Aidlingen I - May 19th, 2013
Approximately 10,000 young Germans converged on a tiny village outside Stuttgart, Germany for an annual Christian youth conference over the Pentecost weekend. The Conference is hosted by the Sisters at the Diakonissen Mutterhaus (Deaconess Motherhouse), godly women who have committed themselves to vows similar to many other Christian religious orders. The Sisters bring in a variety of compelling ministers, talent, and speakers, and their goal is to help Christian young people grow closer in their relationship to God, and to be encouraged in totally investing their lives in changing the world.
We had been invited to do the Sunday Evening event - bringing the "Broken & Complete" concert, based on the tragedies and failings I endured in my life and the way Christ met me in my brokenness with His, and through relationship with Him is bringing "completeness" to my broken life. This involved "going first" with my step-father who abused me for over 11 years, by asking him to forgive me for all the hatred, bitterness, and even retaliatory violence I was involved in during the abusive episodes he unloaded on me.
As the concert came to completion, our acoustic player, Ty Stewart led the 10,000 youth in the song, "From the Inside Out", and we invited them to then go to the Bonfire, an area where a large fire had been lit a bit away from the massive tent that held the plenary sessions, and gave them an opportunity to "take action" on any decisions they were making in response to what they had just heard - to not be victims and take their identity from the enemy, their brokenness, or even their peer-group, but rather, to take off their grave clothes and take their identity from a loving God and what His thoughts are toward us. And to allow Him to lead us on journey out of victimhood and spiritual bondage, to spiritual freedom and the ability to be "more than a conquerer" over circumstances, heritage, childhood, and tragedy.
And in that regard, it is our responsibility to "own" whatever part of our brokenness we contributed to - either a poor response, or maybe even coming into agreement with the lies of the enemy - and to "go first" by doing all we can to make it right - before God and with man. That night in Aidlingen, hundreds of young people responded, and we'll put up a few more awesome stories of transformation over the next few days…