“Jesus claims to be your King and He’s calling you this weekend to come and follow Him. To leave everything behind, to follow Him just like those fishermen did so very long ago…”

This was the challenge put out to all 2000 young people who attended the KYCK youth conference alongside St Mick’s Youth in Katoomba three weeks ago. In God’s great kindness, through faithful, engaging and accessible Bible talks (including one from our very own St Mick’s Alumni Josh Hayward!) many young people did meet Jesus, left everything behind and decided to follow Him.

KYCK runs over 4 weekends each year and on our weekend alone 22 young people from across NSW (and some even further) gave their lives to Jesus for the very first time! Take a moment to reflect on that… 22 young people were saved, 22 young people will now stand with us in heaven, 22 young people came home!

Our group – made up of 60 youth and 20 leaders (including a small number from Port Kembla Warrawong Anglican Church – how good!) – had the privilege of being able to stay on site at KCC and serve the whole conference by ushering all 6 sessions across the weekend. It was a joy to watch the young people of St Mick’s serve 2000 others in that way for the sake of the gospel!

Over the 3 days, we also had opportunities to hang out together and build relationships with each other and with young people from other churches, we got to sing together with thousands of other voices (glimpse of heaven anyone?), we had fun exploring Katoomba together, we prayed together, we ate good food together, and most importantly we all got to meet Jesus in the Bible – together.

There’s no doubt that KYCK is tiring, and challenging. It can be tough for families, and it’s definitely tough for the leaders who serve (which at times is more like herding cats). It takes huge amounts of planning, it costs money and energy, time and emotional resources – but when I get see young people gathered together around Jesus and I see young lives being changed by the gospel, I’m reminded that there is no cost too great – this is what it’s all about!

Please be praying for the 22 young people who gave their lives to Jesus; pray that they will be followed up and nurtured in their home churches. And please be praying for our group also; give thanks for the awesome time we had, and pray that the gospel will continue to be at work in the hearts and minds of our youth.

As I reflected on how many times I’ve personally been to KYCK (which I now wish I hadn’t done…) I discovered that KYCK 2023 was my 15th year attending the conference. But I can confidently say that God willing, I will attend 15 more (and as many more as God allows), because there’s no greater joy than seeing young people leave everything behind to follow Jesus!

Matt Shannon | Youth Minister