The first ever Global Youth Congress of the Formosan Evangelical Church (FEC) was held on August 16-19 in Los Angeles. The Congress gathered over 20 young leaders from FEC Southern California, East Coast, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and others.
As most of the North American churches, the FEC has suffered from the lost of the second generation from the pews. The Congress has challenged the young leaders with the vision of FEC and encourages them to carry the Great Commission together.
The FEC Global Youth Congress is the brainchild of the FEC Youth Ministry Director Rev Benson Wang of the FEC Los Angeles. Rev Wang described the Congress as a "precious experience".
Rev Wang introduced threefold purposes of the Global Youth Congress: to unite all the youths in FEC worldwide, to educate the FEC youths on the vision and history of the Church and to provide training for the FEC youth fellowship leaders.
Two founding elders of the FEC and presidents of the FEC General Assembly were invited as keynote speakers of the Congress to share with the young generation about the vision, history and new challenges of the Church. Meanwhile, the seniors also answered many questions from the audience.
Rev Wang attributed the declining young congregation in FEC to the ignorance about the history of the church and the lack of sense of belongings among the second generation.
"Not only for the non-Chinese speaking second generation, but also same as the Chinese-speaking 1.5 generation, if they don’t know about the Church, they will not commit themselves," Rev Wang explained.
Rev Wang celebrated the success of the first ever FEC Global Youth Congress, saying that it has raised the concern of the pastors and seniors over the education for youths. In addition, many young congregations begin to acquire more knowledge about the Church. However, he added, this is only a beginning.
"Even if only one in every ten of these young people stay and serve the FEC, they are very precious instruments in my eyes," Rev Wang said.
The first ever FEC Global Youth Congress has won the support of many leaders in FEC worldwide. The Congress is set to be held in Gaoxiong, Taiwan, next year. The theme is to emphasize that the FEC Taiwan will play a big role in the church-planting evangelism ministry of FEC.
Rev Wang explained that FEC in US has already grown into a multi-cultural church with diverse ministries conducted in Taiwanese, Mandarin and English. Among the congregation, there are many Chinese immigrants from Taiwan and Mainland China as well as their second generations. However, in Taiwan, which is home to FEC, the population of Christians is just 3 percent.
"Taiwan is still in the midst of the severe spiritual battle nowadays. Once again, we reaffirmed the commission of FEC Taiwan given by God. The vision God has shown to us is unchanging," said Rev Wang.