Since 2009, Youth KOSTA has been led by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign alumni and volunteers in the Chicagoland area. The main purpose and vision of Youth KOSTA is to dive deeper into God’s Word and learn further about God’s love for us. Many of our students come from all kinds of backgrounds, contexts, and regions, so the diverse mix of students enables us to explore God’s love at many different angles. Grace is a word we hear a lot (it’s the KOSTA 2018 vision!) but to learn it and receive it is often a difficult battle. Galatians 2:8-9 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast”. No matter how far these students may have fallen away from God, we want them to receive God’s grace; furthermore, we want them to respond with joy and praise to God and love for others. For detail on some of the specific programs, please see below:
- Worship Service – we will hold both morning and evening services with sermons from pastors in the Chicagoland area to teach about various topics from God’s Word. Just like Psalm 1 says, we want to equip our students with the Word and teach them to meditate on it day and night so they can be like trees that can withstand the winds of life.
- Prayer Stations – we want to teach our students how to pray! We understand that there are many components of prayer, and we want to teach our students through interactive stations. Each station will highlight a component of prayer such as praise, repentance, supplication, thanksgiving, and more.
- Coffee House – we will have the students meet up with one other student for about 20 minutes per student. The purpose of this session is to give students the opportunity to get deeper with one another. However, for those who have trouble getting deeper, we will display a powerpoint with sample questions to ask each other to learn how to get deeper.
- Outdoor Activities/Games – some students learn the most through extracurricular activities, and these activities are designed to create an environment where the students can express themselves in any way while learning to get comfortable with each other. Although these activities may not seem “spiritual”, games are very essential to opening hearts and giving them a more positive mindset throughout the conference.
- Small Group – throughout the whole conference, students will be in a group of 3-4 students with 1-2 staff so they can experience Youth KOSTA and more importantly, God’s love together as a group.
- Counselor Session – if there are students going through a lot, we will have a pastor onsite who is available for longer conversations and personal prayer.