Written by Adelynn Helms, Student Ministry Intern on September 30, 2021.
Catalyst Wknd was a Friday & Saturday (September 10-11, 2021) event for the students of Alliance and those in the High Country. Pursuit was the theme for this year’s annual conference. About 70 middle and high school students gathered for the 2-day event to learn what it means to be pursued by God.
Day 1 of the conference was spent teaching students how God pursues us. Student Pastor, JP Poisson, gave a great lesson on this by pointing to the first time God begins pursuing His people in Genesis 3 after the fall of mankind. He explained that to pursue means to strive towards a goal, go after someone on foot, or to seek after. In Genesis 3 we find that God comes down from Heaven to seek after Adam and Eve despite their shame. JP continued this teaching with Ephesians 1:5-6 which explains how Jesus was pleased to save us and freely gave us His grace.
Day 2 of the conference included another large group teaching from JP and one from guest speaker, Blake McFarland. Blake creatively used the story of the lost coin in Luke 15:8-10 to teach how Christians are to pursue God. He emphasized our need to find our identity in Christ alone and not in worldly things like sports or intelligence which are fleeting. He also encouraged students to learn and develop daily habits for practicing the spiritual disciplines; prayer, fasting, scripture reading, meditation, and celebration.
Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.-Luke 15:8-10
JP ended the conference with an empowering call for all Christians to pursue people with the good news of the gospel. He led from a passage in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 which explains how believers are Christ ambassadors with an important message of reconciliation. He unpacked this passage with the simple takeaway that God tells us to tell others to be reconciled to God. He closed by encouraging the students to do that wherever they are. Therefore, amongst the student-led worship sessions, glow in the dark dodgeball tournament, and food eating competitions, the weekend ended with a reminder that God pursues us first, so we can pursue Him, so we can also go forth and pursue others with the freeing news of reconciliation.