We were delighted to send a group from City Youth to the Katoomba Youth Conference (KYCK) in April this year. KYCK challenges and equips high schoolers to boldly live the Christian life. The experience of KYCK was very powerful for our teens, as they participated in a gathering of thousands of Christians learning from the Bible and worshipping God.
At KYCK City Youth were challenged to explore and deepen their faith. They were encouraged through powerful Bible talks, worship in song and hearing about testimonies of transformed lives. The teens also enjoyed fun group activities and games. Over the weekend, City Youth were able to spend time with some other youth groups in our local area. A number of our youth were excited to see other teens from their school and then were able to connect with them the following week.
Teens: We asked the teens in City Youth what they enjoyed about KYCK. They appreciated deepening friendships, particularly being able to share a cabin and have fun together. They were surprised and encouraged by the number of teens who attended KYCK. We also asked the teens how they were challenged in their faith. They reflected on asking big questions about their beliefs for example, ‘Do I know who Jesus is?’ ‘How can I take up my cross and follow Jesus?’ and ‘How can I speak to my friends about my faith?’ We asked the teens what they would say to a friend considering coming to KYCK. They responded:
‘You definitely should go because you will learn so much about Jesus and it’s so fun too.’
‘Definitely go! The churros and doughnuts were so good, and of course, the worship and message.’
Parents: We asked the parents in City Youth about what their teens experienced at KYCK. They reported that their child was challenged in their faith and relationship with God. The teens were encouraged by worshipping with a large group, but also spending time as a smaller group connecting with one another and their leaders. Parents also reported great value in the friendships built with teens at other youth groups and at their schools. Some teens were nervous about spending time away from home. Others were unsure if they would enjoy being at such a large conference with thousands of other teenagers when their experience of youth is more intimate and on a smaller scale. But parents said that conversations with leaders prior to KYCK about the experience, programs and expectations of the weekend helped them feel more at ease. We asked the parents whether they’d encourage their teen to attend KYCK next year and they responded:
‘Yes we would but, our daughter is also so keen to go again next year! KYCK has made a big impact on her understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. We also want her to be in fellowship with and be encouraged by other Christian youth her age.’
‘Yes, to be in an environment where she can supercharge her growth in knowledge and understanding of Jesus, and continue to make connections with other Christian friends. Also so that she can facilitate and help new Grace City youths who may attend for the first time to enjoy the experience.’
Leaders: We also asked our leaders about their experience of KYCK and their observations of City Youth during the time away. They responded that for many of the teens, it was the first time they saw how big God’s kingdom truly is. It was a great encouragement to see lots of people their age loving and worshipping Jesus. In the final session of the program, the teens were particularly engaged and enthused by singing praises in worship. They were clearly filled with great joy and excitement about the good news of Jesus. The leaders reflected that the teens were also encouraged by being part of a larger service and hearing more formal bible talks, which differs from the more discussion-based learning at City Youth on a Sunday. Our leaders also observed the great blessings for City Youth upon returning back to Grace City. In particular, the teens developed greater friendships with one another and were also eager to share their experiences with the rest of the youth once they returned.
We look forward to attending KYCK next year. Click here to see more information about KYCK.