There is something special about seeing 6000 students worshipping and praising the Lord. In a world that is flush with college and high school students fist pumping along with Jersey Shore and wishing they were 16 and Pregnant, it is nice to know that there are still a plethora of young men and women who are not ashamed to fist pump for Christ.
The Lynchburg, Virginia leg of this tour was held at Liberty University and on Friday morning Mark Driscoll spoke at convocation. The Vines Center, their basketball arena, was packed with students and teachers ready to learn about Christ. Now I’ve been to Christian Universities before and I have to say that Liberty was indeed different. Instead of plunging necklines and short shorts with Uggs the girls were dressed modestly and seemed more concerned about each other than themselves. While I’m not suggesting that this school is perfect, none are, there was really a feeling of friendship between students and a willingness to serve. It was a real blessing to see this firsthand and how Christ’s involvement in our lives shapes us to be more like him.
During the afternoon I had the pleasure to go to an early dinner with a girl named Kelsey, her friend Tia and our Food for the Hungry representative Ashlee. We popped over to Moe’s for a quick bite of mexican food and conversation. What I learned during that meal was that Liberty University has a great discipleship program. There are small groups that every student is in and the campus is chock full of student leaders who obviously lead those small groups – and those student leaders have leaders and it makes for this amazing trickle-down accountability and spiritual growth that was evident in the students that we worked with.
Mark Driscoll started Friday morning’s convocation with the story of the Prodigal Son. It’s a story most of us have heard and can identify with on some level, but the core of the message is the same – it is Jesus, the Father, that changes us, that pursues us, that loves us despite our filth. I’ve heard Mark teach a number of these conferences and I’ve heard him via podcast many times, but it was a treat to get to see him teach live and I was blessed by his message.
When we finally got to the actual conference it was business as usual. People were lined up early to get in the doors and then they were lined up to get their books signed and to get pictures with Mark and Grace. None of this was surprising to us, but what was surprising is when Doug Hudson, the conference producer, asked “How many of you are from more than 3 hours away?” About 60% of the room raised their hands. Then he asked over 5 hours and he still got about 30% of the room to raise their hands. We often get a number of long distance travelers to these events but this one had the most by far.
Overall we enjoyed the Liberty University event and heard many testimonials of young couples whose lives were changed. It is always encouraging to see the Lord work in marriages and those changes begin in the heart.
We like to take pictures at the tours, but we love seeing the event through the eyes of our attendees. Check out these great photos on our Facebook page that have been tagged with Real Marriage.
There is only one event left for Real Marriage 2012 and it is September 21st and 22nd in Indianapolis, IN. Get your tickets and make your travel plans today!
What others had to say…
We just attended the Real Marriage conference in Lynchburg this past weekend. Let me say what makes this so outstanding. It’s becuase first and foremost – what Pastor Mark did was preach the truth of the GOSPEL. The conference provided great insight on marriage from a Biblical standppoint and had lots of practical insights and tactics to use. But ULTIMATELY – it was so good becuase it was all based on the truth of the gospel –> that Jesus is not “an” answer….He is “THE” answer (to everything!).All of the teaching came from this premise. Thank you Mark and Grace for brining the real truth of the Gospel in the contect of marriage. – Roger Boutin
Thanks Mark for speaking truth and from your heart. Thanks to Grace and your kids too! You guys are such a blessing. I am looking forward to a new and better friendship with my husband. Had a great time at Liberty!! – Helen Blocksom
We really enjoyed the conference. Our marriage is now on the track to being better not bitter. – Joanna Shields Whitaker
Special Thanks to Our Real Marriage Tour Sponsors!