A two-day youth conference, sponsored by the Florida Baptist Convention was held August 6-7 at Orlando’s First Baptist Church, drawing nearly 1,500 junior high and high school students. With the theme “Live Jesus to Excess,” the conference, which is also known as “2XS,” challenged the students to live according to God’s standards, following the lifestyles of purity and holiness but to stay away from “socially acceptable behaviors” such as drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, etc.
During the conference, guest speaker Stuart Hall, founder of DASH Student Ministries emphasized the idea of “heroism.” Just like Jesus became a hero for us, he encouraged the students to be a Christian hero, who can establish relationships that communicate Christ’s love to the lost souls by sharing God’s message of forgiveness, calling it the ultimate act of “courage.”
“There is nothing we can do about our sin nature. In our shattered state, we all need a hero,” Hall said, “You do not become a hero because someone deserves it but because someone became a hero for you.”
Hall added that individuals who lead a Christian lifestyle can draw an interest from their peers that lead to opportunities to share one’s Christian faith.
“When is the last time your friends asked you about your faith and why you don’t do the things they do?” Hall asked the students.
David Burton, director of the Florida Baptist Convention Evangelism Division, spoke at the conference, presenting the different methods the students could follow in sharing their faith, including the “Hand to Hand” Evangelism technique and the EvangeCube which is a handheld pictoral display that tells the story of Christ dying on the cross.
“2XS has now become the strongest most direct and intentional event we do in training teenagers and their leadership to be personal soul winners,” Burton said.
Another guest speaker, Dwight Singleton, an evangelist from Winter Park, challenged the youth to erase anything in their lives representing a “direct violation of the Word of God.”
“God cares how we live, what we do and how we act,” Singleton asserted.
Other leaders and volunteers who are guiding the youth reflected upon the conference and explained how big of impact it would have on the students from now on.
“This challenge will give me a jump start with the kids when we go back to our regular weekly meetings,” said Danny Brown, 23, who volunteers with the youth at Celebration Baptist Church, Tallahassee.
The struggles revealed here may be something as small as lying, “but if they can get grounded in their faith now there is the opportunity for them to experience a greater depth in their relationship with God,” said Brown.