Jessie Reyes went to an event called Salt Conference a few months ago where Salt Company college ministries gather from across the country to worship, learn more about God, and hear different topics in breakouts. She helps lead a City Group at Salt Company and attending the Salt Conference was all about God’s mercy and love for her. She came into the conference after a week of not really pursuing God and feeling a little out of sync with others there. On Saturday night, a sermon convicted her of that feeling. She remembers the speaker saying something about questioning why you’re at the conference, especially when you’re watching other people connect with God and the lie that it doesn’t feel like something you can experience right now. He went on to say that God is near to the outcasts and that was really encouraging for Jessie. Jessie felt like an outcast. God used this message to help change how Jessie worships God. It reminded her of something she had learned throughout her college experience: God’s mercy is abundant.
One of Jessie’s favorite parts of the weekend was that same night during worship. No one wanted to leave but just wanted to keep singing. She called it “a little piece of heaven to see students from all over that just want to keep worshiping God”. The weekend also allowed her to grow closer with the other girls in her City Group. Sitting together and spending the whole day together changed their dynamic and strengthened their community. Sometimes the mundane, like getting meals, helps bring people closer. And while she is no longer in college, she felt encouraged to love people more boldly while she’s teaching.
Emily Laurie, a senior in college, also attended the conference and said that one of her favorite parts of the weekend was worship. She especially liked “being able to look out and see over 4,000 students worshiping and praising Jesus and making the decision to be there that weekend.” For Emily, the act of worshiping God in such a large group had a big impact on her view of confession. One worship song at the conference called “Spirit of God” by Canyon Hills Worship starts by saying “We pray for revival / We start on our knees.” While kneeling and singing this song, Emily was moved to surrender before the Lord and give God everything that was going on in her mind.
Another part of the song says, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is / There is freedom”. These lines stirred Emily’s heart because of the sin that was weighing heavily on her that weekend, and God used the lyrics to remind her that there is freedom in the Lord from that sin. This allowed Emily to not only recognize her sin, but dig into it, and confess it to other believers. She was able to see that she is not alone in her sin and that God wants her to come to Him with her struggles and her sin. She left the conference with a clearer understanding of confession and the confidence to reach out to people about it.
It’s amazing to see that God can use the same weekend and even the same part of the weekend to change people in different ways. God meets people where they are and works through them, including Jesse and Emily.