This has been my second year serving on REC team but fourth year overall for serving at Teens Conference! Needless to say, I am sure that TC2020 has definitely been a unique experience for all volunteers and attendees. In REC, we were all preparing as if Teens Conference would run normally at RHCCC – sorting out which games to play, practicing our dances, and running through our Stage Time. However, the first adjustment in church locations struck a snowball of changes following afterwards, which seemed to really test the flexibility of our team.
When it was announced that Teens Conference would be continuing through an online platform, I think our team was tested once again in the addition of several, unfamiliar, and novel responsibilities, such as MCing the live stream, and preparing content for the AFC Instagram takeover (woohoo!) and the “LIVE! At AFC!” segments (which were the transition periods on the live stream). It was during these times where I witnessed the eagerness in our team to take on these new responsibilities. I also saw (and continue to see) how God used each one of us and our individual gifts in the midst of this unique transition. For example, watching the five alums of Digital Media (DM) team reunite on REC team to edit and release content was so uplifting and heartwarming, and I knew that God had hand picked them to join our team for a reason.
It was something that a REC member said during our time of encouragement that has me thinking about the relevancy of our theme, No Rival, to this year in particular. Prior to all these changes, we were learning about what it meant for Jesus to have no rival and how everything we desire is incomparable to what Jesus had already done on the cross. But with all these significant changes that just seem to continue, I am reminded that if Jesus has overcome death, he can, for sure, overcome disease – a prominent issue in our world right now. I think this thought contributes much to what it means when we say “Jesus has no rival”; it exceeds our mundane lives that involve school and work, and permeates the core of why we are Christians. In my life, my need to excel at something often ‘rivals’ Jesus – but that shouldn’t be the case.
This year’s theme helped me to realize that when I say that Jesus has no rival, my need to excel can never be elevated to Jesus’ level (e.g. idol worship), nor can Jesus ever be minimized to the level of worldly things. I am reminded that Jesus doesn’t care about what my future job might be or how many friends I have, but he continues to seek for my heart. I find our theme so timely right now, and there is no doubt in my mind that God is using this special experience to continue the Great Commission, in and outside of Teens Conference.