Awakening into Young Saints: Why We Changed Our Name
Here’s an inside-look at the process behind changing the name of Bethel’s Youth ministry. What do you think about the transformation? #Awakening2YS
For some time now, I have felt like we were going to change the name of our youth conference and youth ministry. I’ve loved “Awakening” and all that it has meant, but I knew that it was time for something different.
I have been dreaming of a name that goes beyond a conference or youth service -something that reaches the corners of the earth and invites young people into extravagant love and healthy identity.
I’m not interested in trendy names as much as I am in hearing the heart of the Father and releasing his words over a generation. My heart is to identify what Holy Spirit is pouring out on the earth and partner with him to see the Kingdom of Heaven advance through the lives of students all over the planet.
I wanted a name that was prophetic – something that called young people into the promises of God and propelled them towards their destiny – but I also wanted something that was cool and “timeless.” I called together my team of creatives and shared my heart on what I was feeling. After weeding through many different names that didn’t quite settle, Trey Ellis, one of the leaders on my youth team, presented the name “Young Saints.” Something about this one felt different. We all felt the presence of God, and began to dream with passion! After speaking with the influencers of our movement and getting confirmation, we felt empowered to move ahead.
As we have continued to un-package our new name and what it means, we have been overwhelmed with a mandate from the Lord to carry this banner and call a generation into their true identity as Young Saints.
“A Saint is a revivalist who is set apart for love to walk in covenant with God and carry His Glory.”
A Saint is a revivalist who is set apart for love to walk in covenant with God and carry His Glory.
Recently I was at a youth conference of 1,500 teenagers. At the end, a well-known preacher asked that everyone who was struggling with condemnation raise their hands. 99% of the hands in the room went up. Being familiar with this battle in my past, I knew exactly what they were going through. The issue isn’t condemnation, it’s a faulty belief system that says I’m still a “sinner” and I’m probably doing something wrong.
Romans 6 tells us that we died with Christ and have been resurrected with him in new life, and the nature we now have is that of a saint not a sinner. “Saint” is not a title we work for or strive to earn, it’s an identity we live from as a result of faith in Christ.
Many believers live as if Jesus is still on the cross. They are afraid of the devil (who’s already been defeated), and wondering if God even likes them. This kind of mindset contradicts what the Apostle John wrote in 1 John 4:17: “As He is, so are we in this world.”
As he is, so are we.
He is good, holy, loving, kind…the list goes on.
So what does that make us?
Jesus is alive! He’s not on the cross, nor is he in the tomb. He sits at the right hand of the Father and has sent the Holy Spirit to continue the ministry of Jesus through all who acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior.
While the world is shaking with unrest from racial division, political upheaval, fear of terrorism, cyber bullying, and many other painful circumstances, the enemy seeks to steal our identity by labeling us with the painful things that have happened to us.
In the midst of the storms of this life that vie for our attention, God remains the same. Unshaken and unmoved. He is a constant good Father who paid the ultimate price for all of creation to be transformed by his love and carry his healing presence.
That is the reality we are called to walk in.
It’s time to believe that what Jesus did on the cross for humanity was enough to transform all who come to him – and that starts with believing it for yourself!
You have been changed from a sinner into a saint, so the world around you can see the Glory of God on you, and be drawn to a good Father. You are no longer defined by your past failures, temptations or painful labels, but you live from the encounters you’ve had with a good God. You live with the privilege and mandate to walk in your true identity as a Young Saint.