Well, I kept meaning to do a blog about Momentum since I got back, but I hadn't got around to it, so thought I'd do it now since I've got a little time :).
For those of you who don't know, Momentum is a Christian festival for students, run by Soul Survivor (they also run 3 Soul Survivor festivals in the 3 weeks before it, which are more for teens).
This year I went to serve on team, I wasn't going to go at all until I found out that a bunch of girls from my CU were going, so I thought it would be nice to go, and I had been thinking about serving at Soul Survivor, as it would be a great experience, but hadn't really wanted to camp on my own. But being able to camp with the others was great and having now been to Momentum, I'm so glad I did, I think I would have really missed out if I hadn't gone this year!
Right, now I think I'll put down stuff in sections as it'll make it easier to read, and hopefully I'll remember everything I wanted to say...
Serving On Team
Well, this year, I served on the Catering Team at Momentum - this basically meant that I was part of the group providing all the food for all of the other people working on various teams.
I worked 7 hour days (shifts on alternate days from 7am to 2.30pm and 11.45am to 7pm) and I was so exhausted by the end of each day! The stuff you do is all general kitchen stuff really, cooking food, washing dishes, carrying around trays of things, serving food and drinks etc. My favourite job was probably making rolls in the afternoon, as it was quieter down where we did that, so it was easier to actually have conversations with people, plus you got to sit down sometimes (always a bonus :P).
I feel really blessed to have been on that team, though it was really hard work, we all stayed pretty upbeat and were able to be in a good mood almost all the time. There were a few people who just always made you smile when you saw them, and it was great to have that. Though I was a bit shy with talking to people, even I made some good friends there, everyone was really lovely and really willing to do things, and that's a fantastic work environment to be in - I think all work environments should be like that!
So, if you're thinking of being on team in the future and are not sure whether to do it - just go for it, you'll come out of it probably exhausted but also feeling really blessed and having been a blessing to other people :).
I'm definitely going to be on team at one of the events next year, though I think I'll go for a different team, as I want to see what it's like doing some of the other things - and hopefully get a little more time to go to seminars and stuff :). But Catering is still great - do it!
Well, worship is probably my favourite part of these events, if I'm honest. The fact that you can sing as loud as you want to is great! At Momentum, the worship leaders at meetings I made it to were Phil Wickham (part of the first night), Tim Hughes, Tom Field and Beth Croft (she was leading alongside Tom for the 2 that I saw her at). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it to morning main meetings due to being on team, so didn't attend all the worship - I wasn't there when Jamie Rodwell led worship, though I assume he did.
My favourite worship leader from Momentum is probably Tom Field, just because I really love his voice, though all the other worship leaders were also fantastic. I also really loved it on the occasions that the band slowly stopped playing and just left everyone singing praises to God - it's really amazing being part of that!
They also had a few brilliant songs that I hadn't heard before, which I have now looked up and listened to lots of times :). Last year my favourite 'new' songs were 'You're Beautiful' and 'Cannons' by Phil Wickham (when I discovered who they were by, I went out and bought the CD 'Cannons' from the Christian bookshop I used to work in - note, support Christian bookshops!).
Anywho, this year, I had a lot of favourite songs, see below:
1. 'How He Loves' by David Crowder Band (not sure who originally wrote it, but I like their version)
Unfortunately couldn't embed the official music video - see it here
2. 'My Praise Overflows' by Tom Field and Jamie Rodwell
Note - the title isn't 'My Grace Overflows' as it says onscreen! This is Jamie singing it at Soul Survivor :).
I learnt to play this on guitar yesterday, I felt quite proud of myself seeing as I can't play the guitar, lol. Hoping to teach myself this year - but now I can play one song! (not that well, but not badly!) Unfortunately I've only got access to a guitar whilst at home (it belongs to my mum), but I'll do my best! I miss my piano...
3. 'Our God is Love' by Hillsong
I actually preferred Beth Croft singing it, but this song is still amazing :).
4. 'At Your Name' by Tim Hughes (I don't actually know what the title is, but this seems possible...)
This is the only recording of it that I've found anywhere -this person has called it 'Yahweh Yahweh'. Might put up the lyrics for this at some point, just because I haven't found them anywhere else...
I'm quite sad at the moment because I've got a really sore throat and bad cold, and so can't sing (or rather shouldn't - I was still singing yesterday anyway! Probably what made it worse, lol)
Main Meeting Talks
Well, I don't have a whole lot to say about these except that they were really good. I love Mike Pilavachi's talks and all of the other speakers they had were great too. One particularly memorable one is Ellie Mumford (Leader of Vineyard church along with her husband John). She came on, began to speak with her wonderful received pronunciation and entertaining talk and within 5 minutes we all adored her. I have lots of notes from all the main meetings which I plan to re-read and think about quite a lot, but I don't think I'll post them on here, simply because I have so much other stuff to post and don't want to end up with a ridiculously long post! (Though I probably will anyway). I may post them at a later date...
I was unfortunately unable to go to many seminars due to the hours I was working. I did make it to three of them, the first wasn't that great, so I'll skip past that one (it may have also been to do with how exhausted I was at the time!).
