Big Weekend 2018By Tim Yearsley | Latest Release
The Mind is a Beautiful Thing
2018 was the Big Weekend’s chance to explore what kind of good news Christianity can offer to our generation’s urgent conversation about mental health.
Whether this is more widespread an issue than it ever was, or that as a society we’re just learning how to talk about this for the first time, it’s clear that the question of what it means to live and love with a healthy mind isn’t going away any time soon. And it can be a challenge to connect the truths Christians believe to the reality of our experience – typing “mental health” into Bible Gateway shows up a whopping “0 results”.
But Christians believe in a God who promises to renew us completely – mind, body, soul and strength. The big story of the Bible paints a picture of what it means to live well, as fully rounded people experiencing what life is really about, in all its joy, tragedy and triumph. No other story, ideology or philosophy paints such a beautiful picture. So the Big Weekend was a chance to delve deeper into the story of the Good News: for the sake of our mental health, our inner lives, our full humanity, and one another.
We were privileged to have Ros Boydell speak to us in our plenary sessions. We took our cue from Pixar’s Inside Out with five ‘Streams’ that wrestled with the real life implications of Ros’ ideas (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear). Our Saturday night comedian Jo Enright entertained us in the Ballroom and then shared her own experience of God and mental health struggles. We closed with the wisdom of a Q&A panel before celebrating testimonies of God’s work over the weekend.
Many hours of meetings, safeguarding training and Biblical reflection were sunk into the weekend. God honoured (and multiplied) the preparation and the Big Weekend brought sensitivity, depth and gospel hope to bear on one of the greatest needs amongst 18-30s today. Many spoke vulnerably about meeting God in a new way.
Here’s what some of the participants said about the weekend:
I felt really blessed to be gifted with a place so that I could experience God in community in a way I haven’t in some time. I honestly appreciated the openness and sensitivity of the teaching and I got a huge amount from it. God is slowly teaching me more about myself. When I was weighing up whether or not to go, learning that I had been blessed with a free place felt like a nudge from God. He wanted me there for a reason, and I think I learnt what that reason was whilst I was there.
“[The Big Weekend was] life changing for me”
“Every part of me is allowed to exist. I love the work of the Navs in the UK”
“I loved the community, testimonies, honesty”
“I left with an appreciation for life”
“Identity in Christ is the foundation of recovery”
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