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Teen’s journey toward God’s call nurtured by Centrifuge experiences

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–With its focus on discipleship and teaching youth how to minister to the needs of the world, Centrifuge seems to be the perfect training grounds for future church leaders.

So it’s not surprising that Byron McVay II went to a Centrifuge Mega Week camp, July 27-Aug. 2, focused on answering God’s call for his life.

Sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, Centrifuge is a Christian camp for teens in grades seven through 12. Regular Centrifuge camps handle about 500 to 600 people, said Jason Ellerbrook, a Centrifuge coordinator for LifeWay. Centrifuge Mega Weeks are larger events, with attendance running between 800 and 1,200, he said.

“I feel God calling me to be a Christian musician,” said McVay of Centralia, Mo. “I played guitar about a year before I came to Centrifuge and I listened to Christian music. When I came my first year, I realized God gave me the gift and I need to use it for his purpose.”

This summer marks McVay’s third Centrifuge camp experience. And while he grew up in a Christian home with parents whom he credits with nurturing his faith, he said his Centrifuge experiences had provided pivotal points in his journey of faith.

The first thing that happens each time he has gone to Centrifuge is God getting his attention — “I totally get smacked in the face,” as McVay put it. “I need to listen,” he said. “The first year I got hit hard. God always reminds me I’m doing all this for him.”

McVay, who turns 18 on Aug. 17, is ready to step out in faith and give wings to his dreams. While he enjoys all kinds of music, McVay dreams of recording music he describes as “Christian Punk Ska [Reggae-like] kind of stuff.”

“I’d like to be the next DC talk,” he said. “I’d like to be a youth music leader. I just want to go wherever God wants me to go. I think it would be cool to be a foreign music missionary wherever God sends me.”

And while some of those steps, such as recording his first album or moving away from home to pursue his interests are still months or even years away, McVay is doing everything he can to prepare to answer God’s call and not taking anything for granted.

“I love leading worship and stuff like that,” he said. “In two weeks, God has just totally hit me.”

In those two weeks, enough random events have combined to convince McVay that now is the time to really begin focusing on answering God’s call.

For example, his boss at a Centralia, Mo., grocery store recently counseled the teen to “do what God asks him to,” he said. Then, while carrying groceries out for customers, McVay met two people who write Christian music and are willing to work with him. He doesn’t discount those events as simple coincidence.

So, when he came to Centrifuge, he decided to use the opportunity to learn more about being a worship leader. He’s taking part in a class designed to teach youth about leading worship, alone and corporately. He hopes that class will supplement his work in his church, First Baptist Church, Centralia, Mo., where he helps lead worship.

Regardless of what the future holds, McVay thinks the steps he is taking will help him better follow God’s will for his life, and he firmly believes that God will do the rest.

“I’m meeting a whole lot of other musicians,” he said regarding his Centrifuge experience. “This place makes me know that if this is what God wants, he’ll pave the way.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: LOOKING TO GOD’S WORD.

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  • Mandy Crow