3GENERATE Children & Youth Assembly…24th – 26th November 2017
A bitterly cold November weekend saw a six piece unit from IDMC heading to the northwesterly shores of England to engage in their third year of 3Generate, the Methodist Church’s annual nationwide assembly of over 1000 children and youth ranging from ages 8 to 23 with the theme for this year being #wonderfully prophetic
A Friday evening departure from north London was at approximately 5pm, taking John and the team around 4 hours to drive to the chillier climes of Southport brrrrrr!
Upon arrival the team registered, checked in and were assigned to their chalets (which were in the not so palatial grounds of Pontins holiday park), put the heating on, have a quick freshen up and then begin the evening set at 10pm with the gospel choir big sing a la IDMC!
Hosted by the lovely Sanya Strachan of the Methodist Church, the kids were eager, hyped, and ready for IDMC to take to the stage in ‘Lunars’ and it is safe to say that their anticipation was satisfied with John on keys and Courtney Hoillett III on drums, the team plowed into an hour long set of gospel and worship songs including God is good, Let there be Love and the Hezekiah Walker classic – Every Praise. Session one checked!
Exhausted but in good spirits the team grabbed a quick snack and headed to their lodgings for the night in preparation for the 9am worship session tomorrow morning.
Saturday morning was worship time for all ages in the ‘Fun Factory’ the main stage for contributors and acts. In a similar vein to the evening before, John and the team stirred the hearts of worshippers young and old with a half hour set of songs, setting the tone for the rest of the day.
With some freetime on their hands, what better way to clear out the cobwebs than with a morning walk along the blustery shores of Ainsdale beach, taking in the stunning scenery of the sand dunes and serenity of the long and wide expanse of beach and also time to fit in a quick promo for the upcoming Christmas 2017 gig at the Hideaway!
Moving into the afternoon saw John leading a workhop session in the marquee aptly titled by the church as ‘Agents of Change’. John taught the Kirk Franklin classic ‘I Smile’ to a full marquee of talented children and young adults who verse by verse, caught onto the song very quickly and were soon confident in singing the whole thing unaided!
Once the workshop had concluded John treated the team to lunch in a local cafe in town and with bellies full (really, really full, amazing portions Southport whoop whoop!) headed back to camp to catch some of the other activities taking place and to prepare for the final session of the day – Gospel Singing Together in the Lunars stage.
Here John got the kids to showcase ‘I Smile’ which they had learned earlier on in the day and get everyone on board with a gospel style of worship, inviting the presence of God in with the well known IDMC song ‘In Your Presence’ as well as many others.
With the whole weekend now winding down, Sunday saw John & co. head to Lunars to take to the stage for the final time for one more worship session.
With the emphasis on the theme #wonderfully prophetic it was quite apt to include in the final session for the day the IDMC classic ‘A Still Small Voice’ onto the setlist tuning into the focus of the weekend that being hearing from God.
The worship provided by IDMC was intertwined with videos from 3Voice, scripture, testimonies and prayer. It was an amazing time seeing young people worship and their hunger for more of God, a truly humbling time.
Much as quiet time is appreciated, its good to know that God loves a hard praiser and to draw the night to an end John pulled out the big soul funk number ‘Soul Food’ which had everyone on their feet praising and dancing to the impromptu dance routine that John whipped up!
The team packed up and headed back south to London (to warmer temperatures praise God!) from what had been another memorable and blessed weekend away at 3Generate.