Over the years we’ve gradually learned how to interpret the ‘festival feedback’ from our online sources etc. It’s never easy to extract yourself from the myriad of ‘confirmation bias traps’ that you can fall into, so we thought that it might be a good thing to publish at least some of the material to give everyone the chance to see a sort of ‘warts and all’ overview of the feedback (redacted a little of course – to protect the innocent! 🙂
- It has really changed me I was already a Christian but it is the best camp I have ever been to in my life and it has encouraged and influenced me greatly.
- The YFC tent does such an important thing for unchurched teens – thank you for accommodating this!!
- Security were super friendly and helpful this year.
- Some people I knew very little from my youth group but on Monday night worship everyone gathered and prayed for each other. It was us as teenagers praying for each other because we felt it was what we had been called to do. It was an experience that can only take place if the Lord is in us all and I feel like we had been overcome by Him and it was beautiful.
- I can’t describe how much I loved this! Summer Madness did so much for my relationships, friendships and faith!!
- For the first time ever I raised my hand in praise
- The four “hosts” (for want of a better word) were great. They were engaging without being patronising. They weren’t unnecessarily frivolous but they weren’t stiff and buttoned up. They left room for the Holy Spirit without trying to force an emotional response.
- One of my young people went for prayer ministry and said “it feels like my walls of defence are finally down”, another was praying during worship and heard God’s voice for the first time.
- I really struggle with mental health and it really helped having so many seminars related to that. Made me feel I wasn’t alone as so many people went.
- Two of the girls in our youth group gave their lives to Christ on the last night which was so encouraging, especially for our youth leader who is leaving this coming year to join the Ministry.
- A great year at SM19. Points from SM18 were listened to and acted on.
- I really enjoyed throwback worship in the hatch by Billy Fyffe as it was very stripped back and simple and it helped me really connect with the worship of God
- I’m a leader with a youth group and most of the group and myself felt that there was a lot of time wasted during main stage at the start as worship usually didn’t start for about 40mins… there was a lot of unnecessary chat at the beginning which our young people
- One negative I had was throughout the day if you wanted to just go chill in a cafe or hang out, there was nowhere as every tent had a seminar on at the same time so there was no hang out area until really after big top at night unless you wanted to trek all the way back to sub camp. A sofa tent to just go hang in would have been nice.
- Recycling bins please! So much this year about the Rubbish Revolution but no bins to recycle!
- More food trucks – queueing so long for dinner was such a pain.
- An exhibitor selling wellies or flip flops would have made an absolute killing. I would buy SM wellies!
- Separate girls and boy’s toilets on campsite
- Maybe more youth group facilitation through social media after worship enabling youth leaders to unpack the sessions with their youth groups through discussion questions led by the big top speakers during the festival
MAINSTAGE SPEAKER FEEDBACK
- Tre and Rachel were especially engaging
- Joshua and Tre were amazing and tackled scary but beautiful topics.
- Best year yet!
- The speakers were very good, providing challenges for us as young Christians to be a shining light in our place of living throughout the next year to try and share the hope and love of Jesus with everyone we encounter.
- I related to every single talk and they all really helped me open up
- The way they were open about their own storys really helped connect with them regarding mental health
- They were the best and have really inspired me to come back fully to God and be a disciple for him no matter what
- Every speaker had their own unique way of connecting with people.
- Brilliant really helped me in my daily struggles
- They all brought me closer to my faith, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and I’m very grateful for that
- I love the mix of gender, style of teaching etc. I think it’s important to have main stage speakers with contrastingly different testimonies so that young people with varying life experiences can hopefully relate to at least one speaker in particular.
- They kept everyone entertained while spreading the word
- Best mainstage line-up in years. Josh was very good. Tre absolutely knocked it out of the park – Tue AM being the best Tue AM talk I’ve ever heard at SM… and one of the best talks I’ve ever heard at Madness. Rachel was better than ever. Tim was very good – great content, vulnerable and biblical.
- Was only up with our youth group on the Saturday and Sunday but both mainstage speakers were great, really insightful, and really engaging. However, didn’t quite see how it interacted with the main theme of the weekend at times.
- Very little actual Biblical insight! Not much depth, Bible focus or practical application!!! Shocking.
- I thought the speakers on a whole were very good this year. However, I thought that some of the themes covered were very heavy, especially when there are children as young as 11/12 attending. I also think that although there are some heavy topics that need addressing, this shouldn’t be the overriding theme of the weekend, and there should be an opportunity to celebrate the joy of the Lord.
- Need to mention Hell more
- Main stage speakers need to cut out the unnecessary waffle and get straight to the point.
- Main stage was great but very long in the evenings. Would it be possible to make use of PowerPoint more/videos etc. to help engage our young people better?
- Have more female speakers!!
MAINSTAGE WORSHIP FEEDBACK
- This year’s worship was exceptional. The four leaders were all different and yet so in touch with the Holy Spirit.
- Really really good I got so much out of it
- Fantastic – God’s movement was so evident in the moments of worship
- The staff band were absolutely incredible – we should have them more often!!
- It was the best and I never wanted it to end
- It was so powerful brought tears of joy and of realization into my heart
- BEST PART OF THE FESTIVAL
- Fantastic loved every second of it. Felt so touched by the Holy Spirit, I was in tears of joy. Lisa, was so inspiring for me as a singer just in the way you could see how passionate she was when she sang and her connection with God.
- Really enjoyed the staff band! They were just so natural and fun.
