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J a n u a ry - J u n e 2 0 1 2

accent
the resource for adventist youth leaders
CONTENTS
Departmental Director Gilbert Cangy
cangyg@gc.adventist.org
3 editorial
Editor Jonatán Tejel
tejelj@gc.adventist.org
Copy Editor Erica Richards
4 keeping it real
richardse@gc.adventist.org
Editorial Assistant/Production Manager 6 feature
Maria A. Dunchie
dunchiem@gc.adventist.org
13 feature
Advisors Hiskia Missah, Armando Miranda,
Silvia Sicalo
18 cover story
subscriber information
Subscription 26 perspective
ACCENT is a free online resource for youth
accent accent accent
leaders. Youth Ministry ACCENT is a quarter-
ly publication of the Youth Ministries Depart- 29 young adult Bible study
ment, General Conference of Seventh-day
Adventists®. All rights reserved. Copyright ©
2012 by The General Conference of Seventh- 36 workshop
day Adventist Youth Ministries Department.

Editorial Matters
43 program planner
Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome, as well
as letters to the editor, youth ministry tips, 45 junior youth Bible study
youth volunteer service reports, programming
and story ideas. Send manuscripts to YMA
Editor at the address below. 48 ready-to-use programs
Contact Information • mentoring
Phone: 301-680-6170 • Fax: 301-680-6155
Email: accent@gc.adventist.org • decisions
Website: gcyouthministries.org
• spiritual warfare
Mailing Address
GC Youth Ministries Department, • spiritual gifts and playing ball
12501 Old Columbia Pike,
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600, USA. • test drive
Publisher
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist®
Youth Ministries Department.

____________________
cover: Jonatán Tejel

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E ditorial By Gi l b ert C a n g y

Defragging Youth Ministry

S
ometimes our hard drives need defragging. radical discipleship is at the heart of this defragging. I have said before,
The more files you have, the more programs and I will say it again, over the years the church has altered the Great
you download, the more your hard drive gets Commission from ‘making disciples’ to making ‘church members’; the
scrambled by confusing, scattered, random outputs Great Commission has become the Great Omission. Defragmentation is
that get sprayed over lots of space. Computer crashes, needed. Our vision to defrag is expressed in our re-Visioning document
power outages, and stalled programs just add to the that calls for “the emergence of a Global Youth Movement, transitioning
fragmentation. The more your hard drive has to work from mere membership to authentic discipleship.”
to retrieve the original information, the slower it That authentic discipleship, expressed in community, constitutes the very
becomes, the more blurred the pictures are, and the first description that we have come to know as the primitive church. That
more resistant everything is. church freshly crafted by the hands of God through the outpouring of His
The call to Revival and Reformation throughout the Holy Spirit was a community devoted to the Word, to fellowship, and to
world church is a call to defrag; to rediscover its speed prayer, where they were all together and had everything in common. There
so its images can once again snap and pop up with were no needy persons among them. They broke bread in their homes and
clarity and conviction, particularly in our ministry for ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the
young adults. favor of all the people.
In AD100, there were as few as 25,000 Christians What I find even more amazing is that the Lord was so pleased with
within the Roman Empire; in AD 310, just before that bunch of radical disciples, they were such an exquisite expression of
Constantine came on the scene, they had grown to what the Kingdom of God is like, that He took it upon Himself to do the
20,000,000. How did they grow from being a small evangelism and sent the people to them: “the Lord added to their number
movement to the most significant religious force of daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). And when persecution
the Roman Empire in two centuries? They had no broke out and they were all scattered throughout Judea and Samaria, they
church buildings, Bibles, seminaries, commentaries, preached the Word wherever they went
(Acts 8:4).
etc., as we know them. There were no institutions or
professional form of leadership; no seeker-sensitive It’s time to dream, pray, and claim into
services, youth groups, worship bands, etc. In fact, existence a community of disciples that
they were an illegal religion; it was hard to join will be an expression of the heart of God.
the church. They had none of the things we would A community with no back doors. A
ordinarily use to solve the problems of the church. community that will not disengage when
scattered, but will remain true to its calling.
So, how did the early Christian church do it? In
pursuit of the answer to that question, I have It is also time to do what my colleagues have
become convinced that the power that manifested done in this edition of the Accent Magazine;
itself in the story of that remarkable movement is that is, to identify challenges and propose
Gilbert Cangy is the Youth
available to us today as well. And the awakening constructive solutions towards authentic
Director of the Seventh-day
of that dormant potential has something to do discipleship within our community and offer Adventist Church. He can
with a strange mixture of passionate love for God, practical tools to foster the same. be reached at CangyG@
prayer, and incarnational practice. The recovery of It’s defrag time. gc.adventist.org

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K e e pi n g It R e a l Tr a n s cen di n g ta l k w i th t y pe s of t i t h e

An open letter from A. Allan Martin to


leaders on developing the next generation
Dear Fellow Believers,

Over the tenure of our past leadership, I was repeatedly impressed by the strong and
succinct conviction of Elder Jan Paulsen as to the importance of new generations. Last year,
Paulsen articulated in the October edition of Adventist World, “We must give young adults
meaningful roles within the church (p.10).” Paulsen also re-initiated the Let’s Talk series that
he has been conducting around the world for over half a decade.

