Students from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, and Sweden met together at the Riga Technical University in Latvia for the Nordic Movement Builders Conference from February 27 - March 2, 2014. Key student leaders who are interested in launching an Agape movement at their universities strengthened their faith, captured new vision, and received training, tools and encouragement. The Nordic Movement Builders Conference takes place annually, always in a different country. This year the event was held in Latvia at the Riga Technical University (RTU). The theme was “+ or X”.
The challenge of addition or multiplication made participants really think about their goals in helping start a student group on their campus. Each day started with worship and prayer.
Already when the conference began on Thursday evening, we knew that it would be a special time. On Friday, students split into small groups and went to other universities in Riga to talk with local students about life and God. Eva, a Latvian student leader trained us to use “Refleksijas” (Reflections), an outreach tool that uses pictures to start conversations about life-topics. On Friday evening, after a day on campus, students enthusiastically shared encouraging stories about their interactions on campus using the new tool.
After the conference, students went home inspired to start or continue their adventure with the Lord and their involvement in building an Agape student movement at their university. Maybe some of them will join us at next year’s Nordic Movement Builders Conference. We look forward to seeing them again – with other student leaders from their local movements. For more updates on next year’s conference venue as well as pictures and stories from previous events – check the Facebook page.
Read what participants say about the School of Movement Builders experience and impact:
The School of Movement Builders gave me understanding about the importance of prayer.
After the first conference in Vilnius, I was trying to improve my prayer life, but because of my thinking that most of the things in ministry will run because of my efforts, I couldn't improve much. I was going the same road, until the second conference in Freiburg.
Visiting that place and being among those students who started from very few and with much of prayer, and seeing how many of them eventually were involved in the Agape movement, how passionate they were to pray for their city and university - that encouraged me to start really pray.
I really started to realize and see, that it's not mine, but God's work to build a movements in Lithuania and all across the world.
Because of the School of Movement Builders I now have a much greater vision for finding and developing student leaders in order to see our movements grow.
Thanks to the training I received at the School, I was able to effectively challenge a student to be the President of our society next year- presenting him with a big vision as well as specific student and staff roles and responsibilities. He responded with enthusiasm to this challenge (one that previously I might have thought too big) and has gone on to share with with other students the vision of reaching their campus and challenging them to be leaders with him. I can't wait to see what God does through them next year!
The School of Movement Builders has helped to build movements in Malaga: Firstly, for us it was really a blessing that we were able to do this training as whole (though small :)) campus team. This training helped us all to be on the same page in where we going and how we are building movements on campus. Coaching for our team helped to analyze where we are, how to change things and also it was a good time in sharing our doubts or asking questions, see problems that we have not realized before.
For me personally, God has worked in two ways. First, I again understood the need of initiative evangelism. When I came to Spain, I heard a lot around me that this type of evangelism would not function well in Spain. Everyone said that it is better done through cultivating relationships and in less direct ways (which is also a good thing and should be a part of ministry). Talking to people in the School, hearing examples from countries about the initiative evangelism they do, and these countries are pretty similar to Spain, I realised the importance of initiative evangelism and that it should be an important part in ministry, even in Spain.
I am convinced and determined to train my team and students more on how to do initiative evangelism and practice that. And secondly, for me it was very good to hear again and to get deeper knowledge about the importance of finding student leaders and giving them a challenge of being one as soon as possible.
After having gone through the School I feel that much more equipped to trust the Lord in seeing STUDENTS lead the movement instead of staff. Even though it seems as if we are a long way off from this in Italy, the training I received has set me up well in doing my part to trust God for student-led movements in Rome. It's also given me a greater vision for the whole of Europe, knowing that I now have friends/brothers and sisters who are fighting for the same amazing thing! Thanks to our instructor, Paul!
The School of Movement Builders was such an encouraging time. Especially the time in Freiburg gave me a picture of what student-led movements can look like. This experience gave me courage and hope for our ministry in Salzburg. The School helped me to keep the focus on student-led. And also I am now more courageous, to challenge Christian students to be part of our movement, and to take ownership. The School strengthened my identity, that we are a worldwide movement, not only our small group in Salzburg.
And a network among all of us was built, that will help us in future through encouraging each other, hearing about new ideas, materials, and also outreaches. So THANK YOU very much to all, who made this experience for us possible!!
What I've taken from the School of Movement Builders is that I wish that I could become a student again. Because I wish I could be empowered in the vision we learned and put it into practice right away ! And as a new intern, I also learned all the basics of a student-led ministry and I pray to see God use us to empower the student to build a movement on their campus. That is exciting !
"The Grand Plan for the School of Movement Builders:
These objectives where met and surpassed! The three experiences addressed during the school where:
The major themes that I noticed in particular from this school was the impact that the phrase “shoe –leather” i.e. you need to spend 60+ hours on campus for the initial few weeks of term time and the importance of spending time and doing evangelism in the company of students. At the third experience in Rome we spent over 2 hrs. presenting evangelism strategies that are producing fruit, this best practice sharing will undoubtedly result more fruit.
The role of prayer in movement building was particularly impacting-most of the participants found the school in Freiburg inspiring as they experienced students very committed to praying together for God to move.
The school also had a stronger than usual community spirit, [ they definitely have a strong sense of the family of Agape Europe] they were the biggest school but had the strongest bond together, this was evidenced by the spontaneous collection to pay for one student’s 250€ parking fine [raising more than fine!]. Twenty-six participants finished the course covering over 30 campuses and representing 12 different countries."
Caradonna helped me put into words the process I was experiencing with God. Because we write a message on our bodies, it must be short and impactful. Caradonna helped me find words to convey my experience and encourage others through my message.
"Europe needs more Jesus." - Christian Pichler, speaker at Revive Europe.
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A Return to What Matters