The International Wesleyan Youth conference Follow was more than a three-day event this December for the 5,000+ in attendance. It was a spiritual awakening that engaged students all across North America and beyond in the exploration of what it means to find purpose in communion with Jesus.
Students and sponsors were reminded of the nearness of God, how they relate to Christ, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—all of which empower believers for acts of mercy, justice, and peace in the world.
Event highlights included:
- Hundreds of students made first-time commitments to Jesus and hundreds more rededicated their lives to him.
- Brent Ingersoll, a Wesleyan pastor, delivered a powerful keynote address about God’s calling for each of us. Hundreds of students came forward to “leave all and follow him” while hundreds more answered the call of God to full-time ministry.
- In conjunction with Wesleyan Investment Foundation, a convention offering of $46,000 was received to help sponsor Bread for the World and Urban Youth Ministry Initiatives.
“I believe The Wesleyan Church will experience the effects of Follow15 for years to come,” said Rev. Scott Simmons, director of youth ministries for The Wesleyan Church.
The overall message of Follow, a youth event of Church Multiplication and Discipleship with The Wesleyan Church, was simple: you were created on purpose for a purpose. Thousands of students discovered that by following Jesus they can find that purpose and begin to live life on mission.
“This has become the ubiquitous goal, objective, and mission of not only these gatherings, but of the Wesleyan Youth Movement as a whole,” said Rev. Simmons. “This is why we gather: to raise a generation that would abandon all to follow Jesus.”
This Follow was also special because it celebrated the denomination’s 50th anniversary of Wesleyan youth conferences by honoring those who paved the way. Bob Zuhl, David Keith (represented by his daughter Beverly), Keith Drury, Tom Armiger, and Ross DeMerchant were recognized for their part in helping lead the Wesleyan Youth Movement in the past half-century.
“We stand where we are today because of the vision of those who came before us,” said Rev. Simmons. “I am proud that our denomination years ago made such a great investment in the youth ministry movement.”