In the afterglow of the 59th General Conference Session, we commence upon the tenure of
new leadership for our world church and for many of our divisions.

I have already heard wonderful and strong comments from leadership about the importance
of young people and the need to retain our young adults. Even though I support these fine
and admirable verbal gestures, I feel we fail new generations if we only offer another round of
conversations and compelling articles.

So I share this open letter with you, leader -- whether you offer volunteer leadership in
your local church or campus or serve as a ministry professional, educator or administrator.
Leader, I implore you to move beyond conversations about youth
and young adults to conspicuous and calculated action.
A. Allan Martin is the pastor of Although I admire the outspoken positions our leaders have taken on this issue I want to
Younger Generation Church [www. invite you and every leader in the Adventist Church to transcend talk with tangible action.
YGchurch.com], the vibrant young
Specifically I’m asking you to tithe. Tithe one or more of the following beginning today:
adult ministry of the Arlington
Seventh-day Adventist Church in
Travel, time, Timothys, telecasts and talents.
Texas [USA]. Dr. Martin continues
Tithe your travel. Divert one of your travel appointments, and instead sponsor a young
as adjunct faculty for the Seventh-
day Adventist Theological Seminary, adult to be trained ministry leadership. Instead of taking on that 10th speaking appointment
specializing in discipleship and or attending another committee meeting, invest that trip’s budget into the leadership
family ministry. He and his wife, development of a young adult. In the North American Division, IGNITION is especially
Deirdre, tour nationally, speaking formulated to deepen the discipleship and leadership development of young adults.
about relationships as well as
equipping new generations in Tithe your time. Offer a 10th of your time each week to mentoring a young adult. If you
Christian lifestyle and leadership. average a 40-hour workweek, then set aside four hours this week and each week to nurture,
Along with daughter Alexa, they apprentice, and encourage a young adult. Begin to pour yourself into the next generation. If
reside in the DFW Metroplex. you are working a 60-hour workweek and are saying to yourself, “There is no way I can offer six
hours each week to mentor a young adult,” it may be that you need to change your work habits.

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Ignition -- Go to http://ignitionblog.wordpress.com/
Tithe your timothys. Empower a 10th of your young leadership
to develop new generations. You may be in the situation where
you have a large team of young ministry leaders [i.e., a campus
ministry or student association for an Adventist college or
university]. Ask your team to train, mentor, and nurture the
young people who follow them in age. Set aside a tenth of the
resources and efforts you give to minister to your campus or
church and invest it in the next generation of leaders.

Tithe your telecasts. Dedicate a 10th of your broadcast time


to intentionally disciple young adults. Knowing the integral
role media plays in young lives, invest in nurturing their
spiritual growth through music, television, film, drama, comedy,
photography, literature, art or production. Overtly involve young
adults in the production, creative, and technical aspects of the
tithed endeavor.

For some of you, the pulpit is where you broadcast the Gospel.
Afford at least a 10th of the worships in your church to involve
young people. If you don’t have any youth in your church, more
Starting over
radical tithing may be in order.

Tithe your talents. Begin today to let a young person take your
or
just taking
place. The classic parable admonishes us to multiply our talents,
not bury them in the sand. Although often referring to talents as
money, I would offer here a hybrid application, noting that your

a
skills, abilities, giftedness, and wisdom need to be invested in the
next generation. Allow “up and coming” young adults to take
roles you might have easily and competently taken. Give them
the opportunity to take your place -- at least begin with a 10th of
your place.

Dear colleague, I am personally appealing to you to instigate


this “tithing” movement today. If you or someone else calls you
bold step?

D.I.A.
a “Seventh-day Adventist leader,” this talk-transcending-tithing
request is for you. Whether travel, time, Timothys, telecasts, or
talents, I ask that you put your tithing into motion today.

Thank you for your kind consideration, and in advance I share


my gratefulness for your immediate action. I believe that
leaders best represent the Christ who relentlessly pursues new
generations by transcending talk with tangible transformational the youth and young adults discipleship curriculum will help


relationships. May the God young adults seek be found in and you on your journey toward an authentic walk with Jesus
through you.

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f e at u r e s t o r y

THE ABCs & Ds OF YOUNG ADULT RELATIONSHIPS:


A CONCEPTUAL MODEL FOR DISCIPLING NEW GENERATIONS
A. Allan Martin, PhD, CFLE
Young Adult Ministries Coordinator
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
Kasper A. Haughton Jr.
MDiv Student, Graduate Assistant: Discipleship & Religious Education Department
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Abstract
Literature has consistently pointed to relationship building as the primary means
of nurturing the spiritual growth of adolescents and emerging adults (Setan, 2008).
Yet, according to recent observations, the relevant praxis of young adult ministry is
all but absent from our current Protestant landscape (Wuthnow, 2007). This paper
offers practical elements in fostering spiritually nurturing ministry relationships
with those who are in post-secondary education through pre-parenthood.

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Do our young adults feel like they can
find the quality relationships they seek
whenever walking through our doors?

