Guest speaker gets the conversation started at Youth Quake

Lisa Goudy
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Mark Clark speaks during the worship service in the morning of Feb. 16, 2014 at Briercrest College and Seminary in Caronport for Youth Quake 2014.

Mark Clark believes speaking to high school aged students about religion is significant.

“This is a really important age in their life when they’re going to decide whether to walk away from this thing, whether it’s something they inherited from their parents or whether they’re going to get real about it and do what God’s calling them to do,” he said.

Clark was the featured speaker at the main sessions at Youth Quake 2014 at Briercrest College and Seminary in Caronport this weekend.

Originally from Toronto, he now lives in Surrey. B.C. and is the leader of Village Church, which he planted in January 2010. In a period of four years, the church has grown from 50 people to more than 3,000.

He said while he doesn’t speak directly in youth groups, his church “skews young.”

“A lot of movements throughout history are built around youth because of their energy and their idealism,” said Clark. “If you can get them on board and get them to understand an idea, whether it’s civil rights or whatever it is, the young people tend to transform the cultures that they’re in.

“So I think at this kind of age, being able to get them to understand a worldview and buy into following Jesus can be pretty important as they look to transform the world around them for the good.”

He added a common view of Christianity is negative and judgmental.

However, by examining history, he said through the charity work of Christians, people took care of widows, orphans and people started schools and built hospitals.

“All of the universities that get founded — Harvard, Yale — all these places were built out of a Christian worldview,” said Clark. “So getting these guys on board to say, ‘How do I live for something bigger than myself? How do I live to transform not only me and my family and my friends, but also the world around me for something positive?’ is going to be a good thing.”

Clark said Youth Quake was a great experience.

 “(I hope) they go out from here and think beyond the next 15 minutes of their life and go, ‘What does it look like to live for a kingdom of God rather than a kingdom of self?’ and build a legacy where their kids and their kids’ kids and their generations under them are going to do something great,” said Clark.

Over the weekend, he touched on a number of topics, all falling within the annual event’s theme of “Kingdom Citizenship.”

“I told my story a little bit, my testimony and how I traced science, history and philosophy through to actually believing in God. I was raised in a non-Christian home. So I came to faith later,” said Clark. “You’ve got to leave the kingdom you were born into and start following in a kingdom that’s unfolding in the world.”

For a story on the overall success of Youth Quake, go here.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Briercrest College, Village Church

Geographic location: Caronport, Toronto, Surrey

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