“When I arrived, I didn’t feel that close to God but now [that] we left, I feel closer than I was before.” This is one of many testimonies from students who attended our Chets Students annual THRIVE Weekend 2018. Middle and high school students from all of our campuses met at St. Simons Island, Georgia for a weekend of discipleship, worship, and fellowship. They learned about what it means to be FEARLESS.


Many of our students struggle with the fears that hold them back from confidently embracing the plan God has for them. One student said God showed them “I have got to be bold with my faith and not let anyone change what I know to be true about my faith. To be fearless and never back down from people that discourage me.”


Our students spent the entire weekend focusing on how God empowers us to meet the tasks he puts in front of us and gives us the courage needed to face our fears. Through large group teaching and small group discussion, students learned how God calls us to live fearless in the face of temptation, in the midst of doubt, in embracing God’s mission, and in the face of opposition.


The speaker this year was Pastor Muche Ukegbu, of The Brooke Church, our church plant partner in Miami. He shared with students that “the source of all fear in our hearts is a distorted view of God” and encouraged them that when we truly get to know Him, those fears will fade. 


After this weekend, one student said, “He [God] showed me just how ridiculous it is to be fearful of sharing the Gospel, especially when others around the world are going through so much persecution. If I am truly trying to fully show God's glory through my life, why should I be afraid?”


In their community groups, students spent time getting to know each other and building relationships. They looked at examples of Jesus facing temptation, doubt, opposition, and mission and discussed how they can follow his example of living fearlessly.


But a student event wouldn’t be a student event without awesome worship and some ridiculous games. Students faced the wheel of fear and had to do some pretty crazy challenges. All weekend students were repping their team color but their spirit really came out during rec time for our THRIVE relay.


Over the weekend students grew closer to each other and to God. They were challenged to ask God to reveal to them the one thing He had for them this weekend and here are some of the responses:

“I cannot live as a casual Christian and to share my faith no matter the consequences.”

“God really showed me how I need to stop being a “casual Christian,” and start reaching out to those around me.”

“I should be bolder in my faith.”

“I need to take more steps to grow in my faith.”

“I need to stop holding back and I need to just go ahead and talk to people about him and not wait.”

“I need to pour into other people more.”

“I need to spend more time in the word.”

“I need to work on not being a casual Christian and get more immersed in the word, so that I won't be led astray by anyone who presents a slightly different version of the gospel.”

“I’ve been making a lot of plans for the future and have been focusing on what’s best for me rather than what I can do to best bring God glory. This weekend was my literal “come to Jesus” moment, where I realized that I’ve just been living for myself rather than focusing on bringing glory to my Creator.”