Dwight A. Moody

Festivals for Young Preachers are springing up all over the country this summer, and they are hosted by national denominational gatherings.

The first is the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. At their General Assembly in Dallas (June17-20), 16 Young Preachers are registered to preach on the year-long AoP theme, HEAVEN & EARTH. This tradition started 4 years ago with only 4 Young Preachers.

The second is the North American Christian Convention. They will gather in Cincinnati (June 22-25) and witness the final stage of an innovative Next Generation Preacher Search. Managed from Peperdine University, this competition induced scores of Young Preachers to submit sermon videos last fall; some were invited to one of two national events, and from these 4 were selected to preach on Wednesday morning June 24.

The Mission Summit of American Baptist Churches USA gathers in Kansas City (June 25-29). Central Baptist Theological Seminary has coordinated their first Festival of Young Preachers and more than 20 are expected to stand and deliver a message from the 20 biblical texts associated with the HEAVEN & EARTH theme.

Finally, more than 100 Young Preachers are expected at the Young Preachers Festival and Conference also in Kansas City (July 16-18). This event, hosted by Church of the Resurrection and directed by AoP Gospel Catalyst Tyler Best AoP’11), builds off of the momentum of festivals at University of Evansville, Pfrimmers Chapel UMM, and the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. (Note especially the video of Tyler on this INUMC website.)

This attention to Young Preachers has, in large measure, grown out of the mission and programs of the Academy of Preachers. Our mission is to “identify, network, support, and inspire young people in the call to gospel preaching.” Augmenting attention given to other avenues of ministry (social justice, worship, youth ministry, etc), the AoP has brought fresh focus to the role of preaching, both parish preaching and public preaching.

We have given our energy to regional and national festivals but the real opportunity lies with these denominational networks. Every regional and national meeting of a denomination needs to include a Festival for Young Preachers. Such an initiative will bring younger leaders into what is generally a gray gathering; and the preaching of this millennial generation will become a wellspring of hope within denominational structures that are struggling to remain solvent, relevant, and vital.

The Academy of Preachers is ready to help any association, conference, synod, or assembly empower their Young Preachers through a Festival. We have a FESTIVAL IN A BOX that is designed and available for this very purpose. We even have professional staff and trained Young Preachers (we call them Gospel Catalysts) ready to assist in any such effort.

Throughout this summer, AoP team members Dwight A. Moody and Wyndee Holbrook will be attending, leading, recording, and reporting on these Festivals highlighted above. Tap us on the shoulder and ask how we can help you.