International (MNN) — Youth for Christ encouraged a new generation of believers recently at an international conference attended by 750 individuals representing 80 different countries.
"The thing that made this particular event pretty outstanding is that half of those folks were under the age of thirty," says Dan Wolgemuth, National Director of YFC in the United States. The gathering included wonderful sessions of worship and prayer with Christians from a large variety of backgrounds.
The element that stood out most was the passion of this new generation to serve Christ.
"Given the global chaos that we're experiencing on the financial side of the world, this is a generation that has looked at the pursuit of wealth and accomplishments through a different grid." Wolgemuth says these young people are ready to make change, but "without compromising the message of Christ."
The changes this generation is making are significant. For one thing, they are reaching out to many people that other ministries have yet to reach. In the United States, this means seeking out people who are living "on the fringes." This includes youth that have criminal records, that are pregnant or that are socially on the outside edges of societal circles.
Regardless of what circumstances these kids are in, the YFC staff is dedicated to serving "the least of these" that Jesus talks about in Matthew 26. "That sacrificial heart is drawing them toward kids who really need to hear about the faith."
Wolgemuth wants to see these young kingdom workers biblically anchored and "blown by the Holy Spirit where they need to go." He hopes to help the 19 young leaders in the U.S. to come alongside the other 300 around the world and mobilize the church, in hope that "this next generation unapologetically anchors the truth in God's Word."
Wolgemuth has one particular call to action. "We need to be praying for this generation, and I say that with all fervor," he says. Wolgemuth urges people to be praying for God's protection for these young people and for their grounding in the Word.
"The resource I want mobilized is the prayer of God's people for the continual movement toward young people that absolutely are on the fringes and are being discarded around the world."