YLG2016: Evening session: Our True Story
The third Lausanne Young Leaders Gathering is happening in Jakarta. YLG2016 is a gathering of 1,000 younger leaders from over 160 countries who will connect, pray, and discern together God’s leading of their generation for his global mission. It’s a privilege to be here and to share my notes of Tracy Trinita, Nick Hall and Ravi Zacharias from tonight’s evening session with you.
How do we communicate the Christian faith to a generation who is easily bored, and pursue happiness through looking good, who are often lost in the kingdom of money, experience and fame, how do we share the gospel in a world of instant gratifications?
There is no simple answer to these questions.
One potential answer is speaking true stories. Stories have the power to open up minds, and breakdown barriers. Every culture loves stories, but not every story is true.
As someone who was bullied for being tall and having a funny name I was thrilled when I became a model. But I realised that money and fame made no difference. Started shopping around the world religions. The Christian faith had something different. The more I read the gospel the more I realised Jesus was not boring. I was showered with genuine love by Jesus who died on the cross for me.
Years gone by since joining God’s mission I’ve spoken with lots of young people, especially in Asia. Listening to the angst of a girl in Japan who wants to commit suicide, looking into the eyes of a girl in Hong Kong who has to get straight As, a girl in Cambodia who desperately wants white skin, a girl in Shanghai who is exhausted from trying to please her parents. They are young in age, but tired and old in souls.
Many of the young people can relate to my story they are pursuing happiness in ways that do not work. I can chat, share the gospel and pray to close with these girls. The tears shine in their eyes and I know Jesus has come, their life will never be the same again.
We all have a unique story to share about what Jesus Christ has done, we al have the Holy Spirit to guide us, we have resources to equip us. 1 Corinthains 1:6 it is the Lord that makes it grow. Let’s plan the seed of the gospel and water it with true love and compassion. We know God will make it grow.
The time is now. The time is now. The time is now. Does anyone believe it? Is anyone excited tonight. Of all the time in history God placed you in this moment, on the edge of the commission being completed in our lifetime.
1974 two gatherings – the first one was a gathering in Lausanne, as leaders met to commit together resources, partner together to share the Gospel. We are sitting here because of that evening. Tonight I want to propose we use events in public places. The other gathering was in South Korea in 1974 of young people called Explode as 300,000 young people gathered. A catalytic event for the church in Korea. No matter what time zone your body is on, God’s time is now!
5 years ago we had a passion that we would take a message across the USA. Started in North Dakota, the place where no one is from. The place where no one belongs. God gave a message offering a reset to young people. To start again, to move passed errors, and to get it back to the way it was created and designed for. As we looked at our generation we saw God created us to work in a certain way. We are fearfully and wonderfully made but so many of our generation don’t know what it means to live out your life for Him. Jesus came and offered this reset, and so we felt a need to share it across our country.
We want the largest places in our culture to be full of people.
Coca Cola in 100 years has evangelised the world. Which of our nations does not believe in Coke, is not selling Coke, does not have it every restaurant, bar and café. Their product is for everywhere, not just for small gatherings – which is why they are on every stage and platform. Do we believe our message is for everywhere or do we just believe it is for the small places.
We want to fill the stadiums and the classrooms, the villages and the cities.
All the time people say events do not work, but ironically they say it while they are at an event!
Stand in it
In awe of it
Lord would you renew it in our day, and so we booked the National Mall in Washington DC for Jesus. People said we were crazy, I don’t want to be normal, I want to be sold out for Jesus. We had 500,000 young people come together. But the key to any event is the send off.
We have filled the mall, now let’s fill them all.
I graduated alongside Alexander the Great, you’re inviting young leaders, but to try to persuade Nick is difficult. I told him that August is my writing month but here I am.
Acts 24 would love to see an artist capture it, what an incredible moment.
He shook and trembled, whether or not it was a sense of fear, the power of what he was listening to. All along his goal was to trip up the messenger as he could not contend with the truth.
1974 Lausanne: the words of Os Guinness :
“Why is there such constant disparagement of the mind? Why so much appeal to the emotions? Why so little content presupposed on which to decide? Why all the talk of “souls” and so little talk of whole people? Why the obvious exploitation of the testimony of the famous? Why is it so often a case of the most simplistic the message the most sophisticated the techniques? Why is there the need for always being bigger and more successful? Why the creation of Christian “celebrities” and “one man denominations”? Why the unconscious manipulations or the open fraudulence in public appeals for money or in prayer letters?
…Part of our failure to get thinking people to take the Gospel seriously is born of a credibility gap. We claim Christianity is true – a claim which is awesome by contemporary standards, but then we whittle down our claims by the patent incongruity of our practices of the truth. The way we operate speaks louder than what we say. Without the practice of truth, evangelism is in danger of becoming a giant institutional mouth or as E.M. Forster dismissed it scornfully, “poor, talkative, little Christianity!”
How do we bring what one startling coalescence of contrarieties?
Here we are making a choice in one of the most powerful countries ever. Rome is no less significant and clever than the original story.
He found a point of reference
He talked to Festus about righteousness. What is it about the listener where you can find a point of reference? At the time arguing from Causality was a strong argument, now they will laugh at you. So then we always assume intelligence.
There is one argument that they all use now, trying to eliminate the ultimate cause, designer and we wonder how we split. Joseph Stalin killed 15 million people, he was once a seminary student, when asked how long people
Point of relevance
Paul was a Hebrew by birth and a student of Rome. Night, lightness, God has caused to shine light on Festus’ weaknesses. Our current biggest issue is pornography.
Pont of disturbance
We cannot win crowds. Young people are ready to pick it up when you are. But we have compromised the gospel so much there is no gospel left.
General Romeo Dare said a key government leader kept the engines running had a quick look and as he left said he didn’t know it was so bad in a Middle Eastern war zone. You didn’t know, you can’t simply Pontius Pilate 800,0000 people. How do you reach a place like that? You are talking about a womb, a womb so large it will hurt. 1 pulled muscle changes how you view everything, your life is changed. When 800,000 are killed you are speaking through gaping wounds. The only one who can do that is for the wounded to hear a wounded saviour. Forms can change but substance cannot change. If you can reach the youth they are the ones who can be game changers. I like the idea of Nick’s gatherings.
Wesley was in a burning house. The family and neighbours thought he was outside, men stood on shoulders to get him, none of them knew they would be standing on his shoulders to get to heaven. When the disciples met Paul they didn’t realise he would be writing a third of the New Testament and planting churches. You never know what that one person saved might do.