Young adult leadership conference to feature top selling Christian artist, Phil Wickham

Las Vegas, NV, January 9, 2010 —RelevanceX, the February 12-13, 2010 Las Vegas conference planned to challenge young adults to explore the concept of ten, will feature top-selling artist Phil Wickham performing live.

Challenging young adults to imagine the power of ten new disciples, ten new faith communities, and ten social justice projects, this conference will encourage young adults to empower one another. Together, participants will look at how to become leaders in their communities by developing their leadership skills, uniting their voices, and actively creating change in our Church.

Through the music of Phil Wickham, participants will be reminded what and who we are created for. Performing his new album, Heaven and Earth, listeners will appreciate inspiring musicality as an inspiring story revealing a divine faith unfolds within each of his songs.

Recorded at the famed Abby Road Studios, Heaven and Earth features the hit single, “Safe,” which debuted at No. 28 on  Billboard AC Monitored and No. 27 on AC Indicator. This first song serves to encourage,  strengthen and remind listeners that, “You will be safe in His arms,” and is indicative of the themes of inspiration and hope woven throughout the album.

“If we are Christians, we know God is great and we know what Jesus did on the cross,” says Wickham. “We know all the stories, but to be reminded of, and to be compelled to move by those stories is in a way a large part of what my goal in music is – to remind the Church of the reality of the Gospel, the importance of the cross, of the excitement and hope that we have in Heaven.”

For more information on Relevance X including lodging, travel and to register, visit

Glen Simpson, Coordinator
Relevance Ministries

In partnership with Division on Ministries with Young People
GBOD | The United Methodist Church

As we continue our study of “Light for the Journey: Seeing our Way through Change,” Kate Thomas shares what it means to be lit with the light of God, from the inside out, transformed by “the fullness of joy.”

 By Kate Thomas

Being fully you


There is a cry within our heart of hearts to be that fearfully and wonderfully made creation that God originally intended for us. The hustle of life pulls us from task to task in a way that allows us to close our hearts to the still small voice of God. But God IS always there, tugging at us, loving us and crying out for us to grow and bloom and smile and sing at the top of our lungs.

 Life can be lived with fear, hiding in the shadows of who our true self deeply desires to be. But life can also be lived ALIVE and with intention for each step. Life can take us by surprise, lead us into the depths and swirls of unknown, breath-taking or even heart-breaking places. It is there that we realize why we have had to follow this path. It is there that we fully realize why we have lived with a tattered wing or a pain in our step. And it is there that we also can see our unique voice in the way God has so perfectly and uniquely tuned.

 When the breath of God oozes from our true selves, it is the hand of Christ touching those around us. It is the light in the darkness and the fresh breeze on a hot day. It is contagious in a giggle until your stomach hurts kind of way. This is God’s dream for us — God’s kingdom fully alive amidst us in everything we do.

 So carve out that space in your heart for God – not just the room that you think God will fit in. Carve out the room that God needs to allow and ocean of purpose to well up and overwhelm you. Carve out time and energy and deep thought in your day just to BE with God. For there you will meet a God breathes love and passion into you in a way that will make you never want to turn back.

 “You show met the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy.” – Psalm 16: 11


  •  What fills those places in your heart that you carve out for God?
  • What are among the first changes you might make to be “fully you,” as God intends?

 Today we pray for the Young Adult Council of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

Bell’s Appeal
Ministry to young adults
By Debra Benis

When Rob Bell walks on stage at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan, the 38-year-old sports chic black glasses and black jeans with a wide, white 1970s belt. His geeky, affable presence and energized speaking style warm up the room quickly and signal a seasoned performer. After you hear Bell speak, it’s not surprising to learn that his childhood hero was David Letterman or that when he was a student at Wheaton College in the 1980s, he was lead singer in a band called “__Ton Bundle” (the blank space allowed band members to change the band’s name by adding various adjectives).There’s plenty of evidence that Bell’s been successful at engaging the culture. He’s been written up by Time magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times, which calls him “the next Billy Graham.” His 2006 book Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith created a following of diehard fans who eagerly awaited Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality and his latest book, Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile (written with Don Golden of World Relief).

His NOOMA videos have sold 1.2 million copies in 80 countries (NOOMA is a phonetic spelling of the Greek pneuma, or “spirit”). In 2007-2008 he visited 22 cities as part of “The Gods Aren’t Angry” tour. Bell has come in for criticism as well as adulation. Conservative evangelicals like blogger Eric Rung think Bell’s approach to ministry is “out of step with scripture” and that his philosophy will “erode true biblical faith.” Another Web site-one of many-notes that while Bell is packaged as Christian, “nothing could be further from the truth,” and calls Bell “a New Age evangelist.”

What is Bell doing to earn so much attention? For one thing, he can preach. As Bell warms up a congregation or audience to hear “the truth of the text,” he drops jokes based on pop music, references to favorite cheap wines or the quirks of cell phone technology, a mainstay of the 20-somethings among his listeners. In his sermons, he prepares the congregation by announcing that he’ll be teaching for 80 minutes. (Some of the visitors thought that he must be kidding. He wasn’t.)

Several times during the 80 minutes he stops in the middle of exegeting a Bible passage when he senses a lull in listener focus and shouts, “Are you tracking?” After a resolute yes from the congregation, he dives in again.


 This article provides us with a lot of insight on what is neccesary if older mainline churches are to be effective in reaching young adults. I am left asking the question, “Should we be equipping .young adult lay and clergy pastors to engage their culture more aggressively? I believe that the answer is yest but this also develops a second question.  Will the young adult sensitive ministries flourish at the expense of established older congregations dying?

This is a short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today – how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. Created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.

If students are experiencing this type of disconnect in educational settings it should be a message to those who are in ministry attempting to reach young adults.  Our approach will not be successful if we continue to use 20th century approaches.  The way that we communicate the essentials of our message must be relevant and in a media or presentation form that fits the lifestyle of 21st Century young adults.

Making Disciples requires  adaptability to the culture without compromising the message.