Once I got into my office this morning I checked my email. I had an email from our pastor so I opened it. In the message I was informed there was an article written by one of our leaders that went with us to ATF (Acquire the Fire) over this past weekend with the line “Here is an article for our newsletter [the Slice], if you choose to use it.” So I immediately began thinking, “what is this?” I started reading the article and this is what it said,

“Several people have asked me that question since I returned from the weekend at the Denver Coliseum. This is a legitimate question, since I had told myself (and anyone else who asked) that I would never go to ATF. Well, my answer is: “Imagine how bad it could be, but only worse.” Think hours and hours on a bus with Bevis and that other guy. And at the end of the day, no bathing, and sleeping on the floor with twenty teenage boys high on sugar and caffeine (and one guy who ate beans for lunch).

I had been warned to take earplugs because of the loud music. Loud doesn’t begin to explain it. I didn’t know it was possible to have your internal organs vibrate. Darin, a real ATF veteran, cast it in a better light. He said “It’s not bad when you can get a back rub from your kidneys.” The music and light show masked over your other senses. After the concert, when your hearing and sight begin to return to normal, you notice; “I’m sitting in a room with thousands of kids who haven’t had a bath.” Moments later it dawns on you, “No wait! That’s me!”


At this point I paused from reading it and honestly thought, “Great…we are losing this guy as a leader. I don’t want to lose him because he does a great job with our kids.” So I read on and this is what the second half of the article said,

“ATF was much more than a music concert. Music was a small part of the weekend and appeared to be the bait to bring in the kids. Most of the weekend was teaching with a little preaching sprinkled in. The teaching was first rate and appropriate for today’s youth. I was impressed with the quality of the skits and film; and the Gospel was clearly and repeatedly presented.

I must confess, at first, I was pretty critical of the kids. There was a lot of weepin’ and wailin’ as the Spirit brought conviction and joy. Then, it was our turn. A separate session was held for youth pastors and youth workers to encourage and remind us of how important it is to reach this lost generation. My tears poured like Niagara Falls as the Spirit brought conviction and joy. And what about next year? You couldn’t keep me away. And I won’t forget my earplugs.”


I was blown away by what he said. It is so encouraging when a leader’s heart is broken for students. The breakout session was awesome. I am always grateful when an adults heart gets broken for students…for people in general.  Never count God out on any of your leaders.  Get them to spend some good quality time with your students and then let God shape their hearts.