Youth Week 2014: How the Gospel Changes Everything

I am really excited about Youth Week 2014 this year.  This year it is July 29 - August 1 from 6 - 9 PM every night at Forest Hills Baptist Church.   Youth Week has become an annual event in Wilson County where middle school and high school students gather for a week of worship and seeking after God. Best of all, we are able to offer this event free to anyone who wants to come. If your in Wilson and want to join us click here to pre-register and let us know your coming.  It takes just a couple minutes to do.

If you are like me, you want to know before hand what all is going to be available. Well your in luck, I'm going to give you a sneak peak of whats to come.

Main Sessions

Stephen Combs and his crew will be leading us in worship each night.  Here is the line up for our main worship sessions.

Monday: How the Gospel Changes Our Past. Daniel Ritchie

Tuesday: How the Gospel Changes Our Hearts. Justin Deeter

Wednesday: How the Gospel Changes Our Relationships. Jeff Smith

Thursday: How the Gospel Changes Our Lives. Chris Dunn

Friday: How the Gospel Changes Our Purpose. Brad Perry

In addition to our main worship sessions, each night we will have different breakout sessions available for students to choose.  Each night you can only go to one breakout session, but the good news is that each session will be taught twice.  On Wednesday night we have a special pastor panel discussion to answer students questions.  Here are the breakout sessions options for this year.

Monday/ Tuesday Night Breakout Sessions

  • Why are there so Many Denominations: Justin Deeter
  • Is God's Word Reliable?  Dr. Rob Pochek
  • How to Stay Christian in College: Jack Norris
  • How the Gospel Changes Peoples: Brad Perry
  • How the Gospel Changes Relationships: Jonathan Brooks
  • Mundane Missionary: Daniel Heath
  • Singing Through Suffering: Chris Scott
  • Redefining Beauty (Girls Only): Penny Jordan
  • Dealing with Doubt: Paul Batson

Wednesday Night Panel Discussion

Chris Dunn will moderate a panel featuring:

Dr. Rob Pochek, Jonathan Brooks, Daniel Ritchie, Brad Perry, and Justin Deeter

Thursday/Friday Breakout Sessions

  • How Can I Read the Bible for Myself? Justin Deeter
  • How the Gospel Changes the Way You See the World: Chris Dunn
  • How the Gospel Changes the Way You Use Social Media: Theresa Mathis
  • The Gospel and Abortion: Heather Ritchie
  • Sharing Your Faith with Other Worldviews: Brad Perry
  • How to Share the Gospel and Not Seem Like a Jerk: Daniel Ritchie
  • Man Up: Biblical Manhood: Nate Geeting

And More...

As you can see it is going to be a great week. I didn't even mention the different mission projects going on this week.  You will hear about those on opening night! I hope you plan to make it out to all of Youth Week, if not I hope you cannot make it out for a few nights.  There is nothing like gathering together with hundreds of other teenagers worshiping the Lord together. Our prayer is that this week will be used by God for your own growth in Christ as it equips you to see that the Gospel really does change everything.  So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and Pre-Register.

If interested in checking out the content from the past weeks, just check out the following links:

Content from Youth Week 2013

Content from Youth Week 2012

Youth Week 2013 Sermon Video and Audio

Last week was Youth Week 2013: The Search for Truth.  It was a great week in which churches from around the city of Wilson gathered to worship Jesus Christ and seek out the truthfulness of Christianity.  My good friend Daniel Ritchie already wrote a fantastic blog reflecting on the week called Churches Loving Other Churches. Each night we had a different speaker answering a different question during worship.  If you would like to relive youth week 2013 or see it for the first time, these sermons are for you to use and share with others.

