From the Revolution + One conference in 1970 to the Jubilee Conference of today, from churches to college campuses, the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) has ministered to millions of college students. Not only does the CCO want to introduce students to Jesus Christ, but it also seeks to help them understand how their Christian faith should inform the way they study, play, work and live out every facet of life.
More than 70 Geneva students recently made the trek to nearby Pittsburgh for the CCO’s Jubilee Conference, joining with thousands of college students to learn how their faith is integral to all parts of their life. Sophomore English major Adelaide Green was one of them. As you interact with students in your church and communities, may you be encouraged by her story:
I joined the cluster of people walking up the long staircase to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and I could hear the roar of music and feel its vibrations through the walls. Last year, during my first Jubilee Conference, I was confused by this introduction. I thought, “What kind of conference could this be? Aren’t we just going to a bunch of lectures about the Bible? How crazy could that be?” Well, this time around I was prepared. This time I knew that this was not just a conference; this was an experience. When you go to Jubilee, whether you are willing or not, aware or not, you enter into a conversation about an epic story. This story runs in many directions, takes us up and down, goes on for many, many chapters, and always ends with hope. This is God’s story. And the purpose of Jubilee is to kick-start a college student’s journey within this grand story.
I turned the corner and it hit: music blaring and 3,000 college students filling the auditorium. There is a sense of awe that came over me when I took in this scene. It’s a simple point, but this conference was a wonderful opportunity to see, to listen to, and to be encouraged by so many Christians. Just image being in the midst of so many vibrant college students who are also trying to figure out what it means to be a Christ-follower, as well as a uniquely-made individual and leader. We all came from different places, cultures and backgrounds, and we all had different expectations and questions about our faith. But for this weekend, for this moment in time, we gathered together as a mass of spirited and curious young people to worship one great God, to hash out the call He has placed on our lives and, most importantly, to learn from some very wise and experienced people.
During my first Jubilee experience, I was overwhelmed by all of the music, booths, people and opportunities. But I learned that it was when I felt most insignificant—like a speck in the masses—that God encouraged me. He used Jubilee to help me engage in His redemptive story even though I had no idea where to start. And that is my favorite thing about Jubilee. To borrow Jubilee’s slogans, “Everything matters” and God calls us to “Transform Everything.” He cares about every sphere of life! And He has given me specific talents and skills so that I can help seize and redeem distorted spheres of life for His glory. So Jubilee is, as I hope you can see, a life-changing conference. I like to think of the conference as a catalyst—a spark for us young people. It helped me to ask and answer some pressing questions about faith. And it introduced me to a larger community, conversation and story that empowers and defines my life here and now.