Saturday session challenges students to give themselves, follow God's call

Louisville, Kentucky

North Central Field Youth Coordinator Fred Toomey introduced the Session 5 theme — give — by reading scripture from Matthew 25:31-40: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

The Skit Guys, Tommy Woodard and Eddie James, interspersed comedic stories and drama with messages about giving yourself to God.

“What does it look like to be the hands and feet of Jesus? Micah 6:8 tells us what is required of us — act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. If you take God seriously, you must take yourself seriously. You are God’s idea, and He puts you down here with a plan and a purpose. Nobody is a mistake.”

They continued with John 11, where Jesus arrives at the funeral of Lazarus and calls Lazarus by name, raising him from the dead. Just as Lazarus no longer needed his grave clothes, Jesus asks us to unwrap our grave clothes.

“God calls us to be people of compassion and we, as the church, are to reach out and ask ‘how can I help you?’ You are the hands and feet of Christ.”

The Skit Guys reaffirmed the students' purpose.

“God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance," they said. "You may look in the mirror and not like what you see, but take ourselves seriously. When we look at our lives, we have a requirement to make God famous with our life. Step up today and make a difference.”

The Skit Guys challenged students to examine their lives and identify how they can increase Christ in their lives and decrease themselves.

NYC Pastor Mark Holcomb encouraged students to live an active faith, not a passive faith. Participants had a chance to demonstrate their faith by giving to two Nazarene Compassionate Ministry centers on the USA/Canada Region: Cactus Nazarene Ministry Center in Cactus, Texas, and Mission Possible in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Be compelled by the compassion that God places in your heart," Holcomb said. "Move into action to make things right in our world.”

Harbour closed the Saturday morning session with songs of worship as the NYC participants headed to the Rec Hall and the interactive Experience.

Session 6 continued the Thy Kingdom Come theme, exploring "call." Leaders highlighted the importance of learning from the nine USA/Canada Nazarene universities and colleges, and each school gave away a one-year tuition scholarship.

While Harbour led songs of worship, Mike Lewis of JesusPainter Ministries painted a large-scale image of Jesus.

Canada Field Youth Coordinator Helen Thiessen read Romans 8:28-30 and 2 Corinthians 5:14-20 and led a prayer about listening attentively to the voice of God and what He is calling us to do.

General Superintendent David A. Busic began his message with an illustration based on the story of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19.

"It is a story about the right here and the right now and what it means to follow Christ," he said. "A ‘call’ story — do this and then come and follow me.”

Busic explained that God calls according us to His will. 

“How do we know what God’s will is for us?" he asked. "God’s will is for you to know Him so intimately that His thoughts become your thoughts, and His mind becomes your mind.”

Busic shared his own story of how God called him.

"As I put God first in my heart, the desires I have are the ones He put there," he said.

Busic challenged the students to give all of themselves to God — completely.

“We talk about there is a Kingdom, but there is also a King," he said. "His name is Jesus, and he’s asking you, ‘Are you all in? I don’t just want your stuff; I want all of you.”

NYC Pastor Mark Holcomb encouraged attendees to give themselves completely to Christ, holding back nothing, to hear His call – whether to be a teacher, a pastor, or engineer. 

“There is not one youth pastor in this place that wants anything more than for you to answer His call for your life — and to say ‘yes,’” he said.

Cards were distributed to participants as they pondered their call in life. The cards were then collected to be prayed over by leaders.

Holcomb announced more than $37,000 was raised in the morning service for the compassionate ministry centers.

Tune in live to the final session at youtube.com/c/nazareneyouthconference.

More from NYC:

Day 2 of NYC explores worship, holiness

NYC opens with focus on image, Kingdom

Live streaming connects broader church to NYC

For conference photos, visit the NYC InstagramTwitter, and Facebook pages or search #nyc15lou. 

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