Baptist World Alliance, BWA News Release

The call to servanthood

Baptist World Alliance Logo

Rachael Tan stooped on stage and washed the feet of one of the delegates attending the 16th Baptist Youth World Conference in Singapore. Tan, a conference Bible study leader, dramatically drew attention to the power behind Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet, recounted in John’s gospel.

“Why would Jesus, the greatest of all, do such a lowly task?” Tan asked the roughly 2,500 youth at the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre. “It is because Jesus loved them and showed them the full extent of his love.”

The remarkable thing, Tan pointed out, was that Jesus washed the feet of those who would deny and betray him. “Did he also wash the feet of Peter even if he knew that a few hours later this same Peter would deny him three times? Did he also wash the feet of Judas whom the Lord knew would eventually betray him with a kiss? Yes, every single one of them.”

The former associate dean at the Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary told the audience that, regardless of their present social status or level of achievements they should commit themselves to a life of service, just as Jesus did. “Perhaps a sister in your church who always feels ‘out of place’ and ‘left out’ in a lot of the happenings in your youth group needs someone to befriend her. Perhaps an older lady in the church who is living alone in an apartment needs someone to help clean her house or water her plants,” Tan stated. “Perhaps a disabled brother needs someone to fetch him so he can go to church every Sunday. Perhaps some orphans or elderly people in nursing homes need people to bring food to them. Will you be the hands and feet of Jesus to serve them and meet their needs?”

Diana Francis, speaker on the night of Thursday, July 18, reminded the youth delegates that God is constantly reaching out to them, despite their personal circumstance or situation. God, she said, “specializes in broken lives, damaged people that the world condemns.” She encouraged the youth to get their validation from God rather than from their peers. “You may be seeking validation, acceptance, value, self-worth, but God reached down through Jesus Christ to give you that validation and identity.”

Francis, a television personality and president of the Student Christian Movement in the Bahamas, declared that “regardless of how dark it gets, how bad things may become, know that behind every dark cloud, there is a silver lining.”

The Baptist Youth World Conference is being held from July 17-21.

Baptist World Alliance®
© July 19, 2013

The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 266 conventions and unions in 134 countries and territories comprising 51 million baptized believers in 178,000 churches. For more than 100 years, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.