“Trained to Serve” was the theme of the Conference’s second annual
Young Preachers Institute. More than 40 young people within the
Conference attended the three-day event, which is designed to prepare
young people to conduct youth-oriented evangelistic efforts.
“Young people can reach their peers more effectively than adults can.
Therefore, we must prepare them to preach the gospel,” stated
Sherwin Callwood, Conference youth ministries director and organizer
of the Young Preachers Institute.
With excitement, Callwood quoted three Ellen G. White statements from
Christian Services: “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly
trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and
soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!” “We have an
army of youth today who can do much if they are properly directed and
“Youthful talent, well organized and well trained, is needed in our churches.
The youth will do something with their overflowing energies. Unless these
energies are directed into right channels, they will be used by the youth in a
way that will hurt their own spirituality, and prove an injury to those with
whom they associate.”
Richard Barron, former vice president of the General Conference and director
of religious affairs at Florida Hospital, Avon Park, was the keynote speaker for
He admonished the young people to “boldly preach the word of God,” as he
modeled the delivery of a sermon. The young people participated in a number
of workshops, which included “Developing the Sermon,” “How to Research,”
and “Technology and the Art of Storytelling.” Other presenters included
pastors Barry Bonner, Gregory Mack, Sherwin Callwood, and Conference
IT director, Robert Henley.
The highlight of the event was the “Young Preachers Preach-out.” During
that segment the youth actually preached sermonettes they prepared
during the weekend. Each young preacher was critiqued for their ability to
deliver a sermon utilizing the techniques they learned during the weekend.
Since the establishment of the Young Preachers Institute, the number
of youth-led evangelistic efforts have increased within the Conference.
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