Churches want to give teens a LIFT

Published 8:45 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A faith-based, leadership-training program is bringing a weekend of worship and spiritual growth to Brookhaven. The LIFT Tour, designed for middle school and high school students, will take place at First Baptist Brookhaven Feb. 1-2.

Created by Student Leadership University, The LIFT Tour is a two-day weekend experience designed to challenge students in their spiritual lives “to forsake selfish dreams, desires and demands and embrace a Christ-centered lifestyle,” according to SLU’s website.

Chris Layton, associate pastor to students at First Baptist, said over 600 students have signed up to attend the event.

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The lineup for the weekend includes Jeff Wallace, executive director of the LIFT Tour; Ryan McDermott, director of students and young adults at Christ Fellowship Church; Joseph Sojourner, a nationally-known youth pastor and speaker; Liberty Worship Collective, made up of students from Liberty University; and DJ Morph, a Dove Award nominee.

“We really were hoping to cross some cultural barriers with this event,” said Layton. “With a couple of the guys (in) our lineup, there’s some racial diversity, and that’s one of the things that we’re hoping to accomplish — the church as a whole, black and white, joined together as a community, and worship.”

The program is on par with national mega-gatherings like Passion, and the staff of First Baptist and other churches in the county are excited to present this opportunity to local teens and preteens, the youth minister said. By the time the tour arrives in Brookhaven, it will have traveled to Arkansas, South Carolina and Florida in 2019. Stops over the next couple of months include cities in Alabama, Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina, as well.

Registration begins at 6 p.m. Feb. 1. The first session is at 7:30 p.m. Three sessions will take place Saturday: 9:30 a.m., 10:50 a.m. and a closing session at 7:30 p.m., punctuated by an afternoon break that will include community mission projects.

Layton wants students and youth leaders to know that it’s not too late to attend the event. Students are encouraged to sign up through their churches, but individuals can register online at by the end of the day Friday for $54 per person. Cost increases by $5 the day of the event.

“With all the crazy stuff that’s happened in our community over the last 24 months, this could be something that would be really good for us, to join together and accomplish some good,” Layton said. “These guys are some of the best communicators on the planet. We’re hoping everyone will take advantage of this opportunity.”