Youth Work KYLC
A regular article written by Phillip Jensen in his role as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral.
22nd January 2008
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The future of Christianity is in the hands of God. So often people have written Christianity off only to be surprised by its resilient return. For example the 1960's slogan that “God is dead” was very premature. Today we are seeing more people training for ministry than ever before.
Humanly speaking the future of Christianity lies with the next generation. The gospel is to be preached til the Lord returns. So every generation needs to raise up the next generation. Each age group needs to teach the next age group the gospel and to train them to teach the gospel to yet another generation after them.
There is no permanency in our institutions, systems or organizations that will ensure the future of the faith. The faith lives in the hearts of individuals not institutions. Each age needs to be introduced to the great truths of Jesus. For it is in the truth of Jesus that we have our faith.
Christians have always been interested in children and youth ministry. Both Old and New Testament command us to teach our children the word of God.
We value children in their own right. We wish children to have their own response to God. Thus, we run schools and Sunday schools, and youth fellowships. We provide crèches in churches and encourage family life both at home and in church.
We also know that the future of Christianity lies with the next generation. As we await the return of the Lord Jesus, we busy ourselves in teaching children and young people the great truths of the Gospel. It is important that the Diocese commits itself to its youth work programmes. It is important for every church—including the Cathedral, to invest time and resources into our children's programmes. It is important that we, who have the privilege of a living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, commit ourselves in prayer and giving to support those who work amongst the young.
One of the key ministries for the future is the Katoomba Youth Leadership Conference (KYLC). This conference, held each January, trains youth workers from all over NSW. It is part of the Katoomba Christian Convention ministry. It meets for a week (Monday to Friday) to study God's word with an eye to the ministry to young people that most of the delegates are involved in. There is a three-year programme and many delegates complete the whole course by coming three years in a row.
The delegates come from all over NSW and from a wide diversity of denominations. Of recent years there have been too many coming to cater for them in one week. So the whole programme is repeated in a second week. All told, over 800 youth leaders go to these two conferences each year. All the churches benefit from the many volunteers who run this conference.
This last week and next week I am speaking at the KYL Conferences. It is a great privilege to be able to teach God's word to hundreds of keen young adults. All the more it is a privilege when you hear of their ministry to hundreds of children and teenagers in churches all over Sydney and as far away as Townsville.
Here is the faithful army of God's ministers who are engaged in trying to reach the next generation with the Gospel. Whatever training we can give them will be repaid over and over again. For these are the guardians of the future of the gospel in our land.
Thank you for your continued prayerful support for my many varied ministries. Please pray for me this week as again I go to speak to over 500 youth leaders in Katoomba. But even more important than supporting me in such prayer, please pray that God would raise up a mighty army of Gospel ministers, ordained and lay, full-time and part-time, men and women who will be able to advance the cause of Christ in our land and overseas.