United Conference 2017

Being united looks like building bridges rather than fences. 

Fences separate people, organizations, churches, and families. They create a line that is uninviting.

Bridges, on the other hand, connect people. They overcome barriers, setbacks, and division.

Tanglewood Church, my church family, is committed to building bridges and tearing down fences. Last weekend, 400 students gathered together for not only a conference but a movement. We were united under the name of Jesus. 40 souls were saved and Heaven was having a party while we were too.


God placed a burden to start this movement in the heart of one of my most favorite pastors, Mitch Sugg. He didn’t just sit on the burden. He prayed about it, acted on it, and rallied others around the cause it held.

We have countless volunteers who dream, plan, pray, prepare, and host the United Conference out of love. We don’t view doing these things as a job. Rather, we see them as a privilege. 


Night 1:

When Daniel Gray preached, he said, “God has put a word in your heart that’ll overflow into everything you do and touch!”

Listed below are some of my notes from his sermon:

  • When you persecute believers, you persecute the One they’re connected to.
  • The starting place of humans was dirt which comes from the ground. Sometimes we have to be brought down to realize who we were really made to be.
  • The potential of a seed affects its environment.
  • A seed has to be in the right environment to grow and produce fruit.
  • We were created to have encounters with God. 
  • Your future isn’t “out there”. It is within you.
  • Sometimes what you see isn’t what’s truly there.
  • Don’t be surprised when other people don’t see your vision.
  • Use your stumbling blocks as stepping stones!


As Daniel was praying over people after the sermon, he came and started praying over me and my sister. We weren’t expecting him to do so, but God was working powerfully. He was speaking to Darby and I while using Daniel as a vessel. It was a powerful and touching night to say the least! God made it clear He was calling me into deeper waters. The season I was in wasn’t bad, but the one God has for me is even greater. He’s calling me to act now on the things He’s placed in my heart. I’m supposed to start something new while ministering to people.


Day 2:

Sadly, I missed the first session where Mrs. Amanda spoke and a panel of pastors shared their hearts.

Pastor Mitch Sugg said, “As a church, we should be known for what we stand for more so than what we stand against.” His sermon Real Love was inspired by John 3:16-17.

Some of my favorite points from his sermon are listed below:

  • Until change happens within you, change will never happen around you.
  • Do you just want change or do you help create change?
  • Be concerned with what God wants to say through you. Don’t focus on what other people say to you.
  • Real love is sacrifice even when it’s inconvenient to you.
  • As a student, you live on the greatest mission field.
  • How you view things impacts the way you do things!
  • Everything you do matters.
  • God has you where you are at now because that’s where He needs you most!


Closing Session:

I’ve never met a pastor more enthusiastic than Manny Arango. He’s the real deal. If you’ve never heard him preach, I challenge you to do so!


He boldly declared we have power over our thoughts!

Listed below are highlights of his sermon:

  • Every thought not like God has to go.
  • God turns your insecurity into your identity!
  • You are one thought away from breakthrough in your life.
  • You can’t be robbed of what only the Holy Spirit can deposit.
  • “Come to Me with a claim not a complaint.”
  • Jesus had peace to sleep through the storm.
  • You’ll never calm the storm outside until you calm the storm inside.
  • Worship is worry in reverse.
  • Tell your mountain about your God.
  • Some of us have taken God’s delay as His disability.
  • God is healing you of your doubt.


United Conference 2017 was the best yet. We are thanking Jesus for this dream He placed inside of a heart and the way He continues to bring it to life. Most importantly, through this dream being brought to life, people are finding true life in Christ. We are excited and expectant for what God is going to do through United Conference in the years to come!


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