“But Young People Today Will Never Listen To Preaching…”
A report of the Banner of Truth Conferences held in April this year:
What a great privilege it is to be able to attend the Banner of Truth Youth Conference each year! Although it is a busy time it is a wonderful opportunity to see a group of young people so evidently enjoying hearing the Word of God expounded. I’m sure that if you asked a modern psychologist or ‘expert’ in communication you would be told that the programme was utterly unsuitable to attract present day young people. This year, in 48 hours there were seven preaching sessions, three organised prayer sessions, together with discussion times and just 2 hours for recreation on the Saturday afternoon. Yet upwards of 300 young people (including day visitors) met together to listen attentively to serious Bible preaching.
To hear the standard of discussion, to listen to their prayers and to be able to share with these eager young people the things of God was a humbling experience. On the Saturday afternoon a number of us went for a walk in the countryside and soon our conversation turned to the Scriptures. Their uppermost concern was how to live a holy life in a sinful world and many practical matters were raised.
The main preaching sessions included two powerful messages by Bill Bygroves from Liverpool entitled “A Life Less Ordinary” with the challenge to live wholeheartedly for the Master. “Live your life for the Saviour: give your time for the gospel,” he exhorted. “Drink deep from the Word of God and be saturated with the Truth.” Three sessions were taken by Hugh Collier, dealing with the subject, “To Live is Christ.” He told us that it was at a previous Banner Youth Conference that he was challenged to consider God’s call to him. Bill Bygroves had been at the very first Banner Youth Conference – and it was so encouraging to see how God had led them over the years.
Iain Murray encouraged the young people to study the history of God’s dealings with the church and Noel Weeks gave an instructive address applying lessons from Bible history to today.
How we need to pray for these young people as they battle with the world – and in some cases with the church as well! Three young men especially purchased cassettes of former Banner Youth conferences in great quantities. When asked why they wanted so many they replied, “Because we do not get preaching like this at our church.” May God be pleased to raise up faithful preachers from among these young people to carry on the task of preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ to the present generation. Those who assume that all that young people can cope with is entertainment need to be shaken into recognising that gospel ministry is indeed God’s appointed way of reaching young and old alike.
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