• Jake Mahal

Spring Harvest 2019

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

As many of you will know, I've been involved as a volunteer with Spring Harvest over the last 13 years - being part of the team running the 8-11s programme.

Spring Harvest recently launched Harrogate as a new venue to better serve the north of England as well as Scotland. I was asked if I would consider taking a lead a putting together a team for the 8-11s up north. I said yes!

It's very different actually being the person with whom the buck stops and it's not a role I particularly enjoy. It means a lot of communication, organisation, logistics and general blah! However I do love having the opportunity to pull in some of my favourite people from around the UK and have them impart themselves and what they carry to the next generation - this is exactly what I did!

We had a number of people who have been on Spring Harvest team year on year which was massively helpful as they knew some of the structures and were able to take a lot of the workload off me - especially the things I suck at - thank the Lord for team! We also had a load of people who have never been to a Spring Harvest event before but they love Jesus and are happy to both graft and give themselves for others - what more could you want?

One downside was that all these wonderful people were not Staffordians - this meant that the physical pre-event prep fell to Freya and myself. It was 6 weeks of hard slog; sourcing, upcycling, building and painting - but it was rather fun and we actually pulled it off!

Spring Harvest its self was ace! The theme was focussed on prayer but really led into an exploration of Kingdom Theology and expanding the young people's worldview. Of course this was explored in lots of different creative ways; we had great input in talks from various team members and our youngest team members, who had never done anything like it before, absolutely smashed it! We had prayer installations around the room which challenged the young people to grapple with what it means to pray, learn pray in the new ways (and old ways), understand the effect of prayer and how it leads to heaven and earth being brought together and we even had kids praying for some of the major world issues that they are faced with as a generation.

Young people were passionately praying, interceding and prophesying, for the current climate crisis, the inequality between men and women worldwide, individual nations, persecuted people groups & the need for believers to be at the cutting edge of innovation (scientific, cultural, environmental etc).

Personally the big highlights were:

  • Young people responding after the second evening's talk on 'unlimited access', where they we're invited to step through the torn curtain before the throne of God. Here they simply rested in his presence and for some encountered his love for the first time.

  • The idea of 'pitching a tent' and getting alone with God - loads of kids took up the challenge of finding a place or posture which helped them to spend some one-on-one quality time with God and doing this regularly.

  • Freya's talk on 'unlimited connection' and the crazy stories she told about people being joined in prayer across nations and the supernatural consequences!

  • Young people learning that they (and we as the church) have 'unlimited potential' as we become more like Jesus and live like superheroes. No really, superheroes!

  • What young people wrote on our inequality see-saw and the powerful moment we cut the chord and the see saw actually worked - much to the relief of many frustrated 8-11s who had been presented with a non-working see-saw for the previous 3 days!

  • With it being so much smaller I actually got to know some of the young people (and not because they were misbehaving or had some theology in need of processing) as well as get some decent time with parents, which I've not managed to do for a good few years.

  • The time spent eating ice-cream and drinking good beer with the team in the lovely gelato shop and micro brewery.

If you want to get a fuller flavour of the theme and what we got up to then check out the website/blog we had running alongside the event for parents/adults, so that they could see what we'd been getting up to and continue they journey with their young people. There may even be some material you could use at home as a family! There are day by day breakdowns - scroll down to find them.

It looks like the event will be going ahead again next year... interested to join us on team? Let me know!


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