Ok, I have to declare a vested interest on this one. I am part of the leadership of the youth track for this conference, but even if I weren’t I’d still think it is a great conference and very worthy way to spend a weekend in June.
It’s called GO Fest, and that one word ‘Go’ sums up so much of the heart behind the event. This is a conference about mission, plain and simple.
‘GO!’, not ‘Come!’
Last year, one of the key speakers was Andy Hawthorne (best known for his Worldwide Message Tribe shenanigans). He said this:
I’m so glad GO Fest exists. We have so many festivals and conferences that tell us to ‘Come!’ so we can have a good time together and meet with God together, but we can forget the command of Jesus to ‘Go!’ with Him into mission. This festival is all about ‘Go!’ and not about ‘Come!’ and I’m so glad.
(I want to be clear. Neither Andy nor I are saying other festivals that aren’t explicitly about ‘mission’ are bad. Of course not.)
Go Fest is like other conferences. There are sessions, speakers, seminars, activities, a place with stands and stalls and things to do and buy and read. But everything is geared towards mission. The speakers and sessions are aimed at envisioning and equipping every person to find their place in God’s mission and pursue it. Seminars equip in very specific ways for different situations. A whole variety of mission agencies and churches are on hand to provide information and guidance. There is a vocations zone where people are on hand to help you determine spiritual gifts and work out how to utilise what God has given to work toward His purposes.
Everything is about equipping for mission, driving us out into the world.
The whole family can GO!
This is not just aimed at adults. There are full programmes for children and youth. There is something for people of all ages, and that ‘something’ is consistently aimed at mission!
We aren’t talking about babysitting and childminding so the adults can do their thing. We’re talking about people of all ages being envisioned and equipped to take up their part in God’s kingdom and His mission. I can personally vouch as a member of the youth team that your child will not be taught about mission so they can ‘do it when they’re older’. Questions we will be exploring will be:
- What even is the gospel, and why’s it so powerful?
- Where is my mission field now?
- How can I serve God and grow His kingdom?
- What gifts do I have to offer?
- How can I share my faith with those I know?
It’ll be interactive, so young people can really bed this home in their own lives. We’ll be getting into the Bible. We’ll be seeking God in prayer and times of worship. We even have a rock band joining us for the weekend.
Add to that the fun of camping (either as a family for children or in the separate youth camp for teenagers), a very reasonable price, the beautiful and ancient site at Bulstrode, Gerrards Cross (home of mission agency WEC), and the sunny late June British summer (I honestly can’t guarantee this), and what’s not to love?
Will you GO?
I don’t often plug things on my blog. In fact, this is the first time I even have. I think this is worth it.
Attending some of the sessions on a day or two (which is free, by the way) would be such a valuable way of spending some of a weekend. Even better, why not go a bit further and come for the whole weekend. Or bring your youth group along. Full details of how to book, etc., are on the website here.
It truly is an amazing weekend, open to all, and it just might change your life.
Even better, God might just change someone else’s life through you because of what you experience there.