Y oung adults, those who are


in post-secondary education
through pre-parenthood,
seek quality relationships in all spheres
For the Seventh-day Adventist
Church, the quest for meaningful,
transformative, young adult
relationships is a significant
fellowship have not done so out of
disagreement with fundamental
beliefs, but out of a lack of inclusion
and unconditional acceptance
of life (Setan, 2008; Wuthnow, 2007). barometer for an aging within the social community of
In the realm of faith development and denominational population (Center their local churches. In an insightful
spiritual community, this search is for Creative Ministry, 2006). Do our commentary on retaining church
both crucial and daunting for young young adults feel like they can find membership, Roger Dudley echoes
adults and the church alike. the quality relationships they seek these observations: “Research on
whenever walking through our doors? why members leave… suggests that
It was a sunny Friday afternoon in a social and relational factors are much
crowded metropolitan restaurant and During a recent interview with noted
more significant than disagreement
farmer’s market. Gathered around ministry researcher Roger Dudley, I
with denominational teachings.”
a small wooden dining table sat a [Allan] was struck by his comment:
He continues: “The reasons most
group of young adult friends from frequently cited by persons who leave
“While there are many factors in
various places, enjoying a leisurely local church fellowship are found
retention, I really think that the
lunch. I [Kasper] will never forget in the realm of relationships, the
congregational climate is perhaps the
what Adrian, a young college student absence of a sense of belonging, and
most important thing of all. To them
from the city of Dallas, Texas, told the lack of meaningful engagement
[young people], Adventism is that
me. He explained that there was no in the local congregation and its
congregation. . . If that congregation
way he would have come back to mission” (General Conference of
is a warm, accepting place, then
the church he is now a member of Seventh-day Adventists Executive
Seventh-day Adventism must be
unless they had taken the time to Committee, 2007, p. 2).
a good thing. If that congregation
get to know him and interacted on a
is a place that is struggling, then
relational level. He could have cared
they wonder what’s the matter with Intentionality: placing
less about what they believed at the
Adventists” (Martin, 2009, p.19). actions where intentions
time of his searching. What kept
bringing him back every week was It is sad, but true: many of the young are.
the fact that he could feel like they adults I [Kasper] know who have It is time for those within the
really wanted to connect with him. left Seventh-day Adventist church Seventh-day Adventist Church to

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start placing their actions where their meaningful and positive differences
intentions are. It is time for young
adult ministry to become more than
The simple in the lives of young adults? Here
are four key observations, the ABC’s
a priority agenda item and become and D’s of young adult relationships.
a priority action philosophy. Robert steps of
Wuthnow, professor of Sociology Authenticity: The Art of
at Princeton University, endorsed, Being Real
“My view is that congregations building trust Young adults are desperately
can survive, but only if religious looking for relationships that
leaders roll up their sleeves and
pay considerably more attention to
validate one’s are real, honest, and transparent
(Martin, 1998; Stetzer, Stanley, &
young adults than they have been” Hayes, 2009). In a recent survey of
(Wuthnow, 2007, p. 230). reliability. The American young adults, researchers
Kinnaman and Lyons found that
It should be asserted here that every
85% of non-Christian young adults
adult member of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church is perceived by
humility to and 47% of young adult church
attendees perceive the church to be
new generations as an authority
figure or leader, to varying degrees admit mistakes, “hypocritical.” Seventy percent of
non-Christians surveyed also believed
and contexts, within the local
the Christian faith is out of touch
congregation. And the need is
significant enough to call on every then pursue with reality (Kinnaman & Lyons,
2007). Unfortunately, the claim of
Seventh-day Adventist Christian
hypocrisy is not a new attack against
adult to foster environments of
relational ministry with young forgiveness Christendom. What is significant
about these experiential observations
adults, lest we succumb to the
is their connection to the core
bystander effect that has crippled
our faith community for far too
goes a long values of young adults within the
long. current generational cohort. Young

The idea of relationship building


way towards adults today cry out for honesty
and vulnerability in people they
as a primary ministry model is not encounter. Continuing in their plea to
simply a result of recent research.
This concept has been exercised
authenticating fellow leaders in the faith, Kinnaman
and Lyons advocate for a corrective
since Christ’s perfect example of soul perception where Christians are
winning. Observing the current state a young adult transparent about their flaws and act
of affairs within the increasingly first, talk second (Kinnaman & Lyons,
secular context of current 2007). Opposed to the faux facade of
generations, what are the essential relationship. “having it all together,” young adults
characteristics needed to make are seeking out genuine interaction

