During the second to last weekend of March, the annual Conference for Youth leaders, called the Upside-down Kingdom, took place for the 22nd time. As usually, during the preparation time, we prayed about what laid on God’s heart and what we could learn together. As the time went by, we started to see the direction we were supposed to take…
As the time went by, we started to see the direction we were supposed to take and, on our minds, there was a specific topic and a specific speaker, who is extremely busy leading a team of three hundred people. However, when we wrote to Dave Patty, the leader of a missionary organization called Josiah Venture, he replied by talking about his love toward KPM and his joy to spend 4 days in March with us.
This year, we invited the youth leaders into the Kingdom. We wanted to talk about our instincts and the possibility of their deception toward us…What if there is still some knowledge of the reality of the Kingdom that we ignore, because functioning through those principles would be unnatural for us? We challenged people to forget about „You have heard that it was said“ and get ready for Jesus’ : „But I tell you…“
Joyfully, we could see that it was happening. We focused on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mountain and, verse after verse, we uncovered the 7 secrets of the Kingdom : we can enter it through repentance and faith, worry is not allowed, Jesus does not want us to judge. We were dealing with the treasure, as well as with the knocking and asking. Eventually we understood that, in order to live, we have to die first.
The teaching was profound and relevant, we worshiped together with bands like “Hmla“, „Tretí deň“, Draho Poloha and Hudson Jones, EVS band, noXcuse and, for the KPM attendands, we had prepared 22 amazing seminars, so they could be trained and inspired in different areas. On Saturday evening, we tried something new - a youthgroup constisting of 700 people. We left the entire sound system behind the curtains. We wanted to show our friends that the Kingdom does not need a huge setup, like lights, sounds and videoprojections. It was amazing.
On Sunday, we did the last upside – down thing. When people came to the morning session, we informed them that we were heading to church. We had arranged everything with the local churches of CB and ECAV half a year ago and, together with the pastors, we had prepared the ending of KPM as a morning church service. God gave us vision to love the church and to teach people at KPM to love the church as well. Thanks be to God for what was happening. It was nice, changing, kingdom – like. We entered the Kingdom in the churches and our hearts were changed.
We are so thankful. For our good God, for everyone who helped building the Kingdom and for those who came and allowed themselves to change. Truly, it was a remarkable year.
Here are some observations from people. We asked them : This year, at KPM, we learnt a lot about how to live in the Kingdom. Was there a moment during KPM when you experienced it and when, through repentance and faith, you entered the Kingdom? When was it?
There were so many moments when I felt God’s presence. The most intense one was when God broke the biggest insecurity that had been living inside of me. It concerned the death of my daddy, a month and a half ago. I could not face the big anxiety which had grown bigger and bigger until it had paralyzed me and I couldn’t focus on God’s things anymore. I am very thankful that God could renew me and save me from the devil’s hands. I am glad He made me free from the entire insecurity that satan was using to cause me sadness and pain. Now I can be free and I don’t have to fear the bad one, because I have the best protector : our merciful God.
During the worship led by „Tretí deň“ , but even at any time, when you just sit and listen. You think you failed this and that, but God speaks especially during those times. He says „I love you, I do not care about your mistakes. Come to me, I want to show you the secrets of my Kingdom. Come, enter it, deny yourself, do not do what is natural for you. Do what brings glory to God and then you can experience my Kingdom even here, on earth.“
At the moment I decided to take a step in the chapel, when I decided again to keep on serving even though I cannot see the fruits.
It was after one of the evening sessions, when I realized that I could hurt people by my acts and words. I can hurt the ones around me when I am not thinking about what I am saying.
When Dave was preaching about worry, he said some interesting facts. He said we are used to worrying about everything that has not even happened yet. Then he said that the mercy of the King is renewed every day and He has already prepared mercy for the day we worry about. We do not have to worry and torment ourselves for it. It hit me concerning my current situation, since I am finishing university, dealing with the future and I really have no idea what is ahead of me.
There was not a specific moment. There were some quiet moments when God was showing me how to live and lead young people toward Christ. What I enjoyed the most was realizing that I could build God’s kingdom even through suffering and judgment, which is what I am currently experiencing at school.
experienced it the most during the skit of Natalia and Robert, when they were watching movies about their lives of earth. Robert’s movie was vivid, it had a direction and it was not boring. It was interesting that he did not spoil his life with boredom, doing nothing, He did not focus only on himself : he was not only serving himself but also Natalia. It was a lesson about how we can even impact a stranger on a train that we never see again. I even got goosebumps. They acted it perfectly. I felt that in the Kingdom, our actions and our serving are not something forgetable. I believe we will watch our lives one day in heaven, losing it for Christ even when it hurts. But at the end, it will bring life to us and to those whom we serve.
Links to full photo albums from KPM can be found at the end of the article.