- Lauren Hood was amazing and extremely talented. I really enjoyed seeing a fellow young person lead
- Really great line up. I liked the longer worship times in the evening but actually preferred the worship leaders in the morning. Not a criticism of Lisa cus her and Ben were amazing, just so blown away by Jonny and Lauren in particular. Felt like there was too much overlap with the songs. Understand the need to repeat, especially if new, but it felt like every set was recycled.
- Fabulous, really anointed. Our youth really loved it (a highlight for most) and some even raised hands- unusual for the Presbyterian background
- I thoroughly enjoyed being led in worship by such a variety of bands, from Lauren who won the competition last year to the in-house volunteer band. It was a good reflection of how there is no mould for a worship leader to fit and anyone can help people reach God through worship.
- Thought it was great, and the Summer Madness band, although not quite as polished as the CFC one, was great to see them all up there together, as it really shows a lot to our young people that worship can be done by all.
- I felt the Holy Spirit for the first time
- Worship was the one thing everyone wanted to be at. The alternative service suited some of our group but they would have liked to have gone to worship whilst alternative games were on then switched.
- Not sure who he was, but the guy singing / playing guitar with Lisa in the evenings had the most phenomenal voice and heart for worship – get him back!!
- Too atmospheric, it would be better raw!
- Concert or worship… more of a concert than anything else.
- A few songs were repeated a lot of times. It would have been nice to have a wider variety of songs
- In general I wasn’t sure how welcome the Holy Spirit was. Not that he was not welcome but there was certainly a difference between SM and Soul Survivor.
- Would Love to add more youth onstage- young people inspiring other young people
- I would like to see more songs that everyone knows and maybe some hymns that have been modernised
- Our young people really engaged with seminars
- They were all amazing and the topics were very relevant to young people
- I LOVED the choice of seminars & workshops this year. Especially the stuff on mental health and other stuff on creativity, Illustrated Faith etc.
- The dance seminar was flipping amazing! I felt so free!!
- The seminars were very educational for young Christians.
- Well timed and to the point, I enjoyed them.
- Once again good variety
- Mark Knox was the best
- Churches and educational poverty seminar led by mark Knox was brilliant. Totally relevant topic for churches to be focusing on and something that sometimes gets swept under the carpet. It has inspired me to have a more proactive approach in my ministry.
- They were really engaging
- The leadership stuff by Matt peach in connect cafe was amazing and I took a lot from it
- Joshua Luke Smith was amazing every time
- There was a good range of very relevant topics. I was especially encouraged by two of the seminars
- Thought it was great that there was an emphasis on mental health as it is so necessary now, and it was great to hear new ways of engaging with and about it.
- Amazing to see the evangelism seminar packed out!
- I felt like this year the range wasn’t as good as previous years. There weren’t any I looked at and was immediately drawn to or anything.
- I really was interested in the seminars. However, I struggled to hear what was being said when we had to share a marquee with another seminar. This was frustrating and made me leave a few seminars which I would have liked to actually hear. I already struggle with concentration, but when I was listening to a serious seminar about the likes of mental health and all I could hear was the seminar beside it was too hard to concentrate.
- Again lack of Biblical depth! ‘How to be a man of God’ Create your own manifesto rather than deepen and know biblical truths that can be applied into all aspects of life!
- Would it be possible to have a chalkboard / screen at sub-camp with what seminars are on each day? It just helps remind youth what is available.
- I think it would be worth considering the questions from the post mainstage Q&A as seminar topics and build much of the programme off of what the young people are asking.
- It would be good to have a greater range for older campers such as topics on faith in university.
WHAT WILL YOU TAKE AWAY FROM SUMMER MADNESS?
- In the words of Joshua Luke Smith “just because your unqualified does not mean your disqualified” this resonated with many in our group. And also how powerful the prayer was on sat and sun
- Re-encountering Jesus Coming back to the simple truths of God
- Family, Grace and memories.
- This is not the end it’s the beginning and that God is stirring something in me
- Hope and reassurance
- The connections I’ve made with new people
- How much I am loved and valued and how important grace is
- Stronger love for God
- I am chosen, loved and accepted for who I am. We have a family within the church who we can be completely vulnerable with and connect with even when we don’t know each other very well.
- God works in different ways, often in the small everyday things. He is so willing and ready to transform our lives, we’ve just got to keep giving him our yes.
- That God loves me no matter what and that even though times are tough and dark I have Him and that even though I don’t come from a Christian home I have 2000 people who are with me in following God and that He will never leave me and so much more other stuff
- It has strengthened me so much with my relationship with God and I am so thankful for everyone on the teams and behind the scenes.”
- That I am seen and chosen. I can make a wonderful impact.
- My identity in God was strengthened.
- I don’t need to be ashamed of what happened in my past, God is so good and is clearly working in my life. Even when I feel alone I’m not, God is always with me. He has given me the strength to keep going in my life and he has given me people who will understand and will not judge.
- I will take away more knowledge of how God loves me and how I have the power to make a change in the lives of others. Also some amazing memories with new friends and old which will stay with me forever.
- That he breaks my chains and I no longer have to be afraid.
- A connection with God that I have never had before
- Young people are asking huge questions about theology.
- Seeing happy inspired God-filled young people giving their lives over to Christ – just awesome!
- The time for reflection during big top helped me make decisions about my future and priorities.
- That the staff are wonderful examples of Grace in action. Instead of sending some of our boys’ home (deservedly), they gave them a second chance and an object lesson in the grace of God. Those same lads ended up responding to God on Monday evening and went for prayer for the first time ever. Thank you for totally walking the walk and giving them the space to hear God.