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YouthLink 2000 promises challenge to Christian leaders of new millenium

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–YouthLink 2000, a massive turn-of the-millenium student celebration, promises to provide the kind of challenge today’s Christian young people need to impact their world for Christ, according to several youth leaders organizing the event.
“All this generation of students is looking for is someone to point them in the right direction, to say, ‘There is the hill: Go take it,'” said Keith Loomis, a student volunteer mobilization associate with the North American Mission Board who serves on the YouthLink 2000 steering committee.
The Southern Baptist event will be held Dec. 29-31, 1999, simultaneously in seven U.S. cities: Atlanta, Anaheim, Calif., Denver, Houston, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Tampa, Fla. It will be devoted to celebration and praise, as well as commitment to evangelism and discipleship in the new millenium. As many as 200,000 students ages 13-22 are anticipated.
Loomis and Andy Morris, director of NAMB student volunteer mobilization, say they have already seen the spiritual intensity and maturity demonstrated by today’s students in the response to World Changers, a program offering hands-on missions opportunities for junior high and high school students.
Morris saw World Changers explode from 137 volunteers in 1990 doing renovation of substandard homes in Briceville, Tenn., to more than 10,000 students working last summer in 40 citywide projects.
Morris also cited the commitment of hundreds of thousands of students to the True Love Waits sexual abstinence pledge and the high turnout for the yearly “See You At the Pole” prayer rallies on school campuses as further evidence of the movement of God among today’s youth.
“God may be building an army of Christians,” he said. “It is phenomenal to watch.”
Among the challenges expected at YouthLink 2000 is to be involved in missions for a summer or a semester before college graduation.
Richard Ross, youth ministry consultant for the Baptist Sunday School Board, and Dean Finley, a student evangelism associate for NAMB, are co-chairs for the event.
“There are signs of a fresh movement of God among this generation,” said Ross. “If God should choose to place teenagers in the forefront of spreading revival and even spiritual awakening, it is interesting to wonder how the timing of YouthLink 2000 fits in his plans.”
While the event promises plenty of fun and excitement, organizers said they are praying for several key dimensions of commitment among participants:
— More than 3,000 teenagers will profess faith in Christ as Savior and Lord;
— God will call out more than 1,000 career missionaries and 1,500 young pastors and church leaders;
— Most of those present will accept a challenge to share the gospel with every other American teenager by the end of AD 2000;
— Most will adopt a lifestyle of missions support through prayer and giving; and
— YouthLink 2000 will give young people a glimpse of the scope and scale of Southern Baptist work that they will carry with them the rest of their lives.
Southern Baptist sponsors of YouthLink 2000 are the Baptist Sunday School Board, the North American Mission Board, the International Mission Board and Woman’s Missionary Union. For more information, call (888) YOUTHLINK or visit the Internet web site, www.youthlink2000.org.