I don’t know how many of you know a lot of my story or about something I was apart of called ‘Enlightened’, but I felt led to share about it today for whoever needs to hear (or in this case read) it. Enlightened is a student led worship event that takes place in high schools. I felt God call me to start an event like this the summer before my senior year of high school. It was a big task that I saw ahead of me but I knew that God’s hand was over this dream and this calling as I saw Him work so clearly through the whole process of planning a student led event at my school.
Myself and a group of 11 other high school students decided to take on the challenge and flip our school upside down with an awesome event! We decided that the night be called Enlightened because of what Matthew 5:13-16 says. We wanted our school to know how we could be the salt and light in this generation.
For this event, I felt called to share my testimony of how God had called me to be different as a Christ follower in the past and how He is still always calling me to stand for my faith. I got to share my story at our first event and challenge my peers to listen to God’s calling and to physically respond that night by grabbing a candle in the front of the room to shine as a symbol of a commitment they made. In that room full of 600 students and adult leaders, we saw hundreds of candles break through the darkness as students made a wide variety of commitments to God at a school campus. We believed that our location was so significant because that is our mission field as students. We needed to invite God in this place because it is where so many people needed to see Him. We were and are called to bring a light to the darkness in our schools.
God started opening doors ever since our first event. He exceeded our expectations of how many would show up and the amount of response we got afterwards. While talking to a few students after our first Enlightened event, a few approached us and said that they wanted to see Enlightened happen at their school. Our small team of high school students that had planned this event had never thought about it going anywhere else. But as we heard more students say they wanted to see Enlightened happen again, we saw God bringing more opportunities to spread this message that He had laid on our hearts. We could challenge more of our peers with this message to be the salt and light in this generation!
Enlightened will always be one of my best memories. The first event we held in my high school was my favorite day because it was the start of something new in my life and in many other students’ lives. It was a night where God brought us all together to call us to a life lived for a bigger purpose. At following events, it still never got old. I loved hearing testimonies and singing some awesome worship songs and seeing the lights brighten the room where we gathered. It is always exciting because students are realizing this: God is calling us to do big things in our lives to ultimately make this world a better place. This world needs Him and God wants to use us, right now, to tell everyone about Him! And as students, we don’t believe we have to wait until we are adults to make a difference. We can start now with where God has placed us. We have heard this calling and want more students to hear it as well!
I am very excited for next year because of the doors that God continues to open for Enlightened. This summer, I traveled with NTS Camp to share with hundreds of students about what Enlightened is and how they can be apart of it. I thought since so much has happened with Enlightened even just this summer, I would fill you all in about what next year will look like!
Right now, we are inviting students to join this movement of worship and prayer in high schools and are challenging them to bring Enlightened to their schools. If a student feels called to lead this student led worship event at their school, they can now go to our website, enlightenyourschool.com, and click the ‘Sign Up’ tab to receive information about making ‘Enlightened’ happen at their school. For the past 5 months, me and a few people that were apart of Enlightened in the past, have been dedicating time and resources to making a booklet for students that want to lead an event at their school. These students that take on this challenge are called Student Event Organizers. After a Student Event Organizer signs up online, they receive this booklet that acts as a guide on how to plan a successful event at their school!
This Enlightened booklet explains how to get together a team, provides layouts and timelines, and helps guide these student leaders as they take on this challenge during a busy school year. I am very excited for students to have this booklet in their hands this year because it has a lot of good information that we have used for our past events. This booklet serves as a guide but was also written to be encouraging to the students that decide to lead an event. I believe in this generation and in my peers and want them to know the impact and legacy they can leave with what they decide to do with their lives now. That is what I hope students get from reading these packets.
We hope for many schools next year, that have and haven’t been apart of Enlightened before, can see students rising up to the challenge to be the “salt and light in this generation” by inviting God into their schools. At an Enlightened event, the focus is to challenge and encourage our peers to be real with their faith at school but to also cry out to God on their school campus. This is a place where we need God most.
So as we venture into this new season of life and ministry, I invite you to pray. We are looking forward to the Enlightened events already lined up for next fall and want to see even more schools be apart of this movement. And if you are a high school student that wants to plan an Enlightened event at your school, I encourage you to go to enlightenyourschool.com and sign up! You will immediately be connected with one of our team members who has been apart of Enlightened before. They would love to walk you through the planning process and make sure that you can get one of our packets of information for a life-changing experience at your school.
I also want to throw something else out there at you. If you are someone that wants to invest into something like this, we would appreciate anyone that can help us print out more booklets for future Student Event Organizers to have! It takes a good amount of money to be able to make them and distribute them to students. If you are interested, go to our website and go to the ‘Contact’ tab and send us a message! This is something to pray about as we head into this next year, that God will continue to provide for those booklets. We know that He will!
Thank you to all you have encouraged me and supported Enlightened as a ministry. I am anticipating a great year and have been praying that God continues to do great things in high school students. As I now head off to college, I will hold dear the memories I made praying, planning, and worshipping with fellow believers in my school for these events. I know that God is going to continue to do great things in my old high school and many others. God is so good!!!
See you next year at Enlightened 2015 events!!