Waking up with a sore neck.
Having to walk through the cold to the shower in the morning.
Actually having breakfast.
These are a few of the things I became accustomed to over the 5 days that I had attended conference. Over the past 2 or so years I have been involved with a christian group at The University of Auckland called StudentLife. They are part of a larger worldwide organisation called Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ). Every year StudentLife holds their midyear conference to train and equip students on how to share their faith and allows students to get to know the other students involved in the movement.
With all that being said, this year was my third conference and the theme was “Let’s Go” which was inspired by the bible verse:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
What excited me the most this year going to conference was leading a group of students in discussion during team times and seeing God shape and mold them into godly men and woman. Our team name was Muller. Every team was named after a famous missionary or pastor. Sadly, we were one of the teams that were easily forgotten by everyone else. Good thing was, this resulted in us being picked last for duties and usually there were none left for us.
Troy Mcknight was the guest speaker this year, a maple syrup loving Canadian man, born in Canada but now living in Auckland, New Zealand. Throughout the week he touched on several topics:
- What it means to be a disciple
- Having faith in Jesus
- What it means to have mercy
The topic that stood out the most for me was “What it means to be a disciple”. Troy first went over what education was like for the early Jews. Boys as young as 10 were to have memorised the first 5 books of the bible and then only the best went on to study the rest of the old testament and more. For the boys that didn’t make it, they returned home to their fathers to learn the family trade. Finally the most elite students would go out to seek a Rabbi to learn under and even then it was not easy and many were rejected.
The point of this was to compare Jesus’ yoke and the yoke of the conventional Rabbi. The conventional Rabbi would ask very difficult questions to their student such as reciting the old testament backwards. Jesus’ yoke on the other hand is easy.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Jesus also goes to seek men to become his disciples unlike the conventional Rabbi.
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.”
What I learnt from these passages is that Peter and Andrew were fishermen meaning that they had been rejected from a Rabbi and returned home to learn their trade which happened to be fishing. Instead Jesus seeks out the rejects and calls them follow Him. In the same way Jesus calls us to follow Him, to leave everything behind, family, friends and possessions, to become like Him. Troy really helped me to realise from this passage that Jesus believes that we can become like Him even when we don’t think we can. To know that the almighty creator who sustains this universe believes in you in that way is just mega encouraging.
Every year I walk away from conference with a song that has really moved me. Here’s this years.