What was your role in this year’s event?
I was part of the team responsible for livestreaming the event, and even though each person had experience in their area, we had never worked together as a team to produce a live event – so that was a bit nerve wracking!
Each person busied themselves at their station, preparing to go live. As I sat on my stool, lights blazing in my eyes, mentally preparing for go time I could see each tech team member absorbed in their own task. The room was so silent. People tiptoed across the floorboards, having conversations in whispers. The only sounds were mouse clicks, keyboard taps and a few nervous laughs. Suddenly the zoom chat came alive with people joining from their many locations and it felt like we were in it together!
Did it all go smoothly?
For the most part! We had a bit of trouble with a video at the start, but nothing major. I’m just so relieved I didn’t fumble my words too much or say the wrong thing!
How did you feel when you learned this year’s event would be online rather than in person, and how did the day turn out?
I was sad that we were unable to see each other’s faces, or sit together physically, or loudly sing praises to God together. But, in some ways, the online format of the day brought a greater sense of unity as we learned together, were challenged together and transformed by God together, despite being in dozens of different locations. Praise God that even when things are different, He is the same, uniting us by His Spirit, and transforming us to be more like His Son.
What was one highlight of the day?
Just before lunch I relocated to a small room off the side of the church to attend the Youth Workshop. The young people and leaders who gathered there were fantastic, godly disciples. Together we considered different ways of reading the Bible to turn our boring experiences into brilliant ones! Emma Hazelwood helped us think about how to be creative with our Bible reading, and Mark North educated us on the 4Ls of reading the Bible with someone else! The best part of this workshop though, was the teaching we received from one of the young people on how to read the bible using Youthwork’s REAP model – Read, Explore, Apply and Pray. It was fantastic to not only learn a new skill, but to be taught by someone who is discovering reading the Bible for themselves.
What is one thing you learned?
I can’t go past the keynote from Sandy Galea. It was so powerful and inspiring. I loved hearing about different ways people of all ages can engage with the young people in our churches, and I was particularly encouraged that we don’t need resources or programs to do it! It’s okay to start with what we have, and to do what works for us in our situation.