The lights on the ceiling began to sway and I felt the conference center shift. Heads darted back and forth with confusion etched across their faces. What had just happened? On this Tuesday afternoon 17 October 1989 an earthquake raged from an epicenter in California. It impacted life across the whole US west coast, surrounding regions, including our training event more than 800 miles/1300 kilometers away.
During the tremors, everyone paused to understand what had happened. Next, people sprang into action. Phone calls rang out to loved ones. Structures were inspected to assure their strength and integrity. Damaged power grids, quickly assessed, began to receive repairs. Previous plans for the day were jettisoned. The planet shook, and the people responded.
The Body of Christ globally is experiencing a seismic shift. I gathered with the leaders of Global Youth Ministry Organizations in Ft Lauderdale through CE’s connection with the World Evangelical Alliance. One key message came from these gatherings: an unprecedented focus on empowerment of young people has already begun. People are beginning to feel the tremors. Not tremors bent on destruction! These tremors are from a movement; a movement of young people rising up, picking up the cause of Christ, and making an impact for their generation.
I was humbled as significant global leaders were looking at me. Christian Endeavor, known for the genesis of church based youth ministry, also championed the philosophy “don’t do anything for a young person he (or she) is capable of doing.” For 142 years CE has empowered young people for Christ and the Church. Consistently, people of all ages have seen this phenomenon unfold in young people- and then followed their example and surged forth with renewed vigor to advance the gospel. John 10:10 says that Jesus has come so that we might have abundant life. Let’s start living it and taking it to as many people as we can!
We have gathered for the 29th World Christian Endeavor convention. Over the last two years a team has developed the aspects of this event so it could be led by young people, for young people, so they can go and reach young people. I am excited you are here! Those older than thirty, our pivotal role is to encourage, open doors of opportunity, and be conduits of praise as young people commit to follow Christ and engage in His work. Those younger than thirty, imagine the impact God can and will make through your life. There is no obstacle too big; no challenge too great. Christ desires to Empower, and He has chosen you. Peace!
Dr. Dave Coryell