Alumni Events

Welcome to NatCon18

Emily Hayes May 21, 2018
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Welcoming cheers sounded across campus as hundreds of TeenPacters gathered at Lee University for National Convention. The joyful shouts mixed with a few nervous laughs and shy smiles filled the air as first time students checked-in alongside seasoned NatCon alumni. It seemed as if everyone had been waiting for this moment for months and now that it had finally arrived, all the happiness stored up inside couldn’t help but overflow. This contagious excitement spread as friends reunited with hugs and stories of the last few months before catching a glimpse of another friend and rushing on to say another hello.




With cool summer breezes carrying the sounds of conversations throughout the afternoon, students, staff, and parents drifted into the shady spaces of coffeehouse to play games, make new friends, and catch up with old ones. In the dorms, laughter could be heard as students swapped stories over half-unpacked suitcases.





As the brilliant sunshine slowly faded, the anticipation surrounding our first evening session mounted as the crowd of students inside the Conn Center grew. In just a few moments, all would be worshipping together – celebrating the faithfulness of the God who was weaving our lives together for a week of National Convention.



While the last few students trickled in to find their seats, the volume inside the Conn Center rose as the ten second countdown began its march towards zero. The auditorium erupted into enthusiastic shouts and applause and then almost as suddenly as it had begun, all went dark and silent. Every eye was fixed to the stage waiting, longing to know what was coming. The moment came and a bright light filled every corner of the dark auditorium as a voice shared the heart of NatCon18. Eager yet longing, the searching words are followed by ones of awakening. “I’ve been seeking, but I need to be found.”



The theme of the National Convention 2018 comes in the response to last year’s theme – if seeking is our calling, being found is where we should rest. Scripture clearly shows the lost are rescued, rebels are forgiven, the broken are healed, the displaced are kept and the empty are filled. The good Shepherd will find His sheep. Hands rose as students, parents, and staff poured out their hearts in worship before God. Peace and hope filled faces as voices joined together singing, “Holy, there is no one like You.”




As the music faded, TeenPact’s Vice President, Quinton Cools, shared the vision for our week together at National Convention.  Last year introduced us to the motion of our relationship with God. This year, introduces us to the foundation of our relationship with God – we are found. Like the lost sheep and Shepherd in John 10, God comes for us. He rescues, forgives, heals, keeps, and fills us. He holds us close and sends us out.




With the night drawing to a close, President Alex Hale and Vice President Zach McCue shared their State of the Nation Addresses with the NatCon18 audience. After serving the TeenPact Nation faithfully over the last year, this is one of their last responsibilities before new officials are elected later this week. Boldly, they reminded us that our identity is not found in positions of leadership or in titles that hold power, but rather our identity is found in Christ. He is the One that enables us to be children of light in a dark and lost world.



As the coming week stretches out before each person at National Convention, the heart behind National Convention is clear – “Show us Your glory. In wonder and surrender we fall down. Let every burning heart be holy ground…Chains Fall, Fear Bow. Lives Healed, Hope Found. Here. Now. Jesus you change everything.”





About the Author

Emily Hayes

Emily Hayes hails from the great state of Mississippi and is our storyteller for National Convention 2018. Read More