In King Solomon’s heavenly wisdom, he instructs us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he grows older he will not abandon it” (Proverbs 22:6). Through events like Catalyst, Bellevue’s High School and Middle School Ministries answer this call.
More than 400 students attended Catalyst this past weekend, worshiping, praying, and growing in their walks with the Lord.
Despite the one-week postponement due to inclement weather, Catalyst 2021 was a tremendous success in many ways. There was a real sense of excitement having our students and leaders back together. Daniel Harris, our College Pastor, stepped in as the weekend speaker and did a fantastic job. We are aware of at least two professions of faith, two young men who surrendered their lives to the call to full-time ministry, and many lives rededicated to Christ.
We celebrate these testimonies of faith and surrender, and as a family of faith, we continue to commit ourselves to walking in obedience according to Proverbs 22:6.
Steve Spence, Bellevue’s High School Pastor, reflected on the experience, rejoicing over the lives changed during Catalyst. However, he reminded us that the work is not finished, and continuing to invest in students’ spiritual walk with Christ is an ongoing call from the Lord. He also reminded us that salvation, rededication, and surrender to ministry testimonies are not the only miracles worth celebrating at any event, specifically Catalyst.
Sharing this story with us, Steve’s face glowed with joy:
One student I’ll call Justin* reluctantly joined his cousins this past weekend at Catalyst. Upon arrival, he was greeted with excitement from his small group. I asked Justin’s cousins about his background; sadly, they told me, “He doesn’t like God because why would God allow all the bad stuff to happen in the world?’” By the end of the night, Justin told me he felt “alright” about the event so far. I had my doubts that he would return the next day.
Sure enough, Justin came back Saturday morning looking far less reluctant to attend Catalyst. By the end of the night, I asked him how the event went for him. He said, “Man, it was great!” I asked him if he would come back to Bellevue, and he said, “Sure!” Again, I had my doubts that he would come back.
But once again, I was surprised to find that Justin came to church on Sunday with his cousins! It was a mini party in the group when the guys moved the circle wider and pulled up a chair for Justin. My heart was filled with joy.
As the group time ended, the guys in the group were so accepting of him and asked him more questions to get to know him more. They prayed together, and I thought… wow, God, this is a win!
The story doesn’t end there. After the 11:00 a.m. Worship Service, I was walking through the East lobby and noticed Justin standing with his cousins, aunt, and uncle. I walked over and said to Justin, “It was so good to have you here this morning. Thanks for coming to our Life Group!” Out of nowhere I hear a voice. I turned around and looked; it was his mom! She was beaming with excitement and a huge smile! I introduced myself, and she said, “My son has friends at church! Thank you! Thank you!”
Justin did not accept Christ as his Lord and Savior at Catalyst, but a major seed was planted in his life. Through interacting with peers who love the Lord and staff who loved on him, Justin is now more receptive to the Gospel, and we are committed to demonstrating the love of Jesus in his life, so that he may one day be born again, and be a part of the Kingdom of God.
Who is the Justin in your life, and will you commit to continually watering the seed planted in them?
*Student’s name was changed for privacy purposes.