This was my 20th ministry week at Spring Harvest, working on the 11-14s team. Every year it’s a massive blessing and privilege to be part of the faith journeys of young people. Seeing young people encounter Jesus, be healed by Jesus and commit to Jesus never gets old!

Theme

This year’s theme was ‘Only The Brave: Determined Discipleship’ and saw us look at discipleship through the book of James. Young people were encouraged to make the brave decision to follow Jesus. They were also to trust Him with every area of their lives: their future, their relationships, their choices and their struggles. The number of young people struggling with anxiety and stress brought on by expectations at school even at the young age of 11 was especially overwhelming.

Response

Over the two weeks of serving at Spring Harvest in Minehead this year, we witnessed over 30 young people make decisions to follow Jesus for the first time. On one evening at the joint youth celebration, we also witnessed young people responding to the call for healing specifically for shoulders, knees and breathing problems.

Spring Harvest God Encounters

My personal highlight was seeing young people with additional needs encounter God in a very real but unique way and certainly embrace the theme. ‘Isaac’ has been in our programme for a number of years but always struggles with change. He finds it particularly difficult when we combine the two age groups in a different venue of a celebration. However, this year he said, “I am going to be brave”. He was and stayed for the whole evening with a smile on his face.

Another young boy with additional needs was desperate to pray for our speaker after seeing other young people do so. With the help of one of our young leaders, he prayed on stage! He then became a regular contributor praying in some of our team times. At the end of the week, I chatted with his Mom. I found out she had been concerned that all he would do was play football and not “engage spiritually”. When I told her how he’d met Jesus during the week she was thrilled and emotional at what God had done.

Young Leaders

Another highlight for me was working with some young leaders on team for the very first time. It was so encouraging to see the way they grew and developed in faith. They went from appearing as rabbits caught in the headlights on the first afternoon to inputting into seminars, leading small group discussions and praying for young people. It was a real testament to their faith, servant hearts and openness to God’s equipping.

John Hawksworth
Local Ministries Senior Manager