Strobe lights flashed. Colored spotlights swirled around the room. Smoke poured from a machine at the front of the stage. Music blared. The lead singer didn’t hold back. Musicians bopped to the beat. Backup singers jumped with joyful abandonment. The audience, on their feet, clapped and danced. Their voices rang out almost as loud as those on stage.
No, this wasn’t a rock concert at the local city auditorium. It was teenagers at The Crossing in Lexington, NE, passionately worshiping Jesus. Sometimes they laughed. Sometimes they shouted. Sometimes arms were lifted high. Many cried as they connected intimately with the Kings of king and the Lord of lords.
Amid the craziness of COVID-19, the Nebraska Assemblies of God decided to have camp. Instead of conducting several camps, the leadership decided to merge junior high and high school teens together into two camps with 50% capacity. There were many regulations put into place to keep them safe throughout the week.
It didn’t take long for camp leadership to realize the magnitude of making the right decision. These teens, whose world had been turned up-side-down for several months, desperately sought God.
At the first merge camp, I worked in the kitchen during lunch and at the pop stand in the afternoon and evenings. Once the nightly services concluded, crazy activities took place and the pop stand opened for business.
However, the services went late because the teens desired to stay longer in the tabernacle. The speaker, Christian Chambliss, had a specific Word from the Lord for these young people. Sometimes he gave as many as four or five altar calls per service. With open spirits, they received all God had for them. Many nights the teens tarried at the altars long after midnight.
Even though it meant later nights for the staff, it was worth every sleepless moment. God radically changed those teenagers. By Friday, their hearts were full of renewed hope and fervent commitment. God transformed them in a powerful way and the “proof is in the pudding” so to speak. After God got a hold of them, I had the privilege of seeing them sacrificially serve others.
Two weeks later I saw the same teens at Kids’ Camp. Most of them worked on the Recreation Staff. Not only did they help with afternoon games and late-night activities, they scrubbed toilets (ew), dumped massive amounts of trash, washed pots & pans, and cleaned the dining hall. They served the children willingly in whatever way they could. Just like Jesus laid down His life for them, the teens laid down their lives for the kids.
I experienced an incredible couple of weeks hanging with the teens. With young people as passionate and committed to God as these are, the future of Christianity is in good hands. This grandma couldn’t be prouder.
COVID-19, elections, and national civil issues have our nation in turmoil. As a result, there are a lot of uphill battles the teenagers will have to fight. The uncertainty of the coming school year is a major one. But they will stay the course. Our teens rock because they have chosen to stand on The Rock. He transformed them and will see them through, perfecting the good work He began in their hearts.