Some 350 college students and young adults gathered at Grace Ministries International (GMI) from January 6 to 7 for the church’s Grace Winter Conference, which was hosted in hopes to help young people live out their calling for God’s glory, according to organizers.
“We’re trying to achieve significance, but we’re after it in the wrong way,” said Samuel Han, college pastor at GMI and the main organizer of the conference. “We’re trying to do it through our career, but that was never the calling of the believer.”
Han said that the hope behind the conference is to help young people through the anxiety that comes with trying to determine their direction in life.
“Millennials have this anxiety of, am I doing something that matters?” Han continued. “Am I doing what God wants me to do?”
The idea to help young people with this issue of ‘calling’ was “something that’s been on my heart for a long time,” Han explained, but he found that the vision behind it resonated with his college students as well as other local church pastors in the area. After deciding to host the conference, members of GMI’s college ministry raised $20,000 to fund the conference, and several pastors in the Orange County region gathered together prior to the conference for prayer meetings. Sa-Rang Community Church, Ekko Church, and Thanksgiving Church were among the other local churches that were represented at the conference.
Speakers included individuals in various career fields, such as Jennifer Fitzgerald, the mayor of Fullerton; KevOnStage, an entertainer; and Laura Izumikawa, a photographer. Zack Curry, executive pastor of Jesus Culture Sacramento; Dave Gibbons, founding pastor of Newsong Community; Bryan Kim, founding pastor of Ekko Church; and Eddie Park, author and teaching pastor at EvFree Fullerton, were also featured as speakers during the conference.
Organizers hope to make the conference an annual event at the beginning of each year.
“We just want people to come to this conference, after a grueling year of disappointments and letdowns, to just come and be refreshed and renewed,” Han said. “We want to create a place where, at the beginning of each year, young people can receive hope and encouragement.”