HONG KONG-- Over 300 youth leaders and church ministers gathered at the first Hong Kong Youth Christian Conference, sharing their common concern in raising up the new generation for the Lord.
Keynote speaker Rev. Chan Wai Man from the Grace Community Church, which is the main sponsor of the conference, spoke on the theme "A Dream that will never die— Win the New Generation". He explained in details the importance of the new generation with an effort to inspire youth leaders and church ministers to actively serve the young people.
Young People: Problem or Answer to the Society?
With his 10 years of experience in raising 1,000 youths in his church, Rev. Chan suggested that a passionate heart is very essential when serving youth ministries. In the light of the serious youth problems in society today-- such as drug addiction, casual-sex and petty-crimes -- he warned that youth ministries leaders could be easily burnout and become indifferent.
"However, as we evangelize the young people, it is not because we want to avoid the generation gap in the church, but it is basically because we have love and mercy for them," Rev. Chan said. In the Bible, there are episodes where Jesus demonstrated his love for the children and he raised a young person from death, therefore Rev. Chan encouraged the church ministers and youth leaders to love the young people as the Lord has loved them.
God uses Young People to Change the World
Based on many stories in the Bible, Rev. Chan explained how God uses young people to change the world in the history of salvation. The son of Jacob, Joseph, was a dreamer, he later became the prime minister of Egypt and saved the people of Israel. King David encountered with lion in the wild when he was only 16 years old, at the age of 19, he gained victory over the giant Goliath with faith.
In the modern history, God has also called many young people to do great work. The father of China Dr. Sun Yet-San broke the sculpture of an idol in a Chinese temple at the age of 17 and he teased the people saying "If this God cannot save himself, how can he save you?"
The founder of China Inland Mission and the great British missionary pioneering China Rev. Hudson Taylor was called to missions when he was only 20 years old. The native famous evangelist Dr. Sung Sheng Jie started to mediate about the life after death at the age of 8, he began his preaching ministry when he was 13 years old, and he started mission tour in China at 27 years old.
God wants us to Win the Young Generation Today
Rev. Chan shared his vision of how the change of the young generation can transform families, and further influences the society. The change of the society will in turn bring changes to the country. Currently, there are around 1,000 young Christians in his church. Rev. Chan sees 1,000 as equivalent to 3,000 as he expects each single young person to bring their parents to the church. The Church encourages young people to bring their parents to attend services regularly, so the whole family will turn to Christ.
Lastly, Rev. Chan encouraged youth leaders and church ministers to preserve and be patient, for the sake of saving one more soul, they must never give up at the times of failure.
[Editor's note: Claudia Cheng from San Francisco translated the article.]