Let me tell you a story.
The 25th-26th October was the third annual TAG Conference, my first experience of TAG and I hope it will not be my last. It was absolutely brilliant.
Me and three young people who come to some of the youth groups at church went to Tiverton in Devon for two days of teaching, fun, worship and much more.
‘TAG’ stands for ‘Transform A Generation’.
As a youth worker, my heart wants to see young people transformed.
As a SWYM trainee, I am being transformed.
Do not be conformed by the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Transformation is a process. Like a seed that is planted, it takes much watering, sunlight and nutrients to grow and flourish before it becomes all that it was made to be. It may even need to be pruned and cut to be fully transformed into all its fullness.
In a similar way, we may start off as a seed that is planted under the ground. Nobody can see the seed once it’s planted. Our heart is like that seed. Nobody can see the state of our heart but God.
However, our hearts can be watered by the very words of God as He ministers to us through the bible, through prayer and through the faith-filled words of others. As our heart is watered, it begins to sprout out and burst into the light. We begin to be filled with hope as we receive the light and warmth of God’s love for us.
The pruning and cutting may be painful in our own lives, but as we walk with God through it, we become even more steadfast as we can feel the hand of God, the Gardener of our heart.
It’s important to not forget one crucial element in this transformation: time.
Transformation takes time. If we allow ourselves to let God work on our heart, we will continue to be transformed for the rest of our lives as He speaks to us. We will become like one of those trees with a thick trunk, solid roots that dig deep into the soil and heavy outstretched branches that reach out in adoration to the Creator. This kind of tree would have stood for hundreds and hundreds of years. I can only hope in my own life that my I will be rooted and built up in God, established in the faith (Colossians 2:7).
What an amazing couple of days I have had at TAG and I will do my best to be there next year, hopefully with even more people coming along who are keen to encounter Jesus and experience the life-changing transformation found in Him.
Many stories finish with ‘The End’, but I know that with Jesus, this story is only the beginning.
Here is a beautiful song by Joe Hardy who led some of the worship at TAG this year – check out his music: