Sanjeev Manaktala
Wow... just wow. Newday 2022 was amazing!

How we’ve missed Newday, a Christian youth festival! There have been a few changes to the event since last time we took our young people to the Norfolk showground in 2019, but the heart to see young people meeting with Jesus and learning of His Great Glory was ever present. This year the words Regrounding, Recalibrating and Releasing were on my mind – and God delivered that and more; we saw hundreds of young people make first time commitments and receive healing, thousands of young people recommit and the fire for kingdom mission rekindled.

The effects were felt throughout our New Ground family. Ruby Head from East End said, “East End Youth had an amazing time at Newday, with most of them being first timers! One special highlight we had was on healing night where several of our young people were praying for a guy in a wheelchair and he got up and started walking! They were all buzzing and many have never even heard of anything like that! They are not likely to forget that fast!” Luke Stevens from The Kings’ Church Mid Sussex said, “I entered with trepidation and a bit of cynicism (because of the changes) but left in awe of how good God is to us.”

Dan Glover from Kings 1066 in Hastings said, “We had a number of young people give their lives to Jesus for the first time during Newday. This is exciting! One other thing which I am really excited about is we had a number of young people want to get baptised in water which has caused us as a Church to put on some 'emergency' baptisms to get them in sooner rather than later.” Katy, also from Kings 1066, said, “We had a handful of youth recommit their lives to Jesus! We had a couple of people healed from blocked ears and noses and potentially someone healed from Asthma (still waiting for doctor confirmation). The main thing we loved is that we had deepened discipleship times and found our youth really wanting to grow in God and journey with Him beyond Newday!”

Wow. Just wow.

The key question is, what next? Do we wait for next year, hoping that the engine will still have some fuel in it? Do we leave our youth leaders to get our local youth to focus on the event to come? The obvious answer is of course not! Newday should never be considered as the core discipleship event nor the “place that we meet with Jesus”. The manure scent proves that the Norfolk Showground is not holy ground, yet isn’t it glorious when expectations increase and “one generation commends your works to another, and declares your mighty acts”? (Psalm 145:4). Newday is a catalytic refuelling that pumps great energy into the furnace which must be stoked daily by local youth leaders, and more importantly, the local church!

We want to daily “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in them through the laying on of our hands” (2 Timothy 1:6) and encourage our local youth to be captivated by the mission and relational heart of the local church. We need to give space for our young people to be filled by the Holy Spirit, to be disciples, learn how to serve, grow, lead, make mistakes and develop as part of the local church family. Newday comes and goes, but the desire and steps to grow the next generation must be driven by the local church. Certainly a challenge, but one I want to take on – how about you?