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David Shep speaking at this year’s Heartbeat conference at Newlife Uniting Church in Robina. Photo: Supplied

Checking the Heartbeat of the church

What started as a conference four years ago is now a movement for young people to carry God’s heartbeat into their homes, churches, schools and social environment. Ben Tupou reports on the Heartbeat conference at Newlife Uniting Church in Robina.

This year’s conference saw over 210 young people from across Brisbane, Gold Coast and as far as Darwin, come together for a day of worship, electives and fun activities.

Five electives challenged young people as they explored topics such as “Revolutionary life—How to keep the heartbeat alive every day” to “Revolutionary leadership—how to grow as a young leader to influence both the older and younger generations”.

Va Tuilovoni—Kangaroo Point Uniting Church and part of the Next Gen Arise worship team—was quick to sing Heartbeat’s praises: “I came with an expectant heart that God was doing something new and big for the young people there, I was taken aback by their response to worship through their energy, excitement and openness to a new style of worship.

“I experienced the heaviness of the presence of the Holy Spirit, which was overwhelming but beautiful … I was in awe of how God was drawing these young people closer to his heart.”

Va says that her Heartbeat experience had sparked an impulse for action.

“I came back with a motivation and a drive to help build and encourage our young people to recognise this pull that God has on their lives and that the young people of this generation have God’s authority to be powerful and ultimately become agents of truth and of change.”

For Newlife’s Young Adult pastor Michael Hands, the excitement of the faith rests at the heart of the gathering.

“The kingdom of God is the most exciting, compelling revolution in history,” said Michael. “We have to be careful we don’t make following Jesus too safe for young people, or sanitised when it was always meant to be an adventure of faith.

“The most powerful weapon you have against the darkness is your relationship with God.”

When asked about Heartbeat’s future, Michael said, “At the moment we are praying about what Heartbeat 2018 looks like. We have already begun planning and thinking about it.

“Ultimately, we want to empower the next generation to lead for the good of this world and the glory of God, but we want to make sure we do it in obedience to where God is leading. So stay tuned!”

For more information and to check out some of the recorded sessions in the coming weeks visit heartbeatconference.com

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