TeenStreet 2019 in Offenburg, Germany opened and finished as a large-scale, group effort: 3,604 people in total, 2,020 participants (teens); 47 nationalities, 22 registered countries and 17 languages being translated during the main hall sessions (two on stage, 15 off stage).
Each day, Rich, Ron, Rachel and Cecil took us through godly characteristics found in Proverbs. While many people may know Proverbs 3:5-6 by heart, the speakers broke down this verse into applicable concepts. One element incorporated into Main Hall was the ‘Inspired Café,’ a cozy place set up on the side of the main stage to allow various individuals to share their stories via an interview with one of the key speakers.
Thoughts from each day
Day 1: Wisdom—godly vs. human
“It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be old in order to be wise. It just means you know the Lord’s Word, and that you follow the Lord’s Word.” – Lois (17, Belgium)
“One thing that I learnt is that wisdom is also taking what you know and applying it to your daily life, with God in your mind always. That’s the thing I’m going to remember.” – Thyisha (17, Belgium)
Day 2: Trust—being aware that God loves us
“I learnt that love is the foundation for trusting someone. In order to trust someone, you need love too. I haven’t thought of that aspect before. I used to think that people have to prove to me that they can be trusted, but it’s not about that. It’s about love.” – Møyfrid (17, Sweden)
Day 3: Influence—guarding our hearts (boys and girls separate sessions)
“It was an encouraging message for young women. Jesus did not condemn the woman at the well. He simply brought out the facts, and ushered the woman toward who she really was.” – Melissa (18, Finland)
“Rich told us that we need to guard our heart because your heart is your source of life. If you lose your heart, it's hard to come back to life. He also told us that if you have a bad heart then it isn't worth protecting; you need a relationship with God to protect that heart and to protect yourself.” – Jan (15, Netherlands)
Day 4: Involve—we are being sent out to have an impact
“I definitely think I should look into the missions trips side of things more. There are some people I know who do homeless outreach, so maybe I can see if I can help them. There is kind of a boundary there because I’m not 18 yet, but I definitely want to do a missions trip.” – Victoria (16, Ireland)
“[The outreach] was very fun. Sometimes it was a bit hard because people were surprised and we had to explain why we were giving them the flowers. Sometimes people went away and ignored us because they thought the roses cost something. But we met a girl, and she was happy about the flowers.” – Sophie (13, Germany)
Day 5: Power—our words can have an impact
“We have to be careful and not underestimate the power of our words because not only can they bring joy and peace and encouragement, but they can hurt someone. That had the most impact on me this morning.” Ismini (16, Greece)
“If we didn’t have the positive power of words, I couldn’t keep going in my life. When I am with my family and we pray–it is big for me. Because when you pray, you feel like you are surrounded by God’s power. It gives me strength.” Angelina (17, Greece)
Day 6: Focus—seeing life situation from God’s perspective
“The Bible helps me keep focused. I use reading plans to study the Bible. People sharing their stories about their life during NET group has inspired me the most.” – Yanniki (17, Germany)
Participants spend time in small groups to process what they heard during the Main Hall. “The Big Adventure” portion is a time of personal reflection and application. Teens are encouraged to talk to God, read additional Bible passages and find a takeaway/application point. They discuss their thoughts with their group and learn from each other’s experiences.
Mid-week, the annual Raise and Give (RAG) race filled the afternoon with runners and supporters raising money for refugees in Greece, Italy and Serbia. On the day (thankfully cooler than previous years), over 1,200 runners, united by one goal, ran laps for two hours and raised 85,453 euros (approximately $95,674 USD)!
The Art Zone is also a popular place for people who worship in creative ways. In the Main Hall, the Art Zone includes instructions for what to do. Words were written on the outer walls, and pictures were drawn on the inner walls. The team leader of the Art Zone, Saskia, shared her story in the Inspired Café one morning.
The hope is that everyone was inspired by our incredible God this week. TeenStreet is a safe environment full of messages, activities and discussions designed to help teens strengthen their personal relationship with God, or to lead them to salvation for the first time. Everyone experiences TS in their own way. They take home different memories, different lessons; but usually, everyone leaves with a renewed sense of knowledge of God.
“It's been great to see that I'm not alone with my faith but that there are other young Christians that I can share my faith with. And it's so neat that even though we come from so many different countries, we are all here for the same reason. We are not alone in our faith.” – Jenny (16, Finland)
“We've had really good discussions in our NET group about how words really do matter and we also shared a lot about situations in our own lives. I've also been inspired by the presence of people from so many countries, all of whom I can speak with openly. In Finland, people are quieter. It's been nice to notice how different cultures have different attributes to them.” – Johanna (16, Finland).
At a glance, TeenStreet Europe is a week-long camp that encourages and uplifts teens from around the world. By definition, TeenStreet is an international Christian congress for teenagers. We work with the Church to motivate, equip and walk alongside (Christian) teens from all across Europe to have a real friendship with Jesus and reflect Him daily in their world.
TeenStreet 2019 ended far too soon (we’re all sad that the time has gone so fast). Yet we all look forward to next year when we will gather again to worship our inspiring God. This is the Communications Department reminding you that God is always with you!
You called my name, then I ran out of that grave out of the darkness into Your glorious day. You called my name and I ran out of that grave out of the darkness into Your glorious day! – “Glorious Day” by Passion