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The event, organised by the Spanish office of RZIM, addressed topics such as sexuality, identity, ecology and the Bible. “Reboot has renewed my strength to follow God”, a participant says.
Nearly 900 people gathered at Salem Church in Madrid this last Saturday, September 28, for Reboot's second edition in Spain.
Reboot is a global event designed for 12- to 18-year-olds. The Saturday before, the London edition totaled 1,400 in attendance at Central Hall, Westminster, and in October, Santo Domingo will see its first Reboot.
Focused on young people with or without any faith or church background, Reboot's tagline is, “No question is off limits”.
Pastor and popular Christian singer Alex Sampedro hosted the event put on by Fundación RZ, the Spanish office of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM).
RZIM speakers Dr. Amy Orr-Ewing, Andy Wickham, Gerson Mercadal, Sam Allberry, and Tracy Trinita spoke at the packed-out venue, along with a number of young adults who have participated in the university evangelist training project Proclama.
The Spanish band Yadah led worship throughout the day.
“We have witnessed heartfelt honesty all day long, both through the questions app and in conversations with the youth”, said Wickham, Fundación RZ's director.
He highlighted the variety of subjects that were touched upon: faith, identity, mental health, sexuality, ecology, relationships, church. “Guilt and addictions have been a recurring theme”.
BIBLE, FUTURE, SEXUALITY
The main content of the day kicked off with a panel that answered seven real questions teens had asked during the months leading up to Reboot.
Clivison de Santana, one of the Proclama members who answered the question on interpreting the Bible, said that his second experience at Reboot was exciting.
“The teens ask new questions that perhaps you haven't thought about before, and you see how they really have a desire to go deeper. The conversations affect you. One awesome thing about Reboot is the chance to have a conversation in which you're not only giving answers, but you're also listening”.
The Proclama team also performed several skits representing conversations about God that can take place at school or among friends. After each scene, they would invite the audience to think about how they would approach each situation.
Author and pastor Allberry, also an RZIM speaker, addressed “Why does God care who I sleep with?” during the morning's plenary session.
OCCA fellow Josué Moreno felt that Allberry's subject was a central theme reflected in the teens' questions: “Sexual relationships, whether there is any sort of moral framework, why should God care about my sexuality, how I should treat her, what if I'm same-sex attracted...these questions came up again and again, and I thought the way the speakers addressed them was very special”.
“Jesus's story is fresh air; it shows us that there is much more: Sex points to a much deeper desire in our heart. It's been special to see how the youth were riveted and how the Christian faith has completely relevant answers to these subjects even today”.
AFTERNOON SEMINARS AND Q&A PANEL
Following lunch, the audience split up into seminars on God and suffering, Christianity and other religions, anxiety, and the heart of Christianity.
One of the seminar speakers, Trinita, who comes from fashion industry and was later onstage in “Interview with a Supermodel”, said that she loved encouraging the Spanish teens to discover their identity and value in the Grand Designer, God, the one who knows them and has designed them personally.
Besides the chance to talk to team members one on one during different moments of the day, Reboot provided one last panel of general questions that felt short in comparison to the hundreds of questions that had been entered on the app.
Allberry, Or-Ewing, Sampedro and Wickham answered some of the most highly rated questions such as, “Is global warming going to destroy us before God comes back, or is it a sign that God will return sooner?”, “Why did Jesus come to earth as a man and not as a woman?”, “Today it's the Atlético de Madrid vs. Real Madrid: Does God decide the result or simply sit down to watch the game without intervening?" and “If you commit suicide, have you reached heaven?”
Artist Miriam Sartí painted several canvases on stage while Mercadal, RZIM speaker, gave a final gospel presentation on how our personal story fits into God's ultimate story.
PRAYER AND COMMITMENT
After a moving song by Sampedro, the teens were invited to respond both in prayer and by signing their own name on the artwork as part of their commitment to follow Jesus. There are over 80 signatures on the canvases, and many more came forward to pray.
One 18-year-old had been at Reboot previously and said that this was her favorite moment: “The best part is when they lower the lights, and we can have a private moment with God; we are all silent. You feel it more; you're asking yourself lots of things that you hadn't asked yourself before... I wanted to come back to Reboot because I really liked how my relationship with God improved after the last event”.
“I've recommended it to my friends because it's very open and adapted to youth, a great way for them to be encouraged to take steps to meet God. In fact, after bringing one of my friends, she now attends our youth group at church”.
“Reboot was the step I needed to not leave the church and find new strength to follow God”, responded a teen on social media.
“The last time I came to Reboot, I gained confidence to defend my faith and answer questions in class. This year Reboot has challenged me to give God every area of my life and to look for answers for the questions and doubts I have”. wrote another one.
“What I appreciate the most about Reboot is the goal of presenting the gospel”, wrote an adult who attended the event with a group.
“Usually events aimed at teens are embellished with watered-down content, subtracting from the importance of the subjects at hand. However, at Reboot they've been able to maintain a great balance between the weight of the subject matter — on both sensitive topics and more common ones — and the freshness and fun that make an event very attractive to young people. I think that's what makes that the teens enjoy the whole day and remain attentive to important things, like each one of the talks and interviews, as well as the time to respond at the end”.
Mercadal, the event's coordinator, highlighted the fantastic team of volunteers that made the day happen: “We want to thank every person that made it possible for so many young people from all over Spain to meet at Reboot, especially the youth leaders and parents who made huge efforts”.