Uprising Conference 2014

Rise, Revolt, Reach! That was the message at Saturday’s Uprising Conference at Harvest Orange County. With a focus to equip the church and evangelize the lost, Uprising 2014 drew hundreds of youth. The band Citizens rocked the house, and Pastors Jason Powell, Greg Laurie, and Steve Wilburn spoke words to encourage, equip, and ignite.

“The world needs Jesus. Anarchy is in the air. We need to rise up, and raise the white flag of Jesus.” Focusing on Hebrews 12, Pastor Jason Powell pointed out the importance of running the race to win. The lives of the heroes outlined in Hebrews 11 should inspire us to run the race hard—to go big for Christ. You can’t be an effective evangelist if you’re not living the gospel. Godly living, coupled with sharing the gospel, is what the world is waiting for.

A runner has to prepare his body for the race with clean consumption. So must we prepare to run the race and share the good news of Jesus Christ by first preparing ourselves through living the gospel. Sin for a Christian is like a runner getting a cramp in the middle of the race. We need to stay finish-line focused. The Christian life isn’t easy, so when you hit the wall, remember: stay strong, don’t give up, don’t give in, dig deep, and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.

Pastor Greg Laurie brought us to the brass tacks of evangelism. We are not called to isolate, but to infiltrate. Believers are uptight about evangelizing, and unbelievers are uptight about being evangelized. But evangelism isn’t an option for followers of Jesus Christ. People are on their way to hell. We have a world on fire and we need to get our buckets out, and help put out the fire with the love and light of Jesus. We should follow Jesus’ example and evangelize “Jesus style.” Our objective is to be a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.

Evangelism starts with a burden; we need to go to whosoever, wherever, and whenever. But we need to use tact—to make our point without making enemies. Evangelism is a dialogue, not a monologue. We must adapt to the situation. We can’t deal with every person the same way. When we’re sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ we should stay on point and stay focused so we don’t go down rabbit trails. We can tell our story, share our testimony, but we should be careful not to glorify our past.

The worst that can happen to us here is America is that we might experience a little rejection, but it’s nothing compared to what Christians like Saaed Abedini have endured. He’s in a prison in Iran for sharing his faith and many others have died for sharing the gospel.

Pastor Steve Wilburn encouraged Uprising attendees to be “the real you” and pointed to Timothy who was fearless, shameless, and relentless. So we, too, shouldn’t be ashamed of the gospel or intimidated. We should rely on the power of God to do the saving (see Ephesians 3:20). You’ll never be an eyewitness to the saving power of the Holy Spirit if you never step out and share the good news of Jesus Christ. When Pastor Steve offered to pray for those who desired a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, nearly every single person in attendance stood. It was awesome!

God is working in power in raising up a generation of believers—a generation called for such a time as this: a time when the return of Jesus is near, and hell is waiting for those without Jesus.