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with Adventists that are human, are willing to be real, honest, and of purpose and significance as part
willing to admit they too are working sincere offer young adults a cherished of their faith community. Former
through issues and challenges. In opportunity for rich relationships. president of the General Conference
contrast to previous generations that of Seventh-day Adventists, Jan
valued individuality and privacy, Belonging: Feeling Paulsen also agrees,
young adults want significant adults Accepted and Involved
to be more relationally involved in “We [church leaders] need to
Young adults today seek in ever
their lives. Leaders who are willing hear and understand what they
increasing ways to be valued as
[young adults] are saying, for it
to be authentic offer young adults active contributors to the world
comes across clearly and strongly
a priceless opportunity for rich around them. They don’t want
from those who are under thirty
relationships. to just fit the mold prescribed
in our church. The point they are
them; they want to help shape it.
This is not to say that adults are to making is this: Being included,
In our interview conversation,
develop an awkward relational climate being trusted, being considered
Dudley noted a contributing
by divulging too much and creating a responsible, for elders to be
factor to young adult attrition is
confessional-type codependency. Nor prepared to take some risk with
the “lack of inclusiveness of youth
does cultivating authenticity suggest inexperience, are sentiments and
involvement in congregational life
that every conversation be centered attitudes which senior leadership
and leadership” (Dudley, 2000).
on self-disclosure. Be gradual and must be willing to show, or we
According to Dudley’s research
genuine. The simple steps of building [young adults] are gone! We are
respondents, an ideal church is one
trust validate one’s reliability. The gone simply because we have no
where young adults are active in
humility to admit mistakes, then ownership responsibility in the life
the life of the group (Martin, 1995).
pursue forgiveness goes a long way of this church” (Paulsen, 2006, p. 14).
As we conversed, I [Allan] noted
towards authenticating a young adult the qualities Dudley identified that There is a risk involved with allowing
relationship. make the church attractive to new the participation of newer generations
Sincerity is one of the most vital generations: in your ministry. It means that you as
facets to authentic relationships. An a leader must be vulnerable to new
“I think one of the things is [that]
honest interest in a young adult, approaches and methodologies. Often
they found a place of belonging
fueled by virtuous intention, builds the skill sets young adults bring to
there; they felt like they were a
relational bridges to new generations the table take different forms than
part of a family; they felt like they
that have seen so little attention from ones recognized by generations past.
were needed; they felt like the
parental and adult figures. Christ’s Was it that long ago that we played
church depended on them; they felt
authentic interest in the people He music on vinyl discs and composed
acceptance there; they had friends
encountered stands out just as much papers on typewriters? Our dexterity
there; it was a pleasant experience
in the 21st century as it did in the first. to integrate young adult’s unique
for them” (Martin, 2009).
contributions and value their talents
Young adults want genuine, bona It is our firm belief that leaders who not only impacts their sense of
fide relationships. Don’t pretend are willing to minister collaboratively belonging, but also our relevance to
perfection; be human. Those who with young adults solidify their sense their peers. Being needed and feeling

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involved also bolsters their experience of security and Social action is high on the priority list of young adults,
meaning. and their perception of an attractive church is one
actively involved in helping people in need (Dudley,
Young adults bring tremendous skills and talents along 2000). Funding missionary endeavors in far off lands
with mental dexterity to apply their knowledge with is fine, but one-dimensional. Young adults are clearly
relevance. Adults who intentionally work synergistically interested in being a community of character that
alongside these new generations make a tremendous does more than outsource compassionate endeavors
impact on their sense of belonging and purpose. (Martin, 1995). Global is good, but young adults also
gravitate towards ministries that meet local needs in their
Compassion: Do Something Now neighborhoods and communities. They’re eager to align
with causes and advocacy that transcend denominational
In the days of increasing community awareness through
and socio-political lines for the sake of making a good
social networking, compassion ministries have never
difference in the world.
been in better positions to connect with those outside
the Christian faith. All sociological markers seem to From short-term local mission trips to protests against
endorse the high value of service and characteristic social sweatshop labor, young adults are adamant about the
activism of emerging adults (Setan, 2008; Smith & Snell, human responsibility to enact the ideals of God’s kingdom

It is the art of discovering and affirming young


adult virtues that benchmark effective discipling.
2009; Wuthnow, 2007). The desire of current generations here on earth (Dudley & Walshe, 2009). And it is in this
to be compassionate contributors to their society is being humanitarian context where they could conceivably
widely expressed in various forms. From environmental find value in religious organizational structures. The
concerns to humanitarian causes and beyond, young church has real meaning for them to the degree it lives
adults are connecting with the needs surrounding them out Christ’s call to help those in need. Leaders who
in ways unlike the generations preceding them. are passionate about making a difference among the
marginalized and rally their community to action will
Compassionate service has traditionally been the
find young adults joining them in the fray.
trademark of faith communities, both in global missions
and charitable benevolence. Unfortunately, compassion
is rapidly disappearing from the list of adjectives new Discipleship: On the Journey Together
generations place on the Christian religion. Recent Among the generational needs of Authenticity,
surveys show that only one third of young adults outside Belonging, and Compassion, the need for Discipleship is
the church perceive that Christians are a caring people the value most uniquely met by the Great Commission.
(Kinnaman & Lyons, 2007). However, many struggle to provide effective models

