By Kay Harms
Photos by N. John Keller
More than 300 Arizona students and youth leaders assembled at CalvaryPHX Church, Feb. 15-16, for the state’s second LIFT Tour event. This year’s attendance accounted for an almost 50% increase over the initial tour in 2018.
A production of Student Leadership University in partnership with LifeWay Students, the LIFT Tour is a two-day event that provides middle school and high school students the opportunity to exalt Christ, engage with Scripture through messages and small group discussions and be equipped with the necessary tools to passionately pursue Christ.
For the second year, Arizona youth leaders invited Student Leadership University to provide the tour experience because they wanted students to have an opportunity to engage authentically with the Bible for the purpose of equipping and not “just hyping up.”
According to Eddy Pearson, one of Arizona Southern Baptists’ church life team facilitators, attendees represented 15 churches and several regions of the state.
One of those churches was North Phoenix Baptist Church, where Granger Riggins is the student minister.
“The LIFT Tour is really an in-town, or in-state, camp experience and well worth the time for our leaders and students,” Riggins said. “The gospel is shared confidently and competently and life change takes place.”
The theme for this year’s event was “Moments.” Speakers Ryan McDermott and Marquis Cox led students to identify and examine four significant moments in their spiritual journey, including when they reached up to Jesus for salvation, when they reached out to others for community, when they reached in to use their spiritual gifts and when they reach home to heaven.
McDermott is the director of students and young adults at Christ Fellowship Church in south Florida, and Cox is a host and speaker for North Point Ministries in Atlanta and a video communicator for Orange. The two speakers teamed with hip hop and rap artist Fedel and disc jockey artist DJ Morph. Liberty Worship Collective, a select team of worship leaders from Liberty University, led the worship sessions.
At the end of the weekend experience, more than 60 faith commitments were recorded.
“We’ve already determined there will be a LIFT Tour 2020 in Phoenix,” Pearson said. “After two years of a successful event and the growth we experienced this year from last year, we expect even more churches will participate next year.”