Several years ago, while I was at Eastview Christian Church, CIY’s MOVE event was on our rotation of annual student ministry events. We attended MOVE in 2007 and then again in 2009. Through both trips, I was unsettled and dissatisfied. So, as we prepared for 2011, we looked at different options and ultimately went with Group’s Week of Hope– it was a great choice and trip.
In the planning stages for that swap (MOVE to Week of Hope), I wrote a pretty scathing critique of CIY on our student ministry blog. Frankly, it was over the top. Shortly after writing that, I received a phone call from someone at CIY to talk through our experience, I thought that showed a tremendous amount of grace and class on their part.
A new church, a different group, and a lot of personal growth
Fast forward a few years; I’m at Naperville Christian Church and leading our student ministry team and students. This church had not been to a MOVE conference, and we were evaluating our Summer choices. After much thought and consideration, the choice was made to attend MOVE in Holland, Michigan. So…
How’d it go?
- The theme, “Rise Up” was top-notch. Based on the life of the Old Testament’s Joseph, it was all about serving where God has placed us, despite and in-spite of our circumstances.
- The speakers were all excellent. Their methods were different, which allowed our students to hear a diversity of styles.
- There was an opportunity to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit throughout the entire week through the ringing of a bell on the stage. This provided a tangible way for our kids to demonstrate their connection with the gospel message being offered. I honestly do not remember this being as prevalent in previous year.
- The Aaron Pelsue Band…great! The led worship with a combination of songs that our kids knew and ones that they did not.
- They created an opportunity for our students to connect with one another, our adult leaders and, most importantly, God.
- The Hope College campus: great location- tight campus- food choices were many and tasty- dorms were roomy.
- Day trip to Lake Michigan on extended rec day was fun.
- The weather was cool.
- Proximity to the downtown area of Holland- plenty of things to do during free time.
- Many of our students did respond. We had a student come to Christ, one re-dedicate her life, one commit to going into vocational ministry, several more made commitments to becoming “Kingdom Workers” where they were now and all opened their Kingdom Worker cards.
More than “overall”- kudos to the CIY team. MOVE was great and our students are excited about going back.