Hundreds of Next Gen students gather to ignite passion for Christ
DAYTONA BEACH—A convergence of college students and leaders determined to ignite a passion for Christ in their churches and on their campuses drew more than 400 to the annual Collegiate Weekend, held Feb. 4-5 at First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach.
Students from Pensacola to Miami gathered for worship, biblical teaching and to pack meals for needy children during the two-day event sponsored by the Florida Baptist Convention’s Next Generation Ministries.
During the weekend, a call to fervent prayer was issued to the students by keynote speaker Cam Triggs, pastor of Grace Alive in Orlando, who planted the Gospel-centered, multiethnic, multiplying church in 2017. Worship was led by Ascension Worship, a national network designed to assist churches with worship needs.
Preaching from Matthew 6:1-15, Triggs shared with the students that prayer is a natural response to the Gospel. “It’s about the posture of our heart, not the posture of your body,” he said. “God is not concerned with the paragraph of your prayer, but the purity of your heart.”
During a session on “What Would Jesus Pray” based on John 17, the Orlando pastor urged students to place prayer as their first response and not as a last resort. “Prayer is not a vehicle to revival; it is revival itself.”
He also emphasized that prayer is about “conforming your character to Christ’s likeness,” noting that too many focus on the destination rather than the identity. “God’s amazing work is not just happening around us; it is happening within us.”
Throughout the two days, students chose from nearly a dozen break-out sessions designed to strengthen their spiritual lives with topics including: conversations about racial issues; spiritual warfare; gender and sexuality; obeying God through evangelism; a women’s purpose; leadership; and discerning a call to missions.
“The collegiate conference allowed me to worship and learn with my peers from the across the state,” one student said. “The candid conversations that arose through discussion will allow me to more effectively bring the Gospel to my campus. I’m thankful for the time I had.”
As a ministry project to put feet to their faith, the students partnered with Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, “One More Child” to pack meals for needy children in the area.
“It was amazing to see more than 400 college students at Collegiate Weekend pack 3,000 meals for kids that attend local Title I schools in Daytona Beach,” said Robert Zarahn, FBCH executive director of initiatives. “One More Child is extremely grateful for the Florida Baptist Convention and our ongoing partnership to serve more children and families.”
Reflecting on the conference and its significance to the students involved with Jacksonville’s Baptist Campus Ministries, director Ben Braly said, the collegiate weekend “was so helpful and unifying for our group. Watching other college students be on mission for God helps our students see the bigger picture of what God is doing throughout the world.”
To find out ways that you can partner with One More Child please visit https://onemorechild.org/everychild