Linking our youth stories towards leading our youth


The webinar titled “Linking our youth stories towards leading our youth” held on 21st March 2024, brought together speakers Rev. Ashish Hirday, the Global Facilitator of Youth Commission at WEA from India, and Dan Randall, Director of HOPE Together in the UK, with Dr. Peirong Lin, Deputy General Secretary at WEA in Germany, moderating the discussion.

The webinar aimed to address the challenges faced by young Christian leaders in regions with prevalent religious persecution, focusing on their personal and ministerial growth amidst adversity. It sought to provide insights, strategies, and encouragement for both aspiring and existing Christian youth leaders facing similar circumstances.

The main themes of the webinar included examining the various forms of persecution faced by Christian youth leaders and their resilience, exploring how they cultivate leadership skills and nurture their faith, discussing the role of faith and identity in shaping their experiences, and highlighting the importance of church and community engagement despite opposition and persecution.

The target audience for the webinar included Christian youth leaders, pastors, church members, theologians, scholars, and anyone interested in understanding leadership dynamics in persecuted and challenging contexts. Overall, the webinar aimed to inspire and equip Christian youth leaders to fulfill their potential in leading their communities despite the challenges they face.

The webinar emphasized the importance of authenticity in engaging today’s youth, highlighting the need for the church to connect with them in relatable ways to facilitate genuine encounters with God. It advocated for viewing discipleship as a journey, rather than a mere process, emphasizing ongoing growth and transformation. The discussion also called for a re-imagining of persecution to include forms like exclusion, recognizing the diverse challenges faced by young Christian leaders. It underscored the reality that every region presents unique obstacles to reaching the younger generation, emphasizing the need for context-specific approaches. While different methods may be required to share the gospel effectively, the message itself should always remain true and authentic, avoiding a sole focus on prosperity. Additionally, the webinar noted the contrasting trends of increasing liberalism and constraints in different regions, highlighting the digital realm as a valuable tool for reaching a wider audience. A key takeaway was the importance of using personal life examples to connect with young people, using these stories as a gateway to share the gospel and guide them through the discipleship journey. Particularly in persecuted regions, there is a need to envision new ways and methods of youth ministry to effectively reach this generation.

In conclusion, the webinar “Linking our youth stories towards leading our youth” provided valuable insights and strategies for addressing the challenges faced by young Christian leaders in regions with prevalent religious persecution. By focusing on personal and ministerial growth amidst adversity, the webinar aimed to equip Christian youth leaders with the tools and encouragement needed to navigate challenging circumstances. Key themes such as authenticity in engagement, viewing discipleship as a journey, and re-imagining persecution underscored the importance of adapting approaches to effectively reach today’s youth. The webinar highlighted the significance of context-specific strategies, maintaining authenticity in the gospel message, and leveraging digital platforms for outreach. Overall, it emphasized the vital role of Christian youth leaders in inspiring and guiding their communities, even in the face of obstacles, towards a deeper encounter with God.