The Kingdom of God is huge, according to a conference director for Christ in Youth Summer Conferences. This year, Christ in Youth developed a five-day curriculum for its multi-state Summer Conference themed, "The Kingdom: see the invisible. do the impossible," to help Middle/High School students understand the magnitude of the Kingdom.
"This year, we wanted them to understand how large the Kingdom of God is," said Kevin Greer, one of the six directors for Christ in Youth Summer Conferences. "We don't think many students have a clue about it.... We get pretty wrapped up in our church and our community."
Each day during the five-day conference, students as many as 1,300 have been learning the Kingdom through five topics: Kingdom, King, Citizen, Community, and Cause.
The first day teaches students that the Kingdom is "much more than their church, their youth group, and churches that come together. It's worldwide...It's huge," said Greer.
Secondly, "to have a kingdom, you got to have a king," he said, explaining the second topic of the conference. According to Greer, the program lets the students know that "we are united behind a ruler and that ruler is Jesus."
When learning about the King, students study the many names of Christ along with the Book of Revelations to see how the King is going to return, he continued.
On the third day, speakers discuss the benefits and responsibilities of being a citizen of the Kingdom of God.
The topic of community is the light bulb for most students, said Greer. Conference attendants learn what it means to be a "part of the body of Christ."
For the "Cause" topic day of the conference, students receive a list of acts they participate in to make the Kingdom grow. Some suggestions students received include: serving at a rest home, helping the homeless, helping children at a church, doing random acts of kindness, or help with church planting.
The outline of the conference has had a visible impact on students.
From the 11 of the 22 planned Summer conferences, there were 396 students who made public decisions for Christ, cited Greer from a conference report he received on July 20. He also reported that 419 students attending the Summer Conferences decided to go into ministry as a life career and 1,087 have made a public rededication to Christ.
According to Greer, who directed the Ca1, Ca2, Co2, and Or conferences, many attending students were from independent churches that seldom work together. Although he acknowledged that many small churches are able to do good works, he said for many students "that's all they see."
The Christ in Youth Summer Conference provided students a similar experience to what men would at a Promise Keepers' event, suggested Greer.
He said, "There's a lot of energy. Being in a room with 500-2000 students really inspires them to mature in their faith" and let's them know that "I'm not alone."