Day 2 of NYC explores worship, holiness

Louisville, Kentucky

Bow, Session 3 of Nazarene Youth Conference, focused on worshipping God in the Spirit and in truth. 

NYC Pastor Mark Holcomb explained the Scripture reading shows how worship is not limited to a location.

“Worship is not necessarily everything we do, but it can be," he said. "Everything we do can be for the glory of God.”

Holcomb invited four NYC youth on stage to share their thoughts on worship.

“God has been challenging me to think beyond the big corporate worship," said Tanner Wells, a student from Florida. "You can worship in all areas of your life.”

Hawaii representative Annika said “Worship is about building relationships with other people; being intentional about Christ-centred relationships.”

Guest speaker Amena Brown continued the focus on worship by retelling the gospel story through spoken word and hip hop along with her husband, DJ Opdiggy.

Brown used an analogy of God as our DJ.

"If God is DJing, then God is controlling our life," she said. "God is taking all of your life — your failures, your successes, your crazy family, your friends — and mixing and mastering until He makes something beautiful: you!”

Brown's last poem encouraged students to bow to God. 

“Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We don’t need to wait to bow our knee; you can bow your knee to Jesus at any time. You don’t bow your knee for popularity, for riches or for people’s opinions, or stuff; you bow your knee for this everlasting God. If you’re going to give up your life for anything, give it up for God.”

Holcomb challenged participants to use their journals to reflect on the definition of worship and to draw images or write words describing ways to worship God.

Harbour closed with worship before groups headed to various locations throughout Louisville for their Ministry with Others projects.

Just as the morning service ended in worship, the evening service began with Harbour introducing the evening theme by leading students in"Holy, Holy, Holy."

Southwest Field Youth Coordinator Blair Spindle read the main verse from 1 Peter: “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy,” and Northwest Field Youth Coordinator Richard Vasquez led attendees in prayer.

Sand artist Joe Castillo used his creative storytelling to display the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, along with other New Testament scenes.

The evening speaker, Mark Buchanan, started his message by declaring “Christians are thirsty and desperate for holiness. You were created to house the glory — the very presence — of the living God.”

Buchanan contrasted two stories in Mark chapter seven. The Pharisees displayed religion in the marketplace through avoidance, which does not bring the Kingdom. In comparison, Jesus showed holiness through incarnation and presence, so much so that the people wanted to touch Him.

Christians are called to that same holiness.

"Jesus wants His Kingdom to come through ordinary people like you and me," Buchanan said. "‘Be holy, because I am holy’ is not a demand, but an identity. When we understand that Jesus lives within us, there is an abundance of Him overflowing. When we go out to the marketplace, the life in you flows into the world."

In closing Buchanan charged the participants to begin living out holiness.

“You are not vastly outnumbered," Buchanan said. "He who is within you is greater than he who is in the world. The battle awaits. What are you waiting for?”

Harbour returned with an extended time of worship, singing songs of holiness and leading the participants in the Prayer of Saint Francis while Castillo returned with his creative sand art.

Holcomb closed the session with the theme prayer: "Our father who art in heaven ..."

Tune in live to the next session at

More from NYC:

NYC opens with focus on image, Kingdom

Live streaming connects broader church to NYC

For conference photos, visit the NYC InstagramTwitter, and Facebook pages or search #nyc15lou. 

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