YouthCon: Student reflections


The Christian Leader editors talked with four students during YouthCon about their experience and shared their comments on social media. Youth workers also assisted us in collecting anonymous reflections from students. 


“I came (to YouthCon) looking for an answer, and I didn’t find it right away.… God gave me an answer (that) what happened in my life is probably good for me, to glorify him in the end even though I really don’t see it right now—just to help other kids that have gone through the same thing.”


—Joel Salgado, Community Bible Church, Mountain Lake, Minnesota

Watch Joel’s comment on Facebook

“I almost did not come to YouthCon, and I had a lot of my friends convince me to come. I was just scared what people would think about me because I’ve never really been to anything like this. The experiences that I have had, it’s been amazing. Being able to worship with so many kids my age—it’s really brought me closer to God this week.… It’s definitely going to impact my life.”

—Bradyn Brown, Corn MB Church, Corn, Oklahoma

Watch Bradyn’s video on Facebook

“Before YouthCon, I felt like worship was just something where you go and listen to music and maybe dance or stand or clap your hands. But being here and seeing the different kinds of worship and going to a workshop and seeing what people consider worship really opened my eyes. I feel like now (worship) is something where you meditate and talk to God. And not only that, it’s where you draw closer to him.”

Jadan Vannoy, The Life Center, Lenoir, North Carolina

Watch Jadan’s comment on Facebook

“Before YouthCon, I really thought I needed to bring my best self to God, and I couldn’t have an honest conversation with him. I needed to talk about my feelings and really understand what I was feeling before I brought it to God. Now I know…God wants me to talk to him about it. I can go straight to him, and I can read in his Word the advice he has given to others, and I can learn from that.”

—Pradnya Bergdahl, Madera Avenue Bible Church, Madera, California

Watch Pradnya/s video on Facebook  

Students stood in groups Saturday night praying for one another and were prayed over by youth workers standing in the balcony.

“Before I came to YouthCon, I didn’t know where I stood with God. After YouthCon, I felt a stronger connection with God…. There are so many amazing speakers and leaders that helped me with what I believe in. They helped me find myself in this difficult world and taught me that everyone has their own different and unique stories; that we can all come together as one to learn and trust God.”

—Anonymous, Greenhouse Community Church, Saratoga Springs, Utah

“Before I came to YouthCon, I had a faith, but I had never really felt God’s presence. After coming to YouthCon, I could feel the Spirit there with me, and I could feel God’s love. During Tam’s talk, I could feel the love so strongly, and I feel like that is really when I found God. It is just so inspiring and relieving to know how great his love is for you and how he will love you no matter what you do or what mistakes you make. Now I have this different type of energy and a new perspective about God. Coming home from YouthCon, I know what my purpose is, and I know that I was brought here for a reason. It was such an amazing experience.”

—Anonymous, Greenhouse Community Church, Saratoga Springs, Utah

“Before YouthCon, I was very distant from God, and I feel like I didn’t really know who he was, and I didn’t know what my purpose was here on earth. I might have believed he was there, but I never understood why. After YouthCon, I felt closer to God, and I know my purpose is to serve him and know him. During YouthCon, I felt his love, and I knew he was really there. There were a lot of amazing people here that helped to guide me. It changed my opinion about him (God), and now I want to share his love and story with others. I’ve learned so much about God and that (God) can bring people together no matter what their past is or what they look like. God loves you no matter what, and there is no judgment from him.”

—Anonymous, Greenhouse Community Church, Saratoga Springs, Utah

Students were led in worship at YouthCon by Presence Worship, a group of musicians from Wichita, Kansas.

“The main thing that has stuck with me is the whole “give it to Jesus” idea. Life can be very stressful, but God can take care of it. Being scared/stressed is natural but God can set us free.”

—Anonymous, North Fresno Church, Fresno, California

“Bill (Hogg) and Tam (Hodge) were amazing speakers. They gave us a lot to think about…. Tam’s story was super powerful, and I’ve really been reflecting on how I need to re-evaluate my priorities and re-center my life on Christ.”

—Anonymous, North Fresno Church, Fresno, California

“I am reminded that as Mennonite Brethren we are a tribe. A tribe with lots of different experiences and perspectives. And yet, with all those different perspectives we can still come together and worship God in unity.”

—Anonymous, North Fresno Church, Fresno, California

“This weekend I had a great time growing in community with both people from our church and churches all over the U.S. It allowed me to gain a new perspective on issues through the people from places like Kansas or Minnesota. In the labs I was able to further cement in my mind what it means to the life as a follower of Christ.”

Anonymous, North Fresno Church, Fresno, California

“My main take away was that there are many ways to worship. As someone who leads worship occasionally, it was eye-opening to be able to learn from other worship leaders. I liked how Passover and communion were explained. I had never been taught that before. I also appreciate how we were encouraged to become vulnerable and brave with ourselves, because sometimes I feel like its hardest to be honest with ourselves.”

—Anonymous, North Fresno Church, Fresno, California

Here at YouthCon, I’ve been reminded of how important it is to stay passionate about and on fire for God. It’s easy to slip into monotonous routines each day, which makes it difficult to stay fired up for God all the time and to make time for him each day, especially when things on my schedule start piling up. This week has been a major eye-opening in that sense, as well as in the sense that it’s important for me to keep asking questions and engaging with others on their views. I sometimes have a hard time having conversations like what we had here outside of my house because its oftentimes uncomfortable to open up to others about these things. But I’m finding that there are lots of people out there who are interested in my viewpoints, who also have some great insights of their own.”

—Anonymous, North Fresno Church, Fresno, California



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