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Speakers at World Conference ISSUE CHALLENGES TO YOUTH


What a great Conference! The challange is there . . . lets REACH!!


Youth Conference


eventually betray him with a kiss? Yes, every single one of them.” She told the audience that, regardless of their present social


status or level of achievements they should commit themselves to a life of service, just as Jesus did. “Perhaps a sister in your church who always feels ‘out of place’ and ‘left out’ in a lot of the happenings in your youth group needs someone to befriend her. Perhaps an older lady in the church who is living alone in an apartment needs someone to help clean her house or water her plants,” Tan stated. “Perhaps a disabled brother needs someone to fetch him so he can go to church every Sunday. Perhaps some orphans or elderly people in nursing homes need people to bring food to them. Will you be the hands and feet of Jesus to serve them and meet their needs?”


Christian Rommert, a Baptist youth leader in Germany, said that life in Christ is not about rules or systems, but about relationships. He cautioned the large gathering against “going through the motions (of worship) without the inner motivation” and against “having the habits of faith without the heart of faith.” Rommert claimed that religion often “becomes more of a ritual


The 16th


Baptist Youth World Conference ended on July 21 with scores of youth responding to the call to a life of discipleship


 


as they went to the front of the stage to participate in a prayer of commitment. Thembelani Jentile,


a South African Baptist pastor and


newspaper c olumnist, the main speaker at the closing event, told the roughly 2,500 youth from 65 countries that “Jesus sent out disciples so that they could make other disciples.” Asserting that discipleship living and making are not human endeavors but that they stem from God’s anointing and power, Jentile said “it will take all power for the gospel to be preached, and for souls to be won, and for disciples to be made.” Referring to Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28, he


indicated that “the nations we are going to disciple are neither geographical nor are they political countries, like China or Turkey, but they are people or ethnic groups of the world.” In making his appeal, Jentile invited youth to move from their seats and make a commitment to being and making disciples. Rachael Tan, former associate dean at the Asia Graduate Theological Seminary and a


Baptist


PhD candidate, led the large gathering to refl ect on the meaning of servanthood in the life of the believer. She stooped on stage and washed the feet of one of the delegates attending the conference, dramatically drawing attention to the power behind Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet as recounted in John’s gospel. “Why would Jesus, the greatest of all, do such a lowly task?” Tan asked. “It is because Jesus loved them and showed them the full extent of his love.” The remarkable thing, Tan pointed out, was that Jesus washed the feet of those who would deny and betray him. “Did he also wash the feet of Peter even if he knew that a few hours later this same Peter would deny him three times? Did he also wash the feet of Judas whom the Lord knew would


than a real thing . . . more of a pattern than power . . . more structure than Spirit.” Christianity, he said, “is a way of loving, a way of forgiving, a way of caring, a way of prayer, a way of worship, a way of thanksgiving and praise, and a way of being in tune with the Spirit of Jesus.” Referring to the problems posed by secularism, Rommert stated that “there are some things between heaven and earth we don’t understand, but we have to believe them.” This is diffi cult for countries such as Germany, which prides itself as “the land of poets and thinkers” and for its history in science, university education and literature. “But sometimes it seems like we get into a dead-end with all of our knowledge. We get lost and feel thirsty and hungry and empty.” Diana Francis, a television personality and president of the


Student Christian Movement in the Bahamas, reminded youth delegates that God is constantly reaching out to them despite their personal circumstance or situation. God, she said, “specializes in broken lives, damaged people that the world condemns.” She (Continued on next page)


Dramatic presentation by the Tallowood Players, Texas, USA

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