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of this method. Christian Stetzer, Stanley, & Hayes, 2009). Tim Simply Complex
demographer George Barna Elmore describes young adults as Relationships
suggested, “The chief barrier to not seeking a “sage on the stage,” but The Great Commission challenges
effective discipleship is not that rather, they long for a “guide on the Adventist adults to go beyond
people do not have the ability to side” (Elmore, 2008). superficial relationships with new
become spiritually mature, but generations. Although small talk and
they lack the passion, perspective, It is the art of discovering and
affirming young adult virtues that social mixing have their vital roles in
priorities, and perseverance to relational introduction, young adults
develop their spiritual lives” (Barna, benchmark effective discipling. As
Christ was able to transcend the crave deeper relationships that look
2001, p. 54). beyond the exterior.
initial characteristics of His twelve
This appears to be especially true disciples and reveal the noble Reflecting on religion, relationships,
during the young adulthood years attributes He was shaping in them, and new generations, Dudley
that are marked with significant so too He calls us to nurture young commented:
identity and relational transitions adult lives. When Christ’s followers “It’s not some kind of behavioral
(Barna, 2006; Kinnaman & Lyons, ‘go and make disciples,’ they impact code, some complex theoretical
2007; Smith & Snell, 2009). Barna emerging generations and they also experience. I want them [young
further indicted, “This [discipleship further the cause of the Gospel. people] to see it as a relationship
barrier] is partially attributable to experience. I want them to see that
our focus on providing programs The process of discipleship is not
it is first a relationship with God,
rather than relationships that support an overnight endeavor. It requires
who is a Friend, and a relationship
growth” (Barna, 2001, p. 55). significant investments that don’t
with their fellow human beings,
promise certain and immediate
where they help and support each
The modernistic structure of dividends (Martin, Bailey, &
other. At the center of true religion
ministry departments, the fear of LaMountain, 2009). However,
is this question of relationship”
crossing the daunting “generation there is no lack of evidence that
(Martin, 2009, p. 20).
gap,” the human tendency to “flock such diligent discipling fosters life
together” with our own kind, transformation. Being authentic… fostering
and Western individualism are belonging… expressing
among many contributors to the Young adults are eager to be compassion… purposefully discipling
relational isolationism that has mentored by spiritually wise adults – in some ways, young adult
been perpetuated for generations willing to pour their life experiences relationships are simple. Throughout
(Martin, 1998). into new generations. Don’t dictate the complex paths of ministry
direction, rather explore possibilities within our current generations,
However, contrary to popular and lend guidance. We urge you, as we must keep ever present the
myth bolstered by the rebellion of leaders in the faith: Mentor young simple task Christ gave in the Great
Boomers and angst of Generation X, adults in fulfillment of Christ’s call Commandment. Let us follow His call
today’s young adults are different— to make disciples and empower to fulfill the Great Commission in the


they are looking to be discipled by these new generations to expand His lives of new generations in light of His
adults and others (Martin, 1995; kingdom. soon coming.

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References 7. General Conference of Seventh-day 13. Paulsen, J. (2006). Special Report:
Adventists Executive Committee. Annual Council 2006. Paulsen
1. Barna, G. (September 11, 2006). Most (April 10, 2007). Conserving sermon: Service--an attitude. Retrieved
twentysomethings put Christianity membership gains – An appeal. December 20, 2007 from: http://www.
on the shelf following spiritually Retrieved December 19, 2007 from: adventistreview.org/article.php?id=774
active teen years. The Barna Report http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/
[Online], Retrieved September 12, other_documents/conserving-gains. 14. Setan, D. S. (Ed.). (2008, Spring).
2006 from: http://www.barna.org/ html College & young adult ministry [Mini-
FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&B theme issue]. Christian Education
arnaUpdateID=245 8. Kinnaman, D. & Lyons, G. (2007). Journal, 5(1, Series 3), 7-100.
UnChristian: What a new generation
2. Barna, G. (2001). Growing true thinks about Christianity. . . And why 15. Smith, C. & Snell, P. (2009). Souls in
disciples: New strategies for producing it matters. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker transition: The religious & spiritual lives
genuine followers of Christ. Colorado Books. of emerging adults. New York: Oxford
Springs, CO: Water Brook Press. University Press.
9. Martin, A. A. (1995, Winter-Spring).
3. Center for Creative Ministry. The ABCs of ministry to generations 16. Stetzer, E., Stanley, R., & Hayes, J.
(November 1, 2006). X, Y, and Z. Journal of Adventist (2009). Lost and found: The younger
INNOVATIONewsletter, 12(19) Youth Ministry, 5(1&2), 37-46. [also unchurched and the churches that reach
[Electronic Newslettter]. posted at http://www.tagnet.org/ them. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing
dvm/ABCs.html] Group.
4. Dudley, R. L. (2000). Why our 10. Martin, A. A. (1998, September). 17. Wuthnow, R. (2007). After the baby
teenagers leave the church: Personal Won by one: What if I did just one boomers: How twenty- and thirty-
stories from a 10-year study. thing… Adventist Review, 175(36), somethings are shaping the future of
Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald. 20-21. American religion. Princeton, NJ:
5. Dudley, R., & Walshe, A. 11. Martin, A. A. (2009, January). Princeton University Press.
(Eds.) (2009). Ministering with Embracing those who reject religion:
Millennials: A complete report on An interview with Roger Dudley.
the 180 Symposium. Lincoln, NB: Ministry, 81(1), 18-20.
AdventSource. 12. Martin, A. A., Bailey, S.
& LaMountain, L. (2009).
6. Elmore, T. (2008). LifeGiving mentors:
GODencounters: Pursuing a 24/7
A guide for investing your life in others. experience of Jesus. Nampa, ID: Pacific
Duluth, GA: Growing Leaders, Inc. Press.

