Over 100 young leaders gathered last weekend from around southern California to attend the Youth 100, a gathering of the next generation of leaders at the Agape International Leadership Institute in California.
The primary speaker, Jaeson Ma, a second generation ABC (American Born Chinese) from Campus Church Network (CCN), spoke on the current problems that have resulted in the "massive dropout" of young Christians' participation in church and the need for them to take part in evangelizing their schools.
A problem that can be attributed to the decline in youth participation is the "generational gap," Nakules Veran, coordinator of the Youth 100 said.
There are "first and second generation" Chinese Christians, and "churches are ill-equipped to reach out to young people,” he said. "We are not connecting with the youth," because of the gap.
However, by addressing the need for the youth to evangelize their peers, the conference hopes to initiate a movement where young leaders evangelize on their campuses.
So far, Hawaii, Hong Kong and Taiwan are experiencing a "revival among the youth," Ma said according to Matt Ong regional coordinator for CCN.
The testimonies of these regions are from students who have implemented the CCN approach of "simple churches," which is a church that doesn't need a building but takes place on social grounds such as colleges. Ong said. "God is bringing a new wineskin, a new form and expression of church for this youth generation."
Rev. Ernest Chan, president of the Agape International Leadership Institute said, "For years we have been receiving inquiries particularly for a youth leadership program."
According to a report, Rev. Chan said, "70% of the second generation Chinese immigrants have dropped out of church upon attending college."
"The mission of CCN is to fulfill the Great Commission in this generation through catalyzing and cultivating church planting movements on every campus around the world."
At the end of the meeting on Oct 1, over 20 young leaders accepted Ma's invitation to reach the different campuses in southern California, feeling that they were called by God to lead youth networks, Ong said.
The follow-up to this meeting is the Youth 200, held on November 5, which will further train and equip young leaders in evangelizing and teaching them the strategies on initiating "simple churches" on their campuses and schools.
For more information visit www.agapecenter.net