The gospel was preached and Jesus’ name lifted high in song in the centre of Albury on Friday night.
More than 1000 young people crowded the public square in the town on the border of NSW and Victoria to hear one of the world’s top worship bands, Planetshakers, supported by talented local acts including Anna Leeworthy, Mayfair Lane, Dylan Turner, Rachel and Co, and Brydee Smith.
Many people were moved to tears by the gospel message of hope by Brisbane-based Ravi Zaccharias evangelist Dan Paterson.
Called One Night, the celebration attracted young Christians from near and far from all denominations, even members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, as well as about 100 people who had not attended a Christian event before. Some of the 80 youth groups represented drove for hours in buses to reach the event, and slept in local churches overnight.
“It was fantastic to see God bring all the churches together into the main square of Albury. We had over a thousand people gather, many of whom did not know Jesus,” said Jeremy Elias from Albury Presbyterian Church. “One Night was a great event loudly proclaiming the risen lord Jesus Christ and how he makes all things new.”
“It was such an empowering and historical event to be a part of.” – Clinton A.
The event was staged as part of Bible Society Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations and was made possible by funds raised by the town of Albury/Wodonga.
Clinton A from Shepparton in Victoria commented that the partnership between Bible Society and Planetshakers youth band showed the way forward for youth engagement. Since forming in Melbourne in 1997, Planetshakers has released 20 albums. It has grown to have two teams travelling the globe with the aim of seeing generations worldwide unite together to worship God.
“It was such an empowering and historical event to be a part of,” Clinton said.
“Dan Paterson was also excellent and I saw youth around me crying from the message he shared.”
Dan Leeworthy from Gateway Life Church near Albury commented that in his seven years of youth ministry he had never seen a bigger or more complete demonstration of the church being one. He said the event had “changed and equipped youth from all around the country to see what can be done when we work together.”
“The partnership between Bible Society and Planetshakers youth band showed the way forward for youth engagement.” Clinton A
Emily Ellis from Wodonga Baptist said it was a powerful experience being “able to worship Jesus and see the gospel preached in the heart of our city, united with other youth ministries from all different places and denominations.”
A parent from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church complimented Bible Society COO Melissa Lipsett on her talk about the importance of the work Bible Society does.
“Young people are the future of the church and an area we all invest heavily in. I recently read that over 90 per cent of Christians become Christians in their youth and today I believe we saw Bible Society find a way to engage youth in a way that has never been done before,” the parent said.
A member of an Anglican church said Bible Society, Planetshakers, and Dan Paterson had shown the way to engage with youth – “that troubling concept that churches around the country continue to struggle with. Unity between these three has resulted in unity of the churches under the Bible. Yes, we may not agree with each other on everything in the Bible, but we do all agree on one thing – that is that the Bible is important.”
Even the security guard was impressed: “I am not a Christian but there are two ways to live – this way, with young people jumping for Jesus and celebrating the Bible, or the young people I see in nightclubs each week.”
Some prayer points to help
Please pray that more young people will discover the joy of living God’s way through the saving power of the Lord Jesus.