For information on receiving our eNewsletter contact Erica Richards at RichardsE@gc.adventist.org

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f e at u r e s t o r y

Following the Leader


Mentorship a key role for Gordon College president
kevin kiley
covers management and finance for Inside Higher Ed.

Michael Lindsay (seated center) and Ken Hallenbeck (seated right)

A
fter several years of traversing the country and talking with some of the most
influential executives in all fields about leadership development and what makes a
good leader, and a lifetime of being mentored about how to be a good leader in his
own right, it’s time for Michael Lindsay to put all that knowledge into practice.
He is now six months into his presidency at Gordon College, a Christian liberal arts
college in Massachusetts. Inaugurated in September at age 39, Lindsay is one of the
youngest college presidents in the country.
Also putting Lindsay’s leadership knowledge to the test is Ken Hallenbeck, a senior at
Gordon, the student body president, and now Lindsay’s staff assistant and mentee.

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Lindsay has taken Hallenbeck under Hallenbeck’s role in Lindsay’s office LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
his wing, employing him in his began this fall after Lindsay, then One of the programs he studied
office most nights between 5 p.m. only a few weeks on the job, invited was the White House Fellows
and 7 p.m., where the senior does Hallenbeck to follow him around program, which places aspiring
office tasks and helps Lindsay think for a day and write about it to help leaders as assistants to senior U.S.
through university issues and his role other students get to know the new executive branch officials, such as
as president. The goal, Lindsay said, president and better understand a cabinet secretaries. Lindsay called
is to give Hallenbeck an opportunity president’s role. the program “the best leadership
to see every aspect of a leadership development program out there,”
role, from the intellectually specifically because it combines
stimulating to the routine tasks such “Then Jesus came to them. He said, high-level thinking on major issues
as responding to e-mails. ‘All authority in heaven and on earth
with the daily logistical work of
has been given to me. 19 So you
must go and make disciples of all
management, such as scheduling.
THE MENTOR RELATIONSHIP nations. Baptize them in the name “It’s instructive because both are
The mentor relationship is of the Father and of the Son and of required to do the job,” he said.
something Lindsay knows well. the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey
“I told myself that if I ever had the
He was mentored throughout his everything I have commanded you.
And you can be sure that I am always chance to be in a senior leadership
career and he still regularly seeks position, I would make sure to take on
with you, to the very end.’”
advice from senior administrators at some measure of mentorship,” he said.
other institutions. The relationship Matthew 28:18-20
between Hallenbeck, Lindsay, and New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) Lindsay said his own career path
Copyright © 1996, 1998 by Biblica and understanding of leadership
Lindsay’s own mentors illuminates
two aspects of developing leaders was shaped by working closely with
and teaching leadership that are a university president when he was
Lindsay said the idea for of bringing younger. For a few months between
often overlooked: the informal
Hallenbeck into his office came getting his bachelor’s degree from
network of connections that help
from his own extensive research Baylor University and graduate
individuals rise through the ranks
on leadership. Before becoming school, he worked as an assistant to
and the personal habits and social
president, Lindsay was an assistant Gary Cook, the president of Dallas
skills that leaders must understand if
professor of sociology at Rice Baptist University.
they are to be successful.
University, where he studied
“The hardest part of a presidency is leadership and collected the largest Cook and Lindsay met when
dealing with what are truly divergent set of interview data conducted with Lindsay was teaching Sunday school
constituencies,” Lindsay said in an leaders across the country, including to Cook’s son. Cook said he was
interview with Hallenbeck present. U.S. presidents, other senior impressed with the level of interest
“A president has to serve all these government officials, Fortune 500 Lindsay took in his son; if he missed
groups, and best way to learn how to executives, artists, performers, and a week of Sunday school, Lindsay
handle those constituencies is to see higher education leaders, which he is would call. As a result, Cook took an
how others do it.” pulling together for a book. interest in Lindsay, who at that point

