Blog: The Heart of Rivercamp

Aug 08 2018

The Heart of Rivercamp - By Andi Foster

At the end of every summer, around 2500 Christians gather together in the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds for a week of worship, teaching, ministry and community. On the face of it, Rivercamp looks similar to any one of the other Christian summer conferences around the UK. But beyond that first glance you’ll find something more.

Rivercamp

I’ve had the honour of leading worship up and down the country for over half of my life now: at churches, festivals, conferences and everything in-between. I’ve always been so blessed by the people I’ve met and spent time with along the way.

One day I got a call from someone I’d come across on my journey asking me to come and lead worship for a week in a youth venue at a summer conference called Rivercamp. I said yes (why not, it seemed like a great opportunity). Little did I know it then, but it was a phone call that would have a huge impact on my life.

From the first moment I arrived, there was something different about Rivercamp. I’d been to places where there had been a focus on worship and the Holy Spirit before, but this was something different entirely. The desire to press into the Father in worship far surpassed anything I’d experienced in the past. I’d sung about Heaven opening in the past, but this was a place where you could see people experiencing breakthrough right in front of you; experiencing revelation right in front of you, experiencing burdens being lifted and hearts being healed, all before my eyes. And that was just in the Big Top.

Rivercamp

What I saw in the youth venue that week was beautiful. I saw the Father touching lives at such a deep level that I struggled to comprehend the gravity of what was happening. There was no ‘warm up’ time for the youth (which anyone who has led worship in youth venues will know about). They laid down all their inhibitions and fear in the first moment and were undignified in their worship. There was a real hunger to meet with God in worship and the result of that hunger was that lives were changed. By the end of the week, I’d lost track of how many times I’d cried in worship because of the testimonies that I was hearing or because of what was being sung out by the youth. I signed up for the next year straight away.

Rivercamp

Fast forward to today and I’m still very much involved in Rivercamp. It’s the first thing in my calendar every year. Along the way I’ve written and released an album from the overflow of Rivercamp, I’ve become the Godparent to a child whose parents I met at Rivercamp and I’ve made lifelong friends through Rivercamp. But most importantly, I’ve learnt more about worship and what it means to be a worshipper. I’ve seen Rivercamp change over the years, but something that hasn’t changed at all is the absolute desire to Encounter the Father in worship. It’s the heart of Rivercamp.

Rivercamp

This summer we’ve got Elim Sound (Sam Blake, Ian Yates, Helen Yousaf), Donna Akodu, Rivers and Robots, Southville and Bean Baker as well as many more artists leading worship and playing After-Hours sets across our venues. But at the end of the day, names don’t matter. It’s about the heart. It’s about the passion. It’s about the willingness to take that step towards Him. It’s about the desire to Encounter the Father. It’s for the Audience of One.

Join us this summer for a life-changing week.
www.rivercamp.co.uk

Rivercamp

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