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9 Comments

  1. sufferingsunfish
    08 January 2016 @ 3:59 pm

    It is refreshing to see GYC as an instrument in promoting the gospel to all the world. It is a welcome relief from those programs that feature a narcissistic view of our young people who will only be satisfied by being in positions of power.

  2. Sam Geli
    12 January 2016 @ 5:47 am

    Here we go again…

    Large rallies and conventions are not meeting the personal, spiritual, social, needs of our youth. To highlight these GYC events as indicative of what the picture of typical SDA Youth ministry, might be inspirational for some, but it is not a picture of the reality that exists in our local churches. The ineffectiveness of our present youth ministry has prompted some to ask if the GYC and it’s leaders are being as effective or represent the best efforts of the SDA church, particularly in North America, where the youth hardly seem to exist in the local churches. When NAD Education Department reports that many more local small church schools have had to close, and that baptisms figures are continuing a downward trend among our youth, something different is needed.

    The lack of an effective youth ministry is partly responsible for the most biblically illiterate, unchurched generation of Americans. We are not meeting the youth at the point of their spiritual needs. Fewer and fewer young adults return to the church after they leave home. Caught in that paradigm, very few of us would be satisfied with the same old methods. Just as it was in Jesus’ day, young adults (and their parents) need help. The church would be suicidal to abandon a generation based on the failing, outdated models of youth ministry. We need more one to one emphasis and less of the large photo-op gatherings.

    • William Noel
      13 January 2016 @ 6:19 am

      Sam,

      Something I was glad to see in the snippets of GYC that I saw on 3ABN were testimonies about what participants had seen God do when they were involved in community ministry and spiritual outreach efforts. That is where the spiritual “rubber meets the road” so I was happy to see GYC was more than just a series of old-style preaching sessions.

  3. Hansen
    12 January 2016 @ 6:26 am

    Sam, The ICOC had a very effective model for youth ministry,peer to peer counselling, primarily among college students but also colleagues.i.e. a physician discipled a younger medical resident that he met in a hospital; a Cal tech student interested some of his peers in a Bible study, a med school student was discipled by peers at UCLA. Converts I met included a former navy pilot, an MIT graduate with a law degree, etc.

    The big draw was that the church developed a program to establish sanctified Christian marriages that would endure through life. This was accomplished by a rigorous program of accountability, peer to peer supervision, and encouragement from older married couples. The church perceived a felt need and fulfilled it. Most of these young people wanted a good marriage above anything else.

    Adventism basically offers pie in the sky, i.e. the Second Advent or investigative judgment, and the Sabbath. People interested in a day of rest van become Jews, so that’s not special.

    A tangible,quantifiable benefit the ICOC offered was a good spouse. Now that’s something that really resonated with these young people. Adventism is largely seen as irrelevant by the youth of today.

  4. Sam Geli
    12 January 2016 @ 6:48 am

    Hansen, because of the rapid growth in the single-adult population, many churches and Christian organizations are focusing on this segment of society for ministry resource and evangelism.

    There are basically four groups of single adults: the never married, the divorced, the separated, and the widowed. Yet there are vast differences in these four groups. Approximately 50 percent of unmarried single adults over the age of 20 have never been married; yet, ministry to single adults in the church has predominantly focused on the divorced. Churches need to look at all dimensions of single adults.

    Single adults have unique needs. Singles under age 30 predominantly have intimacy and career needs. Their intimacy needs are primarily wrapped up in who they will marry. Over age 30, their needs are transitional needs. Some of them have gone through a relationship that has ended, and some of them are coming to terms with the fact they may never marry. Single-adult ministry today is more than encapsulating four generations into one ministry. It is targeting specific generations of single adults. That helps us be more effective. Single-adult ministry today needs to move back to a first-century church model where relationships were the primary factor. How that plays out in the day-to-day affects the way we reach single adults. Single adults have an intense need for relationships.

    Good ideas.

    • William Noel
      13 January 2016 @ 6:17 am

      Sam,

      We cannot understate the value of mentoring relationships in ministering to specific groups in the church, such as the young and singles. One group among the singles and divorced about which I have recently been reminded is those who were raised in abusive homes. The scars such individuals bear make it difficult to build trusting relationships and, should they marry, often doom that marriage because they don’t have the behavior patterns or coping mechanisms they need.

  5. teresaq
    15 January 2016 @ 7:14 pm

    I can’t help but think of the Hitler youth movement.

    I know Ellen White said that people are reached through individual efforts over time, not mass movements. In the end the people coming into the church will be through personal effort and friendship.

    Scary. 🙁

    • teresaq
      15 January 2016 @ 7:16 pm

      An example of this are the ordained women pastors of China. They are ministering exactly as called for by God through EGW.

      • sufferingsunfish
        16 January 2016 @ 6:53 pm

        “When NAD Education Department reports that many more local small church schools have had to close, and that baptisms figures are continuing a downward trend among our youth, something different is needed.”

        Maybe it would be helpful if NAD were spending the thousands on promoting female pastorettes and millions on moving rather on church schools and academies then it culd make a difference.