent his followers to their local population first, to prepare them for the “uttermost parts of the Earth.”
A lot more happened, and I’ll be writing about the worship and my own Youth Pastor sessions along with my experiences and student reactions this week.
Have you ever been to ATF or another similar youth event? What experiences did you have?