Novi Sad Youth Conference
In January this year, the youth team at Novi Sad Christian Fellowship, Serbia, decided to do something new. Sensing God’s call to encourage discipleship among their young people, they decided to host a Winter Youth Conference.
The focus was ‘Life After Camps’ and the conference considered how our initial passion for God can become subdued after the initial fire of a camp or conference, and how our everyday life can dampen that fire. The Winter Youth Conference encouraged young people to stay committed to what God is calling them to do.
The conference hosted more than fifty young people from Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia. The youth pastor of Novi Sad Christian Fellowship, Gale Trninic, says, “In case you didn’t know, our countries were at war during the nineties. But now, Jesus is building bridges between the nations.” There was a mixture of speakers from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, including Gale, and TEN partner and Lead Pastor of Novi Sad Christian Fellowship, Dusan Beredi.
In Gale and Kristina Trninic’s latest newsletter, Gale recognises that one of the church’s values is to make disciples who make disciples. Growth is central to the church’s ethos, so they provided their young people with opportunities to explore their God-given gifts. This was the first conference the youth team had organised, so each person had to learn through action. The team had to provide accommodation for guests, cook, clean, coordinate, administer finances, teach, speak publicly, lead worship and above all, be driven by love.
Elena was asked to compere the event. It has taken time for Elena to realise her gifts in speaking and leading, as she can get stage fright. But thanks to the discipleship of a friend and Gale’s encouragement, Elena accepted this role. Gale happily reports that Elena was a great MC!
One evening, the speakers decided to try something a bit different, so they hosted a podcast. The topic was personal spiritual growth and both the speakers and some of the young people had the opportunity to respond to questions such as what helps them grow, to speak about what mistakes they have made, what challenges they have faced, and to share personal testimony. There was sung worship too.
Gale admits that the team made a lot of mistakes and did not foresee certain issues. However, he also acknowledges God’s hand in everything; “God leads us through the whole journey and teaches us very important lessons.” Growth is a fruit of discipleship, and many people, both young and slightly older experienced this through the conference. Central to everything was God leading the way.
Please pray for the youth team and all the young people who attended the conference. The youth team have been taking part in a training course developed by Josiah Venture, called Core. Gale would love to see the team ‘grow in love, care, knowing God better and discipleship.’ Gale adds, “God is good and faithful! Pray with us for the fruits of this conference.”