Night 1: "Is There a God?" - Brad Perry


Click Here for just the audio of this Sermon


Night 2: "Can We Trust the Bible?" - Daniel Ritchie


Click Here for just the audio of this sermon


Night 3: "Who is Jesus?" - Justin Deeter


Click Here for just the audio of this sermon


Night 4: "Is Jesus the Only Way to God?" - Joe Strange


Click Here for just the audio of this sermon


Night 5: "What Does it Mean to Be a Christian?" - Jeff Smith


Click Here for just the audio of this sermon


End of the Week Video


Youth Week 2013 Breakout Sessions

CardFront_YW2013 Youth Week 2013: The Search for Truth is just a few weeks away.  Our kick-off night is July 29 at 6:00 PM at Forest Hills Baptist Church.  If you have yet to pre-register click here, it will only take you a few seconds!

In addition to some crazy games, some great music, and some amazing speakers, we will have breakout sessions offered every night of the week. Students can choose which session they want to go to every night to help train them and equip them in their faith.  Our whole hope for this week is to give students confidence in the truthfulness of the Christian faith. As a result, many of these sessions will address controversial issues.  Here is a sneak peak of some of the classes we will have available!

  • What is Truth? - Jeremiah Custar
  • Worldview: What it is and Why it Matters - Chris Dunn
  • Sharing the Gospel with an Atheist - Justin Deeter
  • Biblical Womanhood - Kaitlyn Deeter (Girls Only)
  • Sharing the Gospel with the Life Book - Joe Strange
  • Theology and Music - Chris Scott
  • Are There Errors in the Bible? - Daniel Ritchie
  • Why Does a Good God Allow Suffering? - Daniel Ritchie
  • Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, and the Hope of the Gospel - Kristy Mitchell
  • Are Science and Christianity Arch Enemies?- Jeremiah Custar
  • Apologetics & the Christian Life - Jeff Smith
  • Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? - Brad Perry
  • Sharing the Gospel with Hindus and Muslims - Brad Perry
  • The Christian Sexual Ethic: Out of Touch? - Justin Deeter
  • Sharing the Gospel with Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Staying Christian in College - Chris Dunn
  • Fashion and Modesty - Heather Ritchie (Girls Only)
  • Sharing the Gospel with Life Book - Joe Strange

Hope you start picking out your favorites that you want to attend. I'm excited because we have some of the best teachers from across Wilson to teach on their area of expertise. It is going to be an amazing week.  You won't want to miss it.  If you have still yet to pre-register, what are you waiting for?

Youth Week 2013: The Search for Truth

CardFront_YW2013 I'm am excited to officially announce Youth Week 2013.  Youth Week 2013 will be at Forest Hills Baptist Church July 29-August 2 from 6-9 PM.  Youth week is a time for students in Wilson, NC to come together for a week of worship. Churches from all across our city will bring their students together to worship king Jesus.  It is an exciting week that you will not want to miss!

The theme for youth week 2013 is "The Search for Truth".  As the youth pastors in Wilson, NC have been meeting and praying about our theme for this year. We felt led that we need to ground our students deeply in their faith.  We live in a culture that has largely discredited Christianity as reasonable or plausible.  In fact, some even falsely characterize Christianity as anti-intellectual.  Students today are being bombarded with a variety of ideas that are in direct contradiction with the Christian faith. More than ever, our young people need to know what they believe and know why they believe it.

1 Peter 3:15 helps us understand why knowing what we believe is so important.  Peter writes, "always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you".  Students need to be trained and equipped to defend the hope that they have in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is our heart and that is our goal with youth week 2013: The Search for Truth.

We have some great speakers lined up featuring:

  • Daniel Ritchie from First Free Will Baptist Church
  • Brad Perry from Peace Church
  • Joe Strange from Raleigh Road Baptist Church
  • Jeff Smith from Shiloh Pentecostal Church

In addition, we will have Stephen Combs from Wilson Community Church lead us in worship throughout the week.

To give you a sneak peak of what we will be talking about at youth week here are our themes for each night.  Each night we are going to try to answer a major question people have of Christianity.

