ALL THINGS NEW - THE STORY OF LUMINOSITY SO FAR...
Updated: Nov 28, 2019
New Wine is 30 years old this year! For every year we have gathered in the summer, youth provision has been a key element of what we are about. Equipping young people in the church to go home believing in the power of God, to see and bring transformation in Jesus’ name. Many visions have been planted in the minds of young people who have camped under canvas over the years at New Wine summer events. The church is stronger today because of the many dreams and initiatives young people and their leaders dared to dream.
The obedience of Soul Survivor in discerning and announcing that 2019 will be the last of their summer festivals seems to have acted as a catalyst and nudged many youth leaders and youth organisations around the country to ask the question ‘is God asking something new of us too?’ Young people have always been at the heart of New Wine and we have a rich heritage and history with Soul Survivor – did you know that Mike Pilavachi used to lead the youth work at New Wine before he started Soul Survivor? And so, in October 2018, feeling the same nudge, the New Wine leadership team began asking the same question, ‘Lord, what is it that you’re asking of us?’
We talked, dreamed and prayed, all the while wrestling with our desire to be genuinely committed to young people and wanting to be obedient to God’s call. To be upfront with you, these are some of the questions we asked:
Have youth festivals had their time?
Should we start a new stand alone youth festival? That was always going to be the elephant in the room question...
Shall we just keep doing what we’ve been doing?
Do we need to do anything?
Is there something we should be stepping into?
There was an overwhelming feeling within the New Wine leadership that ‘yes’, we should be doing something, but that it should look and feel new. We have been trying to freshen the youth side of things at New Wine for a few years but have always come up against one blockade or another. Maybe now was the right time? Perhaps a new wineskin is being prepared for us?
I’ve had the absolute honour of leading New Wine Youth for the last few years. My sense was that God was speaking to us particularly about two things:
There was something new and prophetic about our move to Peterborough. Our first event there in 2019 happens to be the year Soul Survivor host their last festivals on the same site.
We are to increase our offering to young people - and invest! Not to do something so new that it becomes standalone and separate - but something new that exists within the New Wine family. A sense of “We Go Again”.
In response to this, New Wine is determined to take a risk by investing significant resources into its youth work from next year. It is a risk we genuinely believe God has called us to own and occupy for this next season. This new investment will impact the summer festival events of course, but it has to be about much more than that. At the heart of New Wine is the local church, which is the hope of the world. So, the next season will include resourcing, raising and releasing churches into practising Spirit led youth ministry throughout the year. It needs to be a 52 weeks a year initiative. Someone once said the only risk is to not take a risk. It feels a little scary but we want to be faithful to God. We know that sometimes God asks His people to obey, even when they can’t see the way forward.
A NEW THING...
I remember being sat on the sofa with Rach, my wife, a couple of days or so after our first daughter was born. We had no name for her yet - so we prayed. We talked about what truth we wanted to speak into our child's life. A name that would help her to know her identity and enable others to see that in her life.
Having spent some time on sabbatical earlier this year, I felt God placed a new charge on my life, to be on fire for him. Romans 12:11 says:
“Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord.”
I dreamt of a society where every young person was on fire for God. Think of the immense impact that would have! A generation of young people that would capture something of Jesus’ presence, so much that they go home with something crazily contagious in their possession. I even thought - should the word ‘fire’ form the centrepiece of what God was calling us into? All the usual typical cheesy youth group names and themes came up. None of them sat well with me. Then the thought of all the potential wrong associations between fire and young people came up...oh no! It just got worse!
So I asked myself - “well what happens when you are on fire? You glow. You become luminous. For all to see!”
LUMINOSITY was born!
That's what I saw - young people brightly shining for all the world to see.
So, launching in 2020, LUMINOSITY is New Wine’s brand new youth initiative. Yes, it will be an event within an event, a youth festival running at the same time and same place as New Wine’s United event. It will have its own youth village, allowing youth groups and their youth leaders to sign up, but also enabling families to continue to camp together, giving full access to both LUMINOSITY and United events.
We don’t just want to be about events, but about people. We will make sure we do this by hosting some events throughout the year where we can invest in and equip the local church. So in 2020 we are also launching a Youth Leaders Summit. We will have a gathering in the North and in the South, focusing on youth leader training essentials to help your church youth group thrive! LUMINOSITY will be about offering ongoing investment and opportunities for youth leaders across the country. As well as this, we’ll be sending out our youth teams to work with local churches across the different regions to host LUMINOSITY Nights. These will be nights of worship, teaching and ministry, with heaps of fun and laughs thrown in for good measure!
I truly believe that young people have something bright to declare to the world. When we gather together and meet with God He will empower us to go home, filled by the Spirit to be the light of Jesus in our communities. LUMINOSITY will invest in a generation who are committed to be uncontrollably shining for God.
LUMINOSITY will exist to help young people be reminded of who they are made to be! Jesus has called us all to be an unstoppable light piercing through unimaginable darkness in the world.
SO WHAT NEXT?
We are confident that God has asked us to do something. Our next move is to try to be obedient to that. We don’t pretend to have a product signed, sealed and delivered. LUMINOSITY is forming. We have ideas and initial plans but we are also waiting in anticipation of what God is doing. We want to be upfront and say we don’t have all the answers yet. But we want to begin to tell the story, which is why we’ll be offering free youth worker lunch tickets so people can visit us on site this year and get to know us. I’ll also be hosting two seminars titled LUMINOSITY - the vision. And we’re committed to having conversations with you, our friends, over the next few months.
LUMINOSITY will have a leadership team, and I’m thrilled that this will be populated by young people as well as by youth leaders. Together, we will represent churches from across the nation and we will seek to be obedient to what God is asking of us for the exciting season which lies ahead. I believe 2020 is a significant year for the church. God is doing a new thing.
Will you pray with us? Will you stand with us? As We Go Again!
We are a family participating altogether.