Timothy Ateek, executive director of Breakaway ministries and keynote speaker at Momentum, emplored 18-24-year-olds at the event to examine their walk with the Lord.
[Photo by Brian Hobbs]

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Nearly 900 18-to-24 year olds gathered on Sept. 7 at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs to gain momentum to live with eternal perspective as the school year began.

Momentum is an event geared toward 18-to-24 year olds or, the “next generation,” where Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) from schools state-wide, along with church-based groups, gather for a night of corporate worship.

Chad Coleman, BCM facility specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), stepped into his new role by organizing programing for the event. There was a time of fellowship prior to the message and worship where students could learn about seminaries as well as enjoy free food.

Ashley Sargent, a student at University of Central Oklahoma, attended the event with her church group from Moore, First. “I think it’s really important to start off the semester with a form of corporate worship because it helps me personally to refocus on God,” she said. “When classes begin in the fall, I think it’s easy to get caught up in busy schedules and the stress of homework. Having an event like this can bring our focus back to God as we settle into the semester.”

The MET Collective from Houston, Texas, The MET Church led worship for the evening. Timothy Ateek was the speaker. He is the executive director of Breakaway Ministries, a weekly worship experience for college students on the Texas A&M campus.

Cris Lowery, Collegiate Ministries specialist for the BGCO, said, “It makes a noticeable difference when someone is accustomed to speaking to college students, and that’s what Ateek does.”

Ateek began his message by having those in attendance reflect on how they follow Jesus.

“If you were to take the Bible and open it up and take what Jesus Christ says it looks like to follow Him, would there be a big contrast between your life and what Scripture says?” Ateek asked.

Ateek taught from Matt. 26:14. “Judas makes one thing clear,” he said, “being around Jesus or things about Jesus does not mean that you are a true follower of Jesus.”

Nearly 900 young adults gathered at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs Sept. 7 to fellowship, worship and delve into God’s Word.
[Photo by Brian Hobbs]

Ateek made the point that while Judas was one of the 12 disciples and spent three years following Jesus, he betrayed Jesus by turning Him in to the chief priests. “I believe that this was possible because Judas knew that Jesus was in the business of changing people’s lives, but Judas never allowed Jesus to change his life.

“I believe he had intellectual knowledge of who Jesus was and what he could do, but he had no experiential knowledge.”

In conclusion, Ateek asked students to reflect on their relationships with Jesus and ask themselves which version of Jesus do they know—the Jesus that lived or the Jesus that lives?

“We can spend a lot of time learning about Jesus, read the Bible about Him, go to church and be involved in different student groups about Jesus, but if all we do is consume information without application, then it might be that we don’t know Jesus; we just know about Jesus,” Ateek said.

“(Ateek) also really stressed that you need to have friends that don’t believe the way you do—not so you can be drawn away, but so you can draw people in,” Lowery said. “That’s what BCM and next generation ministry is about, coming together to strengthen each other so that when we go out, we make a difference in the world where God has placed us. We live life in the extended community rather than only your close circle of friends.”

Tables stocked with tacos, donuts, pizza and more filled the church archway and fellowship hall.
[Photo by Brian Hobbs]

“I enjoy Momentum because it’s one night set aside where I don’t have to think about school or other things going on in my life,” Sargent said. “It’s a night set aside for worship and community. I get to be poured into for a few hours and see people I haven’t seen in a while.”

Lowery emphasized the importance of being involved in campus faith-based groups as well as church groups as either a college student or an 18-to-24-year-old in the work force.

“If you connect with those two groups, then you can connect with people who don’t believe the same way you do and really impact their life. Whether in college or in the workforce, you are on a mission field,” Lowery said.

Momentum is one of two Oklahoma Baptist events for the next generation that happen each year, the other event being Spring Retreat at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center.

“I love Momentum because it’s church-based ministries and campus-based ministries and one of the two times each year that we get to speak into the lives of 18-24 year olds from all across the state. This supports and validates what their BCM director or church leader teaches all year long,” Lowery said.

Momentum partnered with DaySpring Villa, Oklahoma’s first faith-based shelter for domestic violence victims and adult victims of human sex trafficking. At the end of the evening an offering was taken for DaySpring and students gave approximately $2,000.

For more information about Momentum and other next generation events visit, www.bgco.org/ministries/collegiate.