550 younger leaders from over 100 countries will gather for six days of Christ-centered leadership development - Younger Leaders Gathering 2006 (YLG ’06) - mobilized by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization.
Held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, starting on Sept. 24, the conference will be specifically designed for men and women between the ages of 25 and 35 who are emerging as leaders in churches, ministries, and the marketplace.
The Lausanne Covenant is the basis for the development of YLG ’06. The Covenant is a collection of principles that identify how the Christian world could unite in world evangelism, addressing fundamental tenants of faith such as Christian social responsibility, the Church and evangelism, cooperation in evangelism, partnership and cultural sensitivity.
"YLG ‘06 is only the beginning of the next wave of younger leadership development," said Larry Russell, coordinator of younger leader’s ministries for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. "In 2007 and 2008 those attending YLG ‘06 will be leading thirty-three regional younger leaders gatherings and thousands of younger leaders will be challenged to ‘lead like Christ’ by allowing Christ to lead them. I am indeed very hopeful about this next generation of Christian leaders."
Marcell Silva Steuernagel, one of the members of the planning committee for YLG ’06, explained why such a conference is needed with reference to the difference in the cultures of the older generation and the younger generation.
Compared to the older members of Lausanne, the younger leaders today are more relying on the internet and other kinds of information technology. Beyond the boundaries of time and space, younger leaders today are more exposed to the global village, meeting real people in many possible ways. Therefore, the older generation is often unable to give them advices on such aspect.
Young people today, moreover, prefers horizontal networks, virtual networks, relational networks and ministry networks, rather than the hierarchy system that has prevailed in the past. They have such need to form a new network that would allow them to carry out their work most efficiently.
The change in the way of communications and degrees of exposure to information reconfigure the way people relate to each other and reshape the pattern of behavior of the people who need the Gospel, according to Steuernagel.
"Our hearts burn for all the lost souls around us just as much as our father’s hearts burned for their friends and contemporaries. But we cannot use methods that were handed down to us to accomplish the same goals," said Steuernagel.
Nevertheless, Steuernagel urges support and mentorship from the senior Lausanne leaders for the YLG ’06, "We need to feel part of a history that is bigger than ourselves and our own generation. We need to feel part of the body of Christ in history."