Some 5,000 youth turned out for the highly anticipated Baptist World Alliance 14th Youth World Conference in Hong Kong, August 4, 2004. The Congress, which is held every five years, allows BWA-allied youth from around the world to come together in experiencing the Christian quality most emphasized by the BWA: Unity.
The first few days of the conference, which is set to end on August 8, centered on worship, messages and fellowship.
Cassandra Jones, a Youth officer from the US commented that the youth of today faces many challenges to their spirituality. Of them was the post-modern, post-Christian mindset that hinders the youth from saying there is a right or wrong.
Youth leaders therefore, explained Jones, must tell the youth that there is a right and a wrong and that they “do not have to apologize for living out your life in Christ as a young person.”
Phil Harbridge, a Canadian representative on the International Program Committee agreed, saying that pluralism is one of the biggest problems church youth leaders may face, especially in the midst of so many beliefs.
However among youth ministers and pastors “there is a growing awareness of young people to serve,” said Harbridge.
The conference has five scheduled speakers and several more who will address the crowd via telecast. The Youth Conference is held every five years; this year’s conference was initially scheduled for 2003 but was pushed back because of the SARS scare.
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