“… I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
How many of us as adults have longed to see young people filled with the Spirit, loving Jesus and ministering in His name?
How many teenagers and young adults have longed to know that there is a purpose to their life, that they not only can receive from God, but have some purpose as part of His Kingdom?
In preparing a new 10-year plan a couple of years ago, we discerned a continuing call to equip “our sons and daughters” to exercise the ministry gifts of the Holy Spirit. One way we do that is through Upward Challenge.
“Upward Challenge serves both as a context for mentoring young people into leadership as well as providing a gateway for young people to enter into the movement of the Holy Spirit.” From “Casting the Vision for the Next 10 Years – PRMI Growing for Future Generations”, October,2010
In the last couple of years we have seen this two-pronged mission increasingly fulfilled as high-school students are filled with the Spirit, receive and exercise spiritual gifts, then over time are mentored in the use of those gifts and become leaders themselves. As some leave high-school they have continued to be part the event as intercessors, musicians, mentors for small group leaders and assisting in other leadership positions.
This year we piloted another program called With the Wind for those beyond high-school. It was a 5-day event with teaching based on “In the Spirit’s Power” addressing how we cooperate with the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. Both Upward Challenge “graduates” and several people new to PRMI joined in times of worship, listening, discussion and prayer throughout the week. Then, many of them stayed another week as leaders for Upward Challenge in North Carolina.
But this program is not only growing in North Carolina. In the second year of UC in Alaska, one report said, “We have had another 10 youth from the Fairbanks area come and join worship and teaching times. The one who showed up for the first time yesterday said, “Facebook is blowing up with how great this event is and I just had to come.” A new church youth pastor and one teen also came last night. We thank God that seeds of a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit are being scattered in this area.”
This week, for the third year, another Upward Challenge is going on in the UK. We look forward to more reports of God’s Spirit working. In September, a Dunamis Conference heavily promoted to college students will begin in Grand Rapids, MI.
We are continuing to watch what God is doing and discern how we can cooperate with Him. Over the next few months we will continue to debrief about this summer’s events and plan for next year.
To hear a personal reflection see “A Report from With the Wind” and to get a glimpse of how God is prophesying through your sons and daughters, see “God’s Voice at Upward Challenge.”