Here are some plans and programs already in place at the division, Mid-America Union and local conference levels that are helping to build cross-generational community.
North American Division
Young Adult Life is recognized as one of six “building block” initiatives the North American Division Executive Committee voted at their November 2012 year-end meetings. Each initiative carries momentous priority and is receiving significant resources.
A process to assess needs and direction was begun by James Black, director for NAD Youth and Young Adult Ministries. He convened 25 young adults, pastors and young adult leaders to bring ideas from their experiences and develop recommendations for action.
Facilitator Chris Blake, associate professor of English and communication at Union College, asked participants to share their best ideas for young adult empowerment, retention and involvement, which were then assigned to categories for small-group brainstorming.
Blake reported that the dialog was candid and bold, the participants engaged and hardworking. After two intense days of concentrated effort and much prayer, the team chose seven focus areas to begin the “Young Adult Life” movement:
1. Support honest conversation regarding the current state of young adult ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist church.
2. Provide local churches with resources and funding to encourage innovative young adult ministry efforts.
3. Build a platform for creative young adults to use their gifts and abilities to advance the gospel through the arts.
4. Develop a national network of inclusive young adult communities in major cities.
5. Create a space for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and young adults to discover what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist young adult in today’s world.
6. Advance efforts to spread the gospel and love of Jesus to public university campuses across North America.
7. Encourage discipling/ mentoring relationships between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the “next” generation.
Mid-America Union/Local Conferences
The purpose of iEngage is to begin or strengthen youth and young adult groups in local churches and on college and university campuses in the Mid-America Union.
iEngage training is primarily for elected leaders of local churches (all ages). Also welcome are individuals who have been asked to attend by their pastor or conference. Persons between the ages of 17 and 29 years who are willing to become leaders in their local church are especially invited. You must register in order to receive training materials and meals.
Emphasis and responsibilities included in this training are small groups, Sabbath school, Friday night Bible studies, evangelism, social activities, outreach, recreation, drama ministry, worship ministry and preaching. Eight iEngage training sessions were held this year throughout Mid-America.
Plans for 2016 are underway
Contact your conference youth department for details:
- Darriel Hoy, Central States Conference: 913.371.1071
- Loren Nelson, Dakota Conference: 701.751.6177
- Dennison Sager, Iowa-Missouri Conference: 515.223.1197
- Travis Sager, Kansas-Nebraska Conference: 785.478.4726
- Minnesota Conference: 763.424.8923
- Heidi Littell, Rocky Mountain Conference: 303.733.3771