Young adults from all over QLD came together in early February for an amazing weekend of growth and empowerment. The Gathering is always a great opportunity for young adults to be encouraged and empowered to live out their faith in their daily lives while making crucial connections to develop strong communities. God was at work in so many different ways throughout the weekend as young people worshipped, prayed, and explored the topic of Evangelism.
Overlooking the picturesque Somerset Dam, The Gathering welcomed people into a relaxing weekend that refreshed the soul and cleared the mind. Whether relaxing by the pool or enjoying a barista-made coffee, there was no shortage of ways to unwind.
Our guest speaker, Julie-anne Laird, unpacked the idea of evangelism for people in a way that took a lot of fear out of it; and equipped people with practical tools and understanding so they could see how to engage in evangelism in their everyday life. She helped people understand their story, explained how the gospel is relevant to people lives and to our current times, and helped people see that evangelism doesn’t mean being weird or wrecking relationships. Julie-anne’s teaching definitely challenged our perceptions of evangelism and helped people see how they could engage in what is often seen as a scary practice.
Our worship team, led by Jesse Miegel, lead us in some incredibly powerful times of worship. It was clear that people were experiencing the freedom and love of God through the worship and the Spirit of God was moving and speaking into people’s lives.
Our prayer ministry team, led by Talitha Eckermann, was kept busy over the weekend with plenty of people seeking out prayer and support. A number of people commented on how God spoke into their life in a significant way through the prayer ministry of the team at The Gathering. It is such an encouragement to see people hungry to encounter God through prayer.
There was a really strong welcoming community at The Gathering this year and many new people reflected on this and spoke of meeting stacks of great new people. It was great to see young adults who graduated in 2016 make new connections and develop friendships that will continue to help them grow in their faith.
Here is what some of the participants had to say about The Gathering:
The Gathering has opened my mind to all new possibilities, and has encouraged me to step out in my faith and share God's word with someone who may not believe. It has further cemented my identity in Christ.
It refreshes me so I can be ready and on fire for the year ahead. It’s helped me gain friends that have changed my life as well as allowing for me to see people who I can look up to and talk to which is so amazing!
It's enriched my relationship with friends around me. It's given me a few tools to help easily share my faith and realise that we have the best gift in the world in Jesus, and we should be overjoyed to share that with others. I think that's been the biggest personal growth for me.
My first time coming to The Gathering has brought me into a community of Christian people where I feel safe, supported, and cared about. The weekend has made me more confident in sharing my faith journey.
The Gathering 2017 was a huge success and we are excited about what God is doing among young adults in the Lutheran church and beyond. We can’t wait until The Gathering 2018 and other young adult events throughout the year like The Cluster.