Youth Quake 2019 Recap [Video]
For the 56th year in a row, Youth Quake brought students, youth workers, and volunteers from across Canada to a party with a purpose.
The mantra, “Looks like a festival, feels like a retreat,” came to life as 1,267 people gathered in Caronport for 48 hours of worshipping, learning, and celebrating Jesus together.
This year, AJ Crocker, Youth Quake director, noticed that something special was going on with the retreaters. “They were hungry, it seemed, for the conversations that were at play.”
This was made abundantly clear when, early on Saturday morning, Crocker arrived on campus and the retreaters were already there.
“Everybody had been up until about 2 or 3 am, and every one of our five seminars was packed,” he described. “The lowest one maybe had 50 people in it. That’s a ton of kids getting up after 2 or 3 hours of sleep to learn.”
Crocker credited all this to the youth leaders. “We could pat ourselves on our backs and say the seminars were well selected, but it doesn’t matter what you do if the kids don’t show up. We have youth workers who believe in what we’re doing that are pushing youth to go and learn and discuss, and that’s pretty cool.”
The eagerness didn’t stop on Saturday morning. All weekend, retreaters poured into main sessions with Alpha’s Jason Ballard and rushed to the stage to worship with Briercrest’s band Awaken. They showed up to party with Christian artists like KB and North Point InsideOut and they threw themselves into the activities available on campus.
I just think that while we talk about this being a conference that functions like a retreat on steroids, Youth Quake ends up getting to be a day at Briercrest if you slammed all the best parts of Briercrest together and then threw a bunch of Red Bull on it.
AJ Crocker, Director of Youth Quake
While they got to enjoy a party thrown just for them, there was no contest: amidst the party elements of the weekend, the retreaters had come to learn about Jesus.
This is the heart of Youth Quake. This is the heart of the hundreds of volunteers—Briercrest students, staff, and guests—that work to make the weekend possible.
“I think there’s no better picture of the outcome of our mission,” Crocker said. “If we’re here to push students to understand what lives of service mean intellectually and spiritually, I’m not sure there’s a better litmus test for whether or not we’re on mission.”
For him, every aspect of Youth Quake, from the worship and the teaching to the activities and the celebrating, shows a picture of Briercrest’s mission.
“We do this every year because, big picture, it reminds us of what the Lord’s capable of through this place… It’s this little window into the monastic nature of Briercrest, the utmost focus on discipleship, the party ethos and the fun that happens at this campus, the crazy diverse collection of evangelicals.
“I just think that while we talk about this being a conference that functions like a retreat on steroids, Youth Quake ends up getting to be a day at Briercrest if you slammed all the best parts of Briercrest together and then threw a bunch of Red Bull on it,” he laughed.
Why does Briercrest keep on doing YQ? For Crocker, it’s simple: “We do it so the kids will find Jesus. We do it because it’s so important to who we are that we must.”