Over the recent weekend away with our young people in Dunedin for the annual Youth Rally and Basketball Tournament I was reminded of the beauty of God’s Spirit alive in authentic discipleship.  I could fill an entire page recalling praiseworthy moments of how Gods hand was seen at work!
One young leader wrestles with the tasks required to take a group away for a trip such as this, yet in her love for God and others, includes even those who rarely attend church in her group. Another young pastor brings a small group, and displays sportsmanship and mentoring on the court as he has to play in every game in order for them to have a team. Another young person, from a group who travelled more than 8 hours to be there, stands in the front of the church and prays publicly for the first time with her pastor standing beside her. Another parent travels with his children and forms the main support base and cheerleading squad for the entire weekend, still with enough heart to reach out to others and connect with those attending for the first time. Another group of young women simply serve, assisting in whatever task needs to be done, all with a love for God and the community we call church.
What a celebration it is when over 120 young people gather in worship and fellowship both in church and on the court. What a blessing it is when God’s people choose to honour Him through loving and authentic relationships.  What a joy it is to witness men and women both young and old, across churches, ethnicities and circumstances, growing and living as disciples of Jesus Christ.
”By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:35

-Sarah-Jane Riley, Youth Discipleship, South New Zealand Conference

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