The Southeastern California Conference (SECC) Youth Ministries Department hosted a one-day leadership convention at the Loma Linda University church on October 30, 2022. The youth ministries department had worked tirelessly on a weekend leadership convention to be held earlier in October, but the Hemet fire changed their plans. With much thought and prayer, the youth directors decided to cancel that gathering. Even though this was the right decision to make, there was a bit of disappointment. The youth team still wanted to put on a convention, so this one-day leadership event was born.
Attendees from all over the state checked in at the registration table, received their badges, and walked into the auditorium ready for the first general session. Worship team members, Jo and Laia Amaya, led the attendees in praise and worship. SECC Youth Director Aren Rennacker delivered the first general session address. Attendees had time to share what they took away from the first address. One attendee shared that she had desperately wanted to attend the convention and prayed for the dates to get changed. She was only able to attend because the earlier one had been canceled.
Throughout the day, attendees were able to attend breakout sessions to attain new skills for their ministries. Mark Ricalde, Calimesa associate pastor and breakout presenter, shared tips on how to have proper organizational skills in ministry. He showed attendees different planning apps and tools. Ricalde shared, “It was inspiring to see the people who are interested in our children and youth come from all backgrounds and ages. I personally learned about scaling up my youth ministry teams from Pastor Jo Cordero!”
After the breakout sessions, everyone gathered for one last inspiring message from Meshach Soli, SECC Associate Youth Director of Club Ministries, who reminded leaders to continue to pass the baton to the youth, the future of our church. The convention ended with an anointing service for the youth leaders across the conference. This convention was a learning experience for many leaders, and it ignited hope to see people still passionately serving our church’s young people.
By Alexy Montenegro