TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Churches across Northeast Mississippi have wrapped up an annual event targeting teenagers.
They crowded into Tupelo’s Orchard Church Friday night for an evening of worship and Bible study, led by former Baltimore Ravens Jason Cook.
It’s all part of Disciple Now 2014 and it brought more than 12 hundred middle and high schoolers together for the weekend long event.
The theme of this year’s DNow was “Illusions”
“A lot of things we believe are mirages or illusions, that look true but when you get beind the trick you realize it’s an elaborate ruse and it’s not true. So what we want to do is just exalt Jesus who is the true, capital T, we want to break open scripture show these kids that the things they are living for, a lot of them aren’t the truth and the things they are believing are not true. But rather to believe in, to worship and to serve Jesus Christ,” Cook said.
The weekend long event is the largest areawide event for church youth groups and has become known for helping young people go deeper in their faith and beliefs.
“We;ve got Christian young people that are coming, they’re being , encouraged and edified in their faith and it’s kind of a mid year event of their school year,” said Chris O’Daniel, youth minister at West Jackson St. Baptist Church.
Along with the large worship events, there are also times for small group bible study. The students are divided by gender and age, spending the weekend in host homes, where in depth Bible study take place, built around a common curriculum.
The small groups are led by college age leaders.
“I definitely love being a leader, but just as a student you could be carefree and just here to have fun and learn more about Christ,” said Anne Williams.
DNow participants say it’s a highlight of their year for many reasons.
“I like being as a whole group of everybody worshiping and together, as a whole, you’re not worried about being judged or anything,” said Ninth Grader Kelly Hofmeister.
“It just sets a fire in you that you just want to go and tell more people about God, and that it really helps you to push yourself and get out of your comfort zone,” said Ninth Grader Reagan Newton.
Disciple Now wraps up Sunday mornings as young people gather with their church youth groups. While DNow 2014 is over, those who took part have been encouraged and equipped to live out their Christian faith at school, in their communities or wherever they go.