100 Degrees Celsius
Dec 6, 2019 | 3 min read | Dave Patty
When water reaches one hundred degrees Celsius, everything starts to change.
Bubbles of vapor form, steam starts to rise, and a placid surface explodes with the release of energy. I’ve watched something similar happen when young leaders receive outstanding equipping and care. Entire churches and communities can be changed as their vision and energy are released.
Last month, 180 youth leaders gathered at our training center in southern Poland for their annual “Sto Stopni” (One Hundred Degrees) conference. Our JV team spent four days equipping them to respond to practical issues young people face, like depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, issues with parents, rejection, and many more.
The central idea of the conference was "God does a work in you and then does a work through you" (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). Our goal was for these young leaders to not only be trained, but also changed as they encountered God in their own personal struggles.
After learning about a three-part process for leading people to God’s transforming power, each attendee led a simulated conversation with a "struggling young person" played by actors.
One of the role-play scenarios involved talking with a boy who had a big fight with his parents, and then was grounded from youth group. After playing this character through 9 rounds of counseling, one of the actors responded, "Wow! This one girl absolutely nailed it! All the questions she asked were exactly right—she was able to go so deep, and even led me to share the gospel with myself through the questions she asked. Seriously, if I wasn't already a believer, I would be now!"
A high school teacher, who had taken a break from youth work, told one of our staff, "I've been inspired to get involved in ministry again. I'm not comfortable just sitting in a pew." Still another leader said, "I was convinced even more deeply that youth work is my calling, and I want to learn to do it better!
At one point, five leaders were invited up on stage, each of whom has been leading their local youth ministry for five years or more, an extreme rarity in Poland. Our team wanted to honor them for their commitment and inspire others by their example of longevity in ministry. What they couldn’t have imagined was how meaningful this would be for them. One of the leaders said later that this was the first time someone had acknowledged what he does and thanked him for it.
The bubbles are forming; the steam is starting to rise. Thanks for helping us turn up the heat.
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