At Spring Harvest in 2014 we shared a vision for something new and exciting. Some of the money raised in the offering was to be poured into a gathering to reach and inspire what is sometimes called the ‘lost’ generation. We’re so grateful for your gifts that have made this dream a reality. Now the event is taking shape and we’re busting to tell you more about it. The Pursuit Gathering is gaining attention as a hotly anticipated and revolutionary gathering for young Christians in the UK.
The Pursuit Gathering aims to bring together a generation to focus on God, to pursue him in worship and be inspired for what he wants to do amongst their peers. It’s all about chasing after the presence of God together, in as many ways as we can, unbound by the usual constraints of time and the way things are ‘normally’ done. We pray that will ignite a bunch of people to be kingdom-bringers back home.
Q. Cris, tell us how the idea came about.
It’s an idea that has sprung out of dissatisfaction with how things are. Recent research shows that those in their twenties and thirties are now the least represented generation in church, and those that are Christians tend to make a home in non-traditional congregations. So The Pursuit is being designed as a non-traditional gathering. There’ll be a bicycle powered-busking stage, a storytelling café, a bring and take library, art and crafternoons, campfire worship… we want people to bring their paints, their instruments and voices. There will be a chance for people to connect with others and with their Creator in ways that work for them. The most important thing is that everyone gets involved. Worship isn’t a spectator sport, so we’re trying to create loads of opportunities, in fact make it a necessity, that everyone there brings something to the table. Maybe it’ll have an impact on how we do worship at home in our own communities.
Q. Rob, how different will it be from any Christian conference or festival?
Well firstly it’s going to run all through the night. A few churches have started up overnight prayer and worship sessions and seen the impact of that – we’ll be doing that for three nights running. Whether people pace themselves, burnout, or live on the energy of the Holy Spirit will remain to be seen! The main venue will be home to non-stop worship and prayer from Friday evening until Monday lunchtime and people can dip in and out as they wish. There might be silence, there might be music, there might be singing, everyone in the room will be able to contribute and lead others. We’ll set out with no agenda other than to encourage each other into the presence of God and meet with him. It’s an experiment, and those involved are excited to see what will happen. Then of course there’s all the other stuff that Cris has mentioned, plus short justice talks, coaching sessions, adventure activities on the site… and let’s not forget theological fight club! It’s going to be a blast.