FM419: getting a glimpse of what God can do
by Frank King
As soon as Gerald Phang learned about FM419, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s youth-oriented evangelism training, he knew his youth group had to participate.
“We know God is going to move mightily in Vancouver (through the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope), so I told our youth they need to get involved,” said Phang, who is the associate pastor at Praise International Church in Vancouver. “We cancelled our weekly youth service so everyone could go.”
FM419, which stands for ‘Follow Me’ and ‘Matthew 4:19’ (I will make you fishers of men) is a key part of the Festival of Hope ministry. It’s an energy-filled, one-day event to encourage and equip youth for evangelism. It also qualifies them to serve as counsellors (if they wish to apply) for the Festival of Hope outreach weekend, March 3-5, 2017 at Rogers Arena.
Learning to share boldly
Through FM419, young people explore the basics of what they believe, find the power to ensure their actions live up to their words, and learn to share their faith boldly with those around them. More than 300 students participated in the October 15 event at Broadway Church in Vancouver.
“One of the key things I took away from FM419 was not being scared about sharing my faith,” said Tyrell Llorin, a 15-year-old member of Phang’s youth group. “I’ve been trying to incorporate that into my life.” Tyrell says he’s already praying about inviting several friends—one of them an atheist—to the outreach events in March.
“I wanted the kids to get a glimpse of what God can do in and through them,” said Phang, explaining why about 20 members of Praise’s International’s youth group participated in the training. “It was a long day for them, but there was so much to chew on and they had a blast. I’m going to help them to understand what they’ve learned and digest it in bite-sized chunks so they’ll be ready for the outreach weekend in March 2017.”
Created seven years ago, FM419 is the youth-focused version of the Christian Life & Witness Course (CLWC)—an all-ages discipleship and evangelism initiative made up of three weekly classes. CLWC has been an essential component of Billy Graham Crusades, Franklin Graham Festivals and Will Graham Celebrations for decades.
More than 20 Greater Vancouver churches hosted CLWC classes in October, and about 1,600 believers participated.
“We had a lot of church members there,” Phang reveals. “I like the simplicity of the instruction, and that’s how evangelism is supposed to be done. It was so simple that anyone could present the Gospel to their friends.”
Future training opportunities
If you or anyone you know missed FM419 or the Christian Life & Witness Course but would still like to be trained, stay tuned. CLWC make-up classes will be held in early 2017, and will enable participants to qualify to serve—if they wish—as counsellors during the March outreach weekend.
Please visit FestivalOfHope.ca for more information on this evangelistic ministry, including how you and your church can participate through your donations and prayers. And please join other Vancouver-area Christians in praying for the Festival of Hope, and for many other important concerns, during a Nov. 27 region-wide prayer service at 6:30 p.m. at Calvary Worship Centre in Surrey.