Over 200 youth groups gathered for Onward Youth conference to learn what God has to say about diversity and how to stand firm against issues that challenge their faith.
Onward Youth 22 Delegates
This June, teenagers and youth leaders from over 200 churches across three states gathered for Onward Youth conference. Hosted by Katoomba Christian Convention, Onward Youth is a one-night apologetics conference, aimed at equipping young Christians to observe current culture through a gospel lens so that they are equipped to stand firm against issues that challenge their faith.
I appreciate that Onward engages the youth on relevant topics that youth leaders may not have the experience and expertise to advise on. It provides a good foundation for further discussions to be had. – Onward Youth 22 Delegate
Youth groups joined from across New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, with the largest groups represented by Frenchs Forest Anglican, Grace Chinese Christian Church, North Side Chinese Alliance Church, St Stephens Anglican Church Normanhurst and West Sydney Chinese Christian Church. Delegates unable to attend the conference in-person could choose the convenient option to tune in via livestream.
Out here in Albury, we really appreciate the livestream. Last year and this year, we built a mini youth group camp around the event. So, it’s a great addition to our program! – Onward Youth 22 Delegate
Onward Youth 22 Delegates
This year, Onward Youth tackled the topic of ‘diversity’, with Apologists Dave Jensen and Amy Orr-Ewing joining the platform to address the question: Doesn’t Christianity crush diversity? In his first talk, ‘Diversity was God’s Idea’, Dave gave a biblical overview of diversity, helping delegates to see diversity in God’s creative design of humanity. He stressed that in contrast, it is humans who hate diversity—as seen in our history with war and destruction—and yet God has wonderful plans to bring complete and perfect unity in diversity one day.
Apologist Dave Jensen speaks at Onward Youth
In his second talk, ‘How do we live as Christians in this diverse world?’, Dave shared practical tips for how young Christians can engage with people who are different to them today. Dave stressed that opposition to Christian faith is to be expected, and yet it is important for Christians to be known for their love and compassion.
I learnt exactly what I was hoping from Dave’s talk which was how to lovingly talk to others about Christianity by being curious and asking questions rather than getting defensive. – Onward Youth 22 Delegate
Amy Orr-Ewing speaks on ‘How Does the Bible Lift Up Women?’
In Amy Orr-Ewing’s talk, ‘How Does the Bible Lift Up Women?,’ Amy shared how the Bible ascribes women worth and equal image-bearing value. She shared how the Bible highlights women with Heroic, Deliverer, and ministry roles, and that Jesus had female disciples who he committed to teaching—something that was countercultural in the ancient world. While many horrific things have been done to women in the Bible, Amy stressed that these events are not condoned, but they are recorded in the Bible because God believes that the suffering of women is worthy of being remembered.
In addition to event access, delegates can also continue thinking about the topic of diversity with Onward Deep Dive—an exclusive resource designed to equip and empower youth groups well beyond the conference event. This year’s Onward Deep Dive also features the following resources:
Does Christianity Make Space for Disability? By Stephanie Judd
Getting Old? What’s That Got to Do with Me? By Sam Wan and James Flood
Missed out on Onward? Access the Livestream!
Missed out on attending Onward Youth this year? Access Dave and Amy’s talks via livestream, as well as all the Onward Deep Dive content to use on our own or with your youth group. Tickets are $29 per person and can be purchased through our website: https://www.onwardevent.com/
Stay up to date with Onward Youth