Oct 8, 2020 | 3 min read | Dave Patty
A tiny virus is closing many doors.
For over 25 years, the Josiah Venture team has gathered each September for a week of training, inspiration, and equipping. We call it our “Movement Conference” because of the momentum it creates for God’s movement among young people in 16 countries.
When the EU borders opened in early summer, we began to dream that we could gather, but by the end of July it became obvious this key event was going to be canceled. We couldn’t see the path ahead, but were encouraged by the truth of Isaiah 42:16:
And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known I will guide them.
Knowing that youth leaders are facing much uncertainty in their local ministries, we began to ask God how we could still encourage them in a different way. How could we recharge their faith, vision, and ability to make disciples whatever the circumstances? A virtual event seemed out of the question. Everyone was tired of spending so much time online and craving personal connection.
Constant uncertainty can be blinding, but our Father is never surprised by our closed doors. He has unknown paths prepared for the blind, if we will just let him lead. As our team waited on the Lord for guidance, we soon found ourselves on a new path. We began to envision a one-day “Recharge” for youth leaders across Europe that was big and small at the same time. We could invite youth leaders to gather in homes or churches in 60 locations, connected by the same video content, but spending most of their time in sharing, discussion, and personal application.
In just 6 weeks, a video course was prepared in 12 languages. On a Saturday at the end of September, small groups of youth leaders spent an entire day together at “Youth Ministry Recharge,” shepherded by various members of our team and equipped by biblical teaching and testimonies from across Europe.
We prayed to reach at least 500 key leaders, but, in the end, close to 1000 were recharged by this innovative event. Since they are leading youth ministries in hundreds of local churches, the ripple effect of this investment will impact many thousands of young people across an entire region of Europe.
The lessons learned on these “unknown paths” have been so enriching for our team. How to be big and small at the same time. How to use virtual tools, yet be physically present and “in flesh” with the people we serve. Our faithful guide is well versed in paradox.
Like how becoming blind can help you see.
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