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was contemplating a career in higher genuine interest in other people, other individuals whom he has
education, and asked him to work and work ethic required of someone worked with and tried to influence in
in his office until Lindsay went off to in university administration. And the way he is doing with Lindsay.
seminary in the fall. shortly after leaving Dallas Baptist
for seminary, Lindsay sent Cook a While many universities have been
In Cook’s office, Lindsay would read thank you note, and in it he wrote, criticized for a lack of succession
and brief the president on the news “You reminded me of the difference planning, Cook has made it a
and mail, accompany the president one person can make.” priority. He said there are a couple
to meetings, and, on one occasion, individuals at Dallas Baptist who
drive around Dallas photographing After leaving for seminary, Lindsay could be ready to take the reins at a
architecture Cook hoped to model returned to Dallas to staff Cook moment’s notice, and some whom
for a new building. Lindsay said during summer breaks and holidays. he is readying to take them eight
that job was probably more “grunt The two continue to talk regularly or nine years down the road. “I’ve
work” than what Hallenbeck does about both personal and professional always tried looking at the institution
in his office, but it also exposed him matters, and Lindsay has regularly and not just at me,” he said. “If you’re
to some of the more intimate and turned to Cook for career advice. really concerned with making an
difficult moments of the presidency, Cook said he strongly recommended institution strong, you don’t just look
such as when Cook had to deal with that Lindsay choose Princeton for yourself. You need to know who
upset faculty members or fire an for seminary over the George W. can carry on.”
employee. Truett Theological Seminary at
Baylor, and that he fund his time at Cook credits his own ascension to
One unique aspect of the assignment Oxford University through a Rotary the presidency at Dallas Baptist to
was the structure of Cook’s office, Ambassadorial Scholarship. Abner McCall, the former president
which the president modeled off that of Baylor University, whom Cook
of Trammell Crow, a Dallas real- He also helped connect Lindsay with knew from his time as a student.
estate developer who had an office so George Gallup, for whom Lindsay McCall served as Cook’s campaign
large that it included his staff. While worked as an assistant during manager when he was on the city
Cook’s office was not quite so large, his time at Princeton, eventually council in Waco and recommended
it was open to the assisting staff directing several national surveys Cook for the presidency of Dallas
members, who could overhear most for the Gallup Organization and co- Baptist.
of what the president did. authoring two books with Gallup.
Lindsay also said Bill Townsend,
Early on in the relationship, there Cook said his style of leadership, currently the vice president for
were hints of what was to come. and his drive to mentor others, advancement at Mississippi College,
A few weeks into Lindsay’s time comes from his understanding of who met Lindsay when the president
in his office Cook said he told Christianity. “It really does come was a teenager, also had a sizeable
Lindsay that he would make a from my faith,” Cook said. “It is what influence in his life. Townsend’s wife
good college president one day. Jesus taught us to do. He said, ‘Go was Lindsay’s youth minister, and
Even in his 20s, Cook said, Lindsay and make disciples.’ ” Cook said Townsend took an interest in the
showed the curiosity, intelligence, there are probably seven or eight boy.

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While Townsend said he probably together in the fall. Lindsay said Hallenbeck is not sure about his own
had more influence on Lindsay’s he wasn’t necessarily interested in leadership path. He is a biochemistry
spiritual and emotional development picking the student body president, student at Gordon and is planning to
than on his professional track, he did just someone with leadership attend graduate school next year. He
advise Lindsay to establish himself potential. But he was impressed doesn’t know what kind of leadership
as an academic before seeking an by Hallenbeck. “I could see that he opportunities will present themselves
administrative role. Despite Lindsay’s was smart, resourceful, and able to in the future.
young age and the fact that he moved calibrate his actions according to the
right from an assistant professorship setting,” Lindsay said. “Those skills MAKING ADJUSTMENTS
to a presidency, Townsend said are difficult to interview for, but Because Hallenbeck’s position as
Lindsay had established himself as a when you see them in someone you student body president sometimes
thought leader in the field. appreciate it.” requires him to take different
The work Hallenbeck does in positions, the two have had
Unlike Cook, Townsend said he has
Lindsay’s office varies. Some days to make adjustments to their
not often sought out individuals to
Hallenbeck does traditional office relationship.  There is a specific chair
mentor, nor did he have individuals
assistant tasks such as filing or that Hallenbeck occupies in Lindsay’s
who formally mentored him. But
drafting reports and making phone office when he is representing the
he found something special in
calls. Other times he does more student body, but the two noted that
Lindsay, saying that the president
“intellectual labor,” as he calls it, he can switch back and forth with
“was hungry for just about every
helping Lindsay think through ease. Lindsay said he does not share
opportunity that would present
issues. He will also accompany everything with Hallenbeck, but that
itself.” He noted that it is rare to find
Lindsay on visits to meet with local the senior is exposed to sensitive
individuals who are open to being
material in the course of his job,
mentored and asking for help. officials or other campus leaders.
and that he trusts Hallenbeck to be
But he said Lindsay will make a Hallenbeck said observing soft professional in dealing with it.
good mentor because of his level of skills, such as noticing how Lindsay
In general, Hallenbeck said, working
interest, his diverse life experiences, changes hats from one meeting to
with Lindsay has improved the
the connections he has with the next, is what he’ll really take
dynamic between his and Lindsay’s
leaders, and his own experience away from the experience. “At this
presidencies. Hallenbeck can
being mentored. “When you look point, I’m a senior about to graduate
provide broad student input to the
in the research, I think you’ll find in May, and I can say with certainty
decisions Lindsay is making, and the
that people who were mentored that I am learning more out of the
office role gives Hallenbeck a broad
themselves are more willing to classroom than in it,” Hallenbeck
understanding of the institution and
mentor and make better mentors,” said. “The time spent, the time I’ve
the president’s decisions that he can
Townsend said. invested here two hours a night,
relay back to students.
I’ve learned more about how the
Lindsay said he picked Hallenbeck to professional world actually works Lindsay said Hallenbeck’s presence
mentor because the two established and the work that professionals do. in his office has been helpful for him
a rapport when they spent the day I’ve learned how to read a situation.” as well. For one, he gets an extra set

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of hands to help him with the never-ending
workload of the presidency. It also helps
introducing:

identity
him, as a first-year president, to have some
institutional memory around.
Lindsay said he’s interested in continuing
to mentor students on a small scale like
the relationship he has with Hallenbeck,
but will likely not continue to work solely 2012 devotional for youth and youth leaders
with the student body president. He did
say, however, that he likes having someone
in his office who can view the institutions
broadly.
Last week, Lindsay asked Hallenbeck
NOW AVAILABLE
whether he needed to attend Gordon
Globes, a student film festival. “It’s the kind
of thing where, if he’s not there, no one
will miss him,” Hallenbeck said. “But if he’s
there, people will notice and appreciate it.”


