Rising Up, Going Deep: Young People Inspired At Uprising

29 Apr 2024

By Amy Galliford

Spontaneous stairwell worship gatherings have become something of a tradition over the years at Uprising, our network-wide discipleship camp for teenagers in Years 7-12, as this environment inspires young people to pursue God wholeheartedly.

An older student on camp emphasised the profound impact of the worship times together, explaining: “The best part has just been seeing God move through the whole camp. It’s been so cool to see people’s lives change and people going deeper with God.”

Once again, on a Wednesday afternoon at The Tops Conference Centre during the second week of the April school holidays, a group of young people gathered around guitars in a stairwell, their voices ringing out in worship together.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a leader or camper – the experience is still breathtaking,” Tops Intern and camp leader Maddie said. “It’s a moment of being able to wrestle with who you are in Christ with a bunch of people who are having the same wrestle (in their own ways).”

This year, 42 young people participated in the four-day camp with one purpose: to dive deeper into exploring their identity in Christ and Get Ready for a life lived for Him.

Camp Directors Peter and Brianna Sargent led the state youth team to host Uprising this year. In reflecting on the impact of the week on young people, Peter said, “The focus of Uprising this year started with our theme of ‘Get Ready’ – the armour of God, how we prepare ourselves, but I feel like an underlying focus has come within the camp that has stripped everything back to authenticity.”

Uprising is divided into juniors and seniors, with juniors engaging in more Tops activities and games and seniors entering into more workshop content. Following two days of talks from leaders, workshops about applying faith and extended times of worship, this sense of authenticity was palpable in the group’s unity and enthusiasm.

Pete saw this ‘going deeper’ with God as the defining characteristic of camp this year. “I’ve always seen Uprising as the camp for discipleship,” he said. “But this week, we have really seen the young people going deeper and deeper with Jesus.”

With faces still smeared with black ash from trees in survivor-themed team contests, a group of Year 9 students bantered about their battles and told their stories of braving the giant swing. Within the same breath, they spoke of the value that camp was bringing to their relationship with God, with one girl saying, “Being around other Christians is really inspiring,” and her friend echoing, “It’s just good to be around people who love God the way you do.”

Having been to Uprising as students, many camp leaders spoke of the joy of returning to witness the kids exploring faith the same way they had years earlier. “To be able to give back and see God change people’s lives is so sick,” one leader, Josh, explained, “The coolest thing for me was seeing one of the kids hear God for the first time in their lives.”


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