  • Night 1 - Monday July 29 - Is there a God? 
  • Night 2 - Tuesday July 30 - Can the Bible be Trusted?
  • Night 3 - Wednesday July 31 - Who is Jesus of Nazareth?
  • Night 4 - Thursday August 1 - Is Jesus the only way to God?
  • Night 5 - Friday August 2 - What does it mean to be a Christian?


This is just a small sample of each night that will also include games, music, break out sessions, and more! So get excited about Youth Week 2013: The Search for Truth which will be at Forest Hills Baptist Church July 29-August 2 from 6-9 PM.  Pre-Registration will be opening very soon.  Hope to see you there!

What I Loved About Youth Week


This past week, churches from around Wilson County came together with their youth groups to worship Jesus.  It was an amazing week and God moved powerfully in the life of the Youth of Wilson.  As a sit here the day after and reflect on the week, there are a couple things that I just loved about it.

The Whole Week Was Gospel-Centered

Every night was focused on Jesus.  It was crystal clear to everyone the reason why we were meeting.  It wasn't for fun, it wasn't for entertainment, it was solely for Jesus.  The whole tone for the week was focused on the good news of the Gospel and equipping students to share it effectively.  I loved getting to hear my brothers, other youth pastors in Wilson, preach the Gospel.  I loved listening to Stephen Combs and his band lead us in Christ-Centered Worship. You can go watch the sermons from Youth Week here and see what I'm talking about.  Jesus was the hero, not any one church or youth pastor!

The Week provided a sample of the Unity of the Universal Church

How rare is it to see youth groups come together in the same city to worship Jesus? In my years of life and ministry I have never seen something quite like what happened this week in Wilson, NC.  Youth Pastors can be extremely territorial and often the attitude, particularly in small towns is Our church vs Your church.  The attitude of the churches and youth pastors in Wilson are far from that.  Each and every youth group that showed up this week proved that the Kingdom of God is not about any one church or one youth group, but that we are all a part of the Universal Church.  We all have our local congregations, but it was amazing to come together for a week and get to see in just a small sample of what heaven will be like when we worship together.

The Week Created Authentic Community

Relationships were built with students.  Relationships were built with the adults.  We got the privilege of getting to know other Christians from other churches seeking to advance the Gospel in our community just like us.  As a result, we made new friends and built a community that can better work together to advance the Gospel in the city of Wilson.  Students met other students in their schools who love Jesus just like they do.  It was awesome to see students hanging out and sitting with students from a different church.  It wasn't cliquish, my church vs your church mentality, but humble and authentic Christian community.

The Week was Multi-Ethnic

I hate that churches on Sunday morning are the most segregated time in America.  There are white churches; there are black churches.  Even in my own city of Wilson, racism and segregation runs deep in the psyche of people, even Christians.  I was so overwhelmed with joy with seeing white students worship with black students, eastern students worshiping with hispanic students.  It was a multi-ethnic blend, and it represented far better the multi-ethnic worship in heaven than our severely segregated churches on earth.  It demonstrates the unity and power of the Gospel to unite those who are different.  We are all saved by the blood of Jesus and we can worship him together regardless of our ethnicity.  Youth Week proved that.

The Week was Missions Minded

Whether giving food to the Hope Station, giving to the Wilson Pregnancy Center, or sharing the Gospel, Youth Week was missions minded.  The whole focus of the week is that we must put our faith into action, and our students did that.  It was amazing to see over 100 students go out into the city of Wilson to share the Gospel.  Their passion and enthusiasm were intoxicating and these students proved to their city that they are not content just sitting on the sidelines of the Christian faith.  These students demonstrated that the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus is something that they take seriously.

Youth Week was an amazing week, and I'm already getting questions about whether we will do it again next year.  In my experience nothing has quite brought a community of students together quite like God did with youth week.  For that I am thankful, and until next year may we continue to partner together to reach our city with the Gospel of Jesus!