Rediscovering the Church

by Abby Johnson

April 2013

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More than 400 young adults from across the Central Territory gathered earlier this year for Regeneration, a conference where Salvationists are challenged with biblically-sound teaching to grow in their faith and find opportunities for service. This year's conference focused on the Church.

Guest speaker Pastor Harvey Carey of the large multicultural Citadel of Faith Covenant Church in Detroit, Mich., spoke with an urgency and sincerity that compelled young adults to consider the purpose and authority of the Church. One of the main points he drove home was that as the Church we are called to be salt and light in a world which desperately needs it.

Sandra McCracken, a singer-songwriter known for her soulful blend of folk, pop and gospel, led worship with a warm and gentle spirit during the weekend. The hymn sing on Saturday evening was a beautiful picture of the Church with many of the stalwart hymns set to new melodies. Sandra shared her journey growing up in church and memorizing hymns as a young girl but not really comprehending them. Later as a young adult, though, these hymns became an important part of her personal faith.

On Saturday afternoon Fulton Hawk, youth program specialist for the Del Oro Division in the Western Territory, unpacked the concept of missional entrepreneurship with delegates. He encouraged delegates to seek the Holy Spirit's guidance in finding creative ways to utilize their own talents and strengths in order to introduce people to Christ.

Throughout the weekend Blair Linne, a spoken word artist, performed her original poems. Her raw honesty and passion moved delegates to meditate on the truths she shared and got them excited about God's Word.

"Soapbox Video" featured delegates sharing their testimonies by completing the sentence: "The Salvation Army I want to be a part of is..." While the answers varied, it was evident young adults are committed to the Army's mission of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a highlight of the weekend.

As the conference came to a powerful close on Sunday morning, Pastor Carey challenged delegates: "Army, march! Army, move! Army, stop meeting and let the world see what the blood and the fire looks like. In the name of Jesus, rise up and be the Church that God has called you to be!"


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