I poured over my Bible asking God to show me what He wanted me to challenge these teenagers from New England who had signed up for our one day teen leadership conference with.
Honestly, I was all over the place.
Just when I thought I knew the topic I should speak on, I would start doubting if it was the right direction.
Then. I heard a pretty clear word from God.
He was like – Rachelle. You need to listen to what I am telling you to change in your life… And then tell the teens to do the same.
And so I found myself in the book of 1 Kings studying Rehoboam.
The king who was so focused on preparing his kingdom, that he forgot to prepare his heart. The result of that decision was a civil war. Literally.
Maybe it wouldn’t be so drastic in my own life, but this was clearly what God wanted me to speak on. I need to understand how crucial it is to prepare my heart to serve God.
These teens need to understand how crucial it is to prepare their hearts to serve God.
This conference. From the very beginning was not supposed to be about me.
Not supposed to be about any one person. any one workshop. any one thing.
It was created with the desire to give teenagers a place to come together and really learn how to be a godly leader.
Year one and year two were amazing, but this one topped them both.
I can’t tell you what it feels like to walk around and see teenagers who have decided to spend their entire day learning how to be godly leaders.
They got there early, stayed late and had amazing, joyful attitudes.
They wanted to learn.
They wanted to pray.
They wanted to worship.
They wanted to grow.
They inspired me.
And it was such an incredible honor to be a part.
The way God worked out every detail was so evident that this was his idea, and we were just the servants doing our jobs.
We were led in worship by the Symphony House worship team.
We had small groups after the main session where the kids were able to talk about what they were there for, and how God was speaking. Thank you to Lauren, Brianna, Zach and Adam for leading these groups.
Along with the 9 workshops we offered, we also offered boot camp as one of the sessions. Rachelle Hennessey really worked them hard!
Panera in Dover gave us an amazing deal and we all got to enjoy a delicious lunch! Special thanks to Deb and Krysten who picked the food up, brought the coffee that starbucks donated and got all the food together for the day!
We added a girls only and guys only session this year, and the girls really responded to Anna Filly in her talk with them. It was so encouraging to watch the girls pair up with girls they had never met before and pray together!
Adam always does an amazing job teaching, and I heard tons of positive feedback on the guys session!
We also added a different element by inviting local ministries to come and be a part of our conference. (Thank you Krysten for all your hard work in finding these ministries!) They set up tables, and we had the teens walk around and connect with the leaders to find opportunities to serve throughout the year. I am so excited to see where the kids are going to end up serving! That’s what it’s all about!
The teenagers were encouraged to write down whatever they heard God speak to them throughout the day. It was so encouraging to go back and read all of the things that were learned! These teens are amazing.
The workshop leaders did a phenomenal job. They came in ready to invest into the lives of these teens and they did just that.
They took charge, had positive attitudes and poured themselves out to the teenagers. It was so inspiring to watch.
Our workshops were:
How to start your own ministry ~ Jenn Hebert
Keeping your testimony while playing sports ~ Zach Boulter
Dealing with temptation ~ Ethan Boulter
Trusting God through trials ~ Kathie Beliveau
Responding to the calling of God in your life ~ Debby Townsend
Staying faithful in service ~ Ron Townsend
Dealing with doubt ~ Karen Chartier
Developing a stronger prayer life ~ Peter Collins
Portsmouth Christian Academy was the perfect venue for this conference. The faculty and staff were super friendly and willing to help, and the space was just exactly what we wanted. The shirts were done by an amazing company (8:18 Design Co) that I highly recommend! They were great to work with and got us exactly what we needed at an incredible price!
I can not say enough about the absolute gift Ruth Boulter is to me. She stepped in last year when my previous conference administrator backed out, and showed her incredible heart for God, gift of organization and love for people with this year’s event. This conference could not have happened without her!
It’s days like this that remind me why I do what I do. I love Jesus. I love leading people to my Jesus. I love the excitement that can be passed on and I can only imagine the way these teens are going to change the world.
I can feel a revival coming. You would have felt it too if you had been here with us! This year we had 57 teenagers. I think next year we’ll have double. And before long, we will see this generation literally change the world for Christ. How exciting to be a part.