My wife (Sara) and I spent the weekend at a conference called Campus Harvest.  This conference was extra special as it celebrates twenty years of existence and more importantly twenty years of fruitful ministry.  There were over 2000 college students (including random partiers like myself) and 200 campuses represented (including international students).

Some people come to this conference prepared with anticipation and expectation for God to show up because they’ve experienced the powerful presence of God at these events before.  Some people come a little bit intimidated as first timers but quickly settle as they encounter the presence of God and the welcoming atmosphere.  The unity in the facility is phenomenal.

From the moment you walk in the door, the excitement overwhelms you as you marinate in the presence of the Holy Spirit as intercessors and prayer warriors have gone ahead and prepared the place for your entry.  As the agenda, administrative and facility duties are underway, you recognize the level of excellence that is presented to create an atmosphere that is inviting and functional.  As we enter into worship through music, prayer, spoken message…etc a flow is created that gives room for the Holy Spirit to move as He speaks to people, through people and into the corporate body to engage a transforming mindset to ultimately live out His plan.  We are called to be like Christ and the best way to do that is to spend time in His word, to spend time in His presence and to corporately be unified with one God for one purpose (to worship Him).  We are all gifted in various areas and God can and will speak to you on an individual level to clarify those giftings if you’re positioning yourself in a posture of reception.  It’s amazing how God can minister to thousands of people in the same facility about various things resulting in a unified corporate mission.  When we experience things together, it’s as if God gives us a supernatural power to walk out the mission in which He ordains.  Those that haven’t been part of the experience are left wondering and wandering aimlessly in what they thought was a “comfort zone”.

There is something special about a corporate body of believers coming together with preparation and anticipation for God to move.  Concerts, conferences, workshops, seminars….etc are amazing tools as they are a concentrated solution for each applicable subject.  Sometimes we wonder why we have to go away to conferences to acquire these “mountaintop experiences” but it’s not always necessary.  There is something about getting away from your everyday life and busy schedule to focus on something with everyday people that you don’t normally encounter but it’s available to us at home if we’re willing to step-it-up a notch.  Our local church gatherings are an amazing opportunity to corporately experience the Holy Spirit and let Him flow freely in an inviting environment.  Many times our agendas and “extra things” get in the way of flow and forget to incorporate time for God to move.  There is no problem with parameters…we just need more orderly freedom and flow within the parameters.  At some point we have to step aside and let the Holy Spirit be the leader of our gatherings instead of the “guest of honor” that never gets a chance to speak.  When we capture that concept, be prepared for God to move in a big way!  Hold on….

I was baptized in a horse trough at one of these conferences in front of a thousand of my colleagues and it was a defining moment in my relationship with God.  I had the privilege to pray over the building these conferences are currently held in (King’s Park International Church) while it was in the construction stages sometime in the late 90’s.  I spent a few hours on the site praying for the future students that would encounter Christ through the ministries that God empowers through Every Nation.  As we finished Saturday night with a few hours of intimate musical worship led by Jon Owens, there were people all over the building praying and seeking God with intention and purpose.  I began to walk around and pray over each seating area just as I did years ago and I saw people praying and calling out to God and claiming freedom (like in a Braveheart movie), I saw people with tears streaming down their faces as God dealt with them and I saw people claiming victory over strongholds.  I saw people giving their lives to the Lord as their colleagues prayed over them, I saw people that were in the process of breaking free of the chains that bind them and I saw people just marinating in God’s presence.  Sometimes it’s nice to rest in God’s presence and He is probably waiting on us wondering where we’ve been.

We saw hundreds of students give their lives to the Lord for the first time, hundreds of students get right with God as they had gone astray and over one hundred students that received water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit.  I believe everyone in the place experienced some level of breakthrough because it’s hard to sit idle when the Holy Spirit is filling the room!  I get choked up every time I see people legitimately giving their life to the Lord.  I get even more excited at Campus Harvest than other places because I know that those people have faithful campus ministers and a support structure that will encourage growth, discipleship and continuous accountability.  They also are willing to invest time to train and equip the saints for service in the Kingdom with a high standard.  It’s amazing what God can do when we are willing to invest.  It’s about relationship, not religion.  Don’t get caught up in going through the motions… get caught up in the presence of God!!!

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Even if I had no personal breakthrough, as I asked God to really break my heart for what breaks His, I felt so passionately burdened for His bride, the Church. That could be a several page explanation by itself, so all I'll say is that even though sometimes at conferences we may not take away something directly related to our personal walk with God, it's entirely possible that He will speak to you about having faith for someone or something else. Don't be upset that He hasn't spoken something to you, for you personally... be inspired, encouraged and challenged that He spoke and you heard, at which point action is required on your part!!!! In the words of Nike.... JUST DO IT!

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