The other two were brilliant - this was on day 4, I finished work at 2.30 and went straight to the Soul Sista/Soul Man seminar. I was quite disappointed that it wasn't the separate ones as mentioned in the programme, with the Soul Sista one being led by Mike and Andy, because I think that would have been amazing. However, this was a joint one led by Tim and Rachel Hughes (mainly by Rachel) and it was really great. I've been to other seminars by Soul Sista on relationships and so on, which I have always found to be quite frank/honest, interesting, funny and easy to relate to. This one was no different - except there were also guys there. I thought Rachel did a brilliant job with the talk and it was just as excellent as I expected. It also had the bonus of having Tim and Rachel's 'getting together' story (As Rachel mentioned 'we girls do tend to love a good getting together story') and some very amusing stories from early in their relationship. Also, one of the things I hadn't really heard about in other seminars that they did mention in this one was, how to get over things when one of them 'has a past', and not just from the point of view of that person, but the other one also. I thought that was a really good thing to have as part of the seminar.
Having been to that seminar, I was debating whether to go to another one, I knew there were some good ones on, but couldn't remember which ones I had been interested in, so I popped to the ToolShed and had a quick look in one of the programmes, and decided to go to Mike Pilavachi's seminar on 'Leadership in the Body of Christ'. It was really fantastic, and I'm so glad I decided to go to it. I may put up my seminar notes about this at a later point, as I think it was great, but at the moment I'll just give you a vague overview... Basically, he was talking about how there is actually a need for leaders to rise up in the body of Christ, and how they need to be there to serve their church, not the other way around (as sometimes happens unfortunately). He talked about how leaders need to have a vision, and actually know where they're going. He talked a bit about how leaders need to form a group with people who have different gifts to them - for example, if you have lots of visionairies around, you'll have loads of great ideas but nothing will get done!
Mike then followed a bit of the story of Nehemiah, and talked about the opposition that the devil throws at you when you try to lead, and the different stages it goes through:
1. Ridicule - this is right at the beginning when you're most vulnerable, and the devil whispers half-truths, finding your weak spots and making you think you can't do what you're trying to. The answer to this is to be aware of what's happening, and take it to God, rather than trying to do it alone.
2. Full Frontal Assault - this is in the middle of what you're doing and is a continuing challenge. This is when everything seems to go wrong, this can be spiritual or practical, and the answer is to take both spiritual and practical steps to counter the problems.
3. Compromise - when you get towards what you were aiming for, sometimes it might be easier to just think 'Oh, 90% will do'. This can be quite personal, when you are tired and vulnerable, and your own temptations create the possibility of compromise. One of the things to do about this is to make sure you are in a good Christian community, even if it's just a couple of friends - have people that you can talk to so you can help and encourage each other, and be accountable to each other in some situations.
The basic message was:
- Have a vision, that is God-focused
- Build a team, with different gifts
- Love the people, and serve them
- Cultivate your relationship with God
Ok, so I said I wouldn't put all my notes up here, and I've put them in a decent amount of detail, but it's not quite as much as my extensive notes in my journal!
Anywho, moving on...
Well, there was rather a lot of other stuff going on at Momentum, I didn't go to any of the cafes or anything mainly just due to lack of time and by the evening I was so tired. I did go to Late Night Worship once, which was great. I spent some time with the people I was camping with in the evenings (as I didn't see them during the day), this included 4 girls from CU - Sophie, Natalie, Naomi and Amy and two friends of Natalie's - Sian and Charles. It was nice to just sit and chat, and on the last day I got to chat properly to a few of the girls which was lovely, as I haven't done that really with them and will definitely plan to talk more when we're all back at uni. Also, it was quite entertaining to watch some of them play Ninja - some of the poses and facial expressions were priceless (I have photos :P).
I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to, to explore the ToolShed, but I did have a bit of a look around. I bought a 'Bible In One Year' which starts on Wednesday, which I'm quite excited about, I think it'll be really good, and it's a great idea to do it as a sort of online community (as well as people doing it in their little church communities). I also bought a copy of 'Final' by Krish Kandiah - I've already read 'Fresh' and we're planning to do it for the first 5 weeks on term with the Freshers in October, but I thought it would be interesting to have a bit of a read of Final too, and having skimmed a bit of it, it looks quite relevant to me in my 2nd year too. I wanted to buy a really nice 'Stop the Traffik' Freeset bag, it was black with a white barcode design with shapes of people in it, but unfortunately someone else picked the last one up literally 3 seconds before I was going to - there were people standing in front of it and she reached round and got it just before me. Was a bit disappointed, as I'd finally made up my mind to get it, but nevermind. Am having a look on the internet for it... ooh, just spotted it on the Stop The Traffik website - here. Will probs buy it off there soon...
Lastly, I've also ordered 3 seminar recordings - One by Andy Croft and two by Tim Hughes. They should be rather good I think :). There were quite a lot of seminar recordings I would have liked but hadn't really thought about that before Momentum so didn't bring a lot of money with me.
Anywho, I think that concludes my Momentum blog. If you're still reading, I'm very impressed. If however, you just skipped to the bottom... well, fair enough.
My general ending note is - go to a Soul Survivor event, they are amazing, if you are considering serving on team, go for it!, if you're not, still go for it! You won't regret it (In the long run anyway, in the short run you may feel rather tired and ill afterwards - but I'm still upbeat about it, so there's no reason not to do it!).
Adios, amigos :)