Young Messianic Scholars & Leaders Conference
By Andrew Sparks, Executive Director, Messiah Now Ministries

For the first time ever, a Young Messianic Scholars and Leaders Conference will meet. This historic gathering has the great potential to foster kesher (unity) and help young leaders and scholars network in ministry and build friendships with their peers. At the conference, young leaders will have the opportunity to present and interact with some of the most significant issues that are facing the Messianic Movement today. Topics that will be discussed include Biblical and Theological Studies, Outreach, Messianic Worship, and Jewish Studies.

One of the great needs of our time is the encouragement and strengthening of the next generation of leaders and scholars. At the conference, senior messianic and missions leaders will be mentoring and empowering a new generation of leaders. This gathering will also help cultivate a commu-nal and enterprising spirit through dialogue and relation-ship building among scholars and congregational leaders, and messianic and missions leaders. Many leaders and organizations have encouraged or supported this project, including the Union of Messianic Jewish Congrega-tions, LCJE International, Lederer, Hashivenu, the Jewish Studies Department at Moody, Chosen Peoples Ministry, and the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America. Lederer has graciously offered to publish a forthcoming book of collected conference papers delivered by young leaders and scholars.

In helping to coordinate the conference, I have been excited to see so many young scholars and leaders actively serving our Messiah and the Jewish community around the world. Some of these scholars and leaders are attending college or seminary, engaged in doctoral work, or serving in full-time ministry. The diversity ranges from one attendee who is starting a Ph.D. program at Oxford next year to another who recently began planting a Russian messianic congregation in a major metropolitan area.

The conference will be held at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, and will take place from Sunday through Tuesday, June 2-4, 2002. If you are interested in attending or helping send a young leader, scholar, or student to this conference, please contact us for further information and registration materials at (919) 349-6128,, or (follow the link, Messianic Scholars). If you are a young leader, scholar, or student, please join us. A limited number of scholarships are available.

The prayer and hope for this conference is to provide a setting for the fulfillment of God's call to service. The following charge exemplifies this divine call to all young messianic scholars and leaders.

Command and teach these things. Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that every-one may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Timothy 4:11-16)

The conference organizers are: Jason Sobel, M.Div candidate, Southeastern Seminary; Andrew Sparks, S.T.M., Yale University; Seth Klayman, Ph.D. in progress, Jewish Studies, Duke University; and Jonathan Kaplan, M.Div. candidate, Columbia Theological Seminary.

Andrew Sparks