Many things caught my attention on March 9, 2013 at the fluid gathering, but nothing as profoundly as a thousand young adults whose lungs expanded with praise to God. The day revolved around the theme of “Tension” and was a feast for the soul.
Bestselling author Donald Miller kicked off the day illustrating the tensions in the story of Joseph and how God redeems all the pain in our lives. With real life stories he emphatically pointed out that God wants us to have a life of meaning, not comfort. In the following session, when Sunder Krishnan, senior pastor of Rexdale Alliance Church gave a convicting talk addressing the topic of pride from Daniel 4, I jotted down notes like a scribe. He reminded everyone that ultimately the only way of breaking the power of pride, the undue love of self, is falling in love with something much greater, namely God.
Later that day, Bruxy Cavey challenged everyone with a gut wrenching question based on Daniel 5, “If God’s hand showed up at your house and wrote on the wall what would he write?” followed by a call to repentance. Eugene Cho, the founding pastor of Quest church and founder of One Day’s Wages, came to the stage in the final session sending the audience in a hysterical laughter with his introductory story of how he convinced his wife to name his youngest son ‘Jedi.’ Using Daniel 6, some of the things he urged everyone to do was to water the grass they were standing on when the grass appeared greener on the other side and to grow deeper in character with God.
There were also other surprises throughout the day that kept the creative juice flowing. Matt Collins kept us informed about the events of the day with his celebrated sense of humor. Ins Choi and Esie Mensah mesmerized us with their incredible talent. DJ Young Legend, Colin Owen and Tim Neufeld set our feet to dance and our hearts to sing. Kaarina Hsieh, Kevin Livingstone and James Beverley engaged us in great candid conversations. Cyril Guerette and friends from Free Church used their artistic reputation to create a reflective space for the attendees. Jonathan and Jean Hong, with Ira Carty provided a safe place for people who needed prayer. Needless to say, as one of the organizers of the fluid gathering, I not only took it all in, but also stood in awe as the day unfolded one session at a time.
At the end of the day one could see emotions stirred, minds stretched, knowledge learnt, prayers raised, stories shared, friendships made and conviction burning in everyone gathered. Not wanting this to be just another event that was attended and long forgotten, we lifted our voices as one in prayer asking God that we would be a generation that worships Jesus unashamedly and whose roots go deeper and whose influence extends farther than we could ask or imagine.
Although I can only imagine what it would be like for all the young adults gathered to passionately and purposefully live lives despite the tension they experience, I am confident that our God who started this great work in us will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Samuel Williams is co-founder & content director at Fluid. He is also the teaching pastor at Avenue Community Church in Toronto, Canada.