Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 6:00 pm

Northwest University’s Pursuit Conference was held from Jan. 27-29 this year. The annual event, open to both NU and the wider community, is an extension of NU’s Monday night Pursuit services. With a focus on spiritual growth, teaching, and worship, Pursuit Conference allows Christians around Kirkland to gather together and learn with each other. This year’s conference featured messages from guest speakers Tyler Sollie, John Mark Comer and Micahn Carter. Attendees learned about God’s unfailing love, practical ways to incorporate spiritual disciplines and the importance of commitment.

Comer, pastor of Bridgetown Church in Portland, gave two sermons on Saturday. His messages outlined “how we change,” describing the road to change as a journey. He compared spiritual training to training for a marathon.

“You don’t wake up one day and run ten miles. You have to add a half mile every day and work up to your end goal,” said Comer.

In the same way, a person must gradually implement spiritual disciplines into their daily life, Comer argued.

“Following Jesus isn’t about trying really hard, but training really hard,” Comer said.

After Comer spoke, local pastors, students and NU staff spoke about spiritual disciplines. Topics such as silence and solitude, confession, and worship were covered.

Spiritual disciplines covered by students included friendship, prayer and Bible reading.

When junior Emilie Heisel spoke, she illustrated what spiritual friendship with other believers should look like.

“In order to grow together, you have to be vulnerable…[Spiritual friendship is] calling a friend just to offer prayer, making the time in our busy lives to meet with people one-on-one, and starting difficult conversations about accountability with a spirit of gentleness,” said Heisel.

Sophomore Tyler Stovall’s talk focused on using prayer as a catalyst for change.

“If we’re going to go out in the world and pursue justice and peace, we need to start on our knees,” said Stovall.

On Sunday night, Pastor Micahn Carter of Together Church in Yakima spoke about the importance of commitment in relationships, spirituality and careers.

“In this room, there’s books, there’s ideas, there’s songs, there’s films, there’s businesses. In this room, there’s so much potential. And I don’t want you to miss out on it because you lack an attribute of Christ that is one that we don’t want to apply to our lives,” said Carter.

Motivation, transformation and dedication seemed to be the themes at this year’s Pursuit Conference. Senior Trinity Harris said that students enjoyed hearing about peoples’ ability to change.

“[Comer’s message] gives us hope that everyone wants to change for the better,”said Harris.