by Phil Evans
Last year we saw more than 1000 youth from 60+ churches part of the Friday night of Revive – a team of young adults from a church at Georges River and the other, teenagers from Hawkesbury Valley. It was the first time we had explored such an approach.
By all reports the night was a tremendous success and provided a great space of young people to connect with God, others from their church, as well with hundreds of peers from around our movement.
We asked Phil Evans, Youth Pastor at Hawkesbury Valley (HVBC), to share a little bit with us about the night, and in particular those involved in the music team.
Who is involved in the band?
When Steve asked me if our band would be willing to play at Revive, the first thing I told him was that our youth band was largely made up of teenagers, most of which are still in school. Josh, who is now 18 and completing his HSC, has headed up the band for nearly three years. Then there is Oren and Jordan, who at the end of last year, only just out of high School, travelled with us to the United States to minister through music to teenagers, men and women incarcerated in correctional facilities. Tia, Jayden and Stirling are only 15, and already passionately pursuing God’s call on their lives; And finally, Rosie, who made the effort to travel up for the night from University in Canberra, to be a part of Revive. We thank God for the gifting and hearts of these young people.
How are they involved at HVBC?
All of these guys are in the youth band for Friday nights and they also all serve in the Sunday Services worship team. We believe it is important that the entirety of their ministry isn’t on a platform, and so each of them are actively involved in different teams, connecting and discipling as the opportunities arise.
What preparation did they put in to make it happen?
They met every week to practice the songs for the month prior to Revive. But it wasn’t just about the practice. In our team we have a goal of having both integrity of heart and skilful hands. (Psalm 78:72) So every week the worship ministry meets as a whole team (all generations together) and spends time worshipping God and praying. After that, they rehearse together for the coming weeks. These guys are at church doing worship band at least 3 nights a week!
How did they find the experience?
This experience is something they will never forget. They got a chance to do something that many people only dream about doing. They were excited, nervous, encouraged, and amazed by all that happened. Aside from the smoke machine, the lights and the thousands of young people in front of them, they were amazed by the kindness of the people around them, like the sound guy, Trevor Beck and others who spoke amazing words over their lives.
What was it like for you as their youth pastor?
This is the culmination of years and years of prayer and hard work! They work just as hard to lead our youth ministry in worship week in and week out. Their character, humility and willingness is inspirational.
Kylie Morgan, our worship pastor has done an amazing job with worship in this place. Kylie reflected: ‘As their worship pastor, I was so proud of them. Not just for how great they sounded and how amazingly they led worship but for their incredible attitude they had. They prayed, they listened to people, they turned up early to every practice, they showed humility. I feel extremely blessed.’
How has God used Revive to speak into their lives?
God used Revive to inspire them in their calling and equip them in worship. They have grown in passion and they each have a new level of skill. Revive helped unleash Godgiven dreams for the future. There are no limits with God. It also made them feel valued and that their voice matters, no matter what age they are.