“It’s the kind of thing we can triage,” the
two said.

About the author: Kevin Kiley covers


management and finance for Inside Higher Ed. He
joined Inside Higher Ed in April 2011. A North
Carolina native, he graduated from the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010 with a degree
in political science and journalism. At UNC, Kevin
covered and edited university news for four years at
The Daily Tar Heel and shared the state’s top award for
higher-education reporting with two other writers his
senior year. Before coming to Inside Higher Ed, Kevin
was an intern at The (Raleigh) News & Observer,
The Arizona Republic and The Chronicle of Higher
Education. Kevin enjoys running, nonfiction books
and his home state. check out other youth resources • spread the word
You can read more at Read more: http://www.
online at: www.gcyouthministries.org
insidehighered.com/news/2012/02/27/mentorship- facebook: GC Youth Ministries
key-role-gordon-college-president#ixzz1oIiuSIam

17 YMA . April – June 2012 Feature Story http://gcyouthministries.org


BURST THE BYSTANDER EFFECT
MAKING A DISCIPLING DIFFERENCE WITH YOUNG ADULTS
A. Allan Martin, PhD, CFLE
Young Adult Ministries Coordinator
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

I
first learned the term in my undergraduate social psychology class: bystander effect. For the
sake of the exam, I just kept in mind that it is not a good idea to be drowning in a lake with
a crowd looking on from shore; likely each person is thinking someone else is going to save
you. Wikipedia (2007) does a better job of defining the effect as “a psychological phenomenon in
which someone is less likely to intervene in an emergency situation when other people are present
and able to help than when he or she is alone.” The article goes on to reference a variety of horrific
incidences where homicides occurred while dozens of “bystanders” just let it happen.

My collegiate years are long gone, and now I give exams instead of taking them, but recently this
“phenomenon” has come back to my mind. Preparing to teach a young adult ministry course here
at the seminary, I found myself perplexed by how the bystander effect may be impacting you and
me, allowing new generations to drown, disappearing from faith life as part of our church.

At the time this article was written, A. Allan Martin, II was serving as an Associate Professor of Discipleship & Family Ministries at the Seventh-day
Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

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DISENGAGING, DISENFRANCHISED, Don Schneider, said the following:
DISAPPEARING—DROWNING We must [also] concentrate on the young
adults of our Church. . . . Young people need to
In light of his landmark longitudinal study of Adventist
become more fully integrated into the Church.
adolescents, Roger Dudley (2000) of the Institute
. . . Is there some way of allowing young
of Church Ministry noted, “It seems reasonable to
people to worship in a way that is meaningful
believe that at least 40 to 50 percent of Seventh-day
while making it safe for them to do so? Young
Adventist teenagers in North America are essentially
adults must be heard at leadership levels, and
leaving the church by their middle 20s. This figure may
their feelings must be given validity” (North
well be higher” (p. 35). “This is a hemorrhage of epic
American Division, 2005, para. 6).
proportions,” warned Dudley as he suggested that “the
decline in membership of many mainline Protestant Compared to the median age of 36 and 37 in the United
churches has been shown to be largely traceable to the States and Canada respectively, Paul Richardson of the
shortage of young adults in their congregations” (p. 22). Center for Creative Ministry reported, “The median
age for the Seventh-day Adventist community in North
This young adult exodus is not exclusive to Adventism, as
America, including the unbaptized children in church
Christian demographer George Barna notes:
families, is 58. . . . Among native-born White and Black
The most potent data regarding disengagement members the median age is even higher” (Center for
is that a majority of twentysomethings—61% Creative Ministry, 2006).
of today’s young adults—had been churched
at one time during their teen years but they Richardson warns that these trends have serious
are now spiritually disengaged (i.e., not implications:
actively attending church, reading the Bible, or There are more than 1,000 local churches in
praying). (Barna, 2006, para. 6) the North American Division that have no
children or teens at all. . . . Fewer and fewer
David Kinnaman of the Barna Group elaborates: congregations have enough teens, young adults
The current state of ministry to or even young couples to provide the critical
twentysomethings is woefully inadequate to mass necessary to conduct a youth group and
address the spiritual needs of millions of young other activities that have always been the life
adults. These individuals are making significant beat of Adventist churches. (para. 2)
life choices and determining the patterns and
preferences of their spiritual reality while The departure of young adults from the local faith
churches wait, generally in vain, for them to community has not gone unnoticed by the Seventh-day
return after college or when the kids come. Adventist Church General Conference (GC) President,
(Kinnaman & Lyons, 2006, para. 8) Jan Paulsen, who has spent the past several years in
broadcasted conversations with new generations (http://
It is this disengagement that threatens the present and letstalk.adventist.org). Most poignantly, Paulsen noted
future of the Seventh-day Adventist church in North at the 2006 Annual Council that “they [young adults]
America. North American Division (NAD) President, have perspectives, they have hopes, they have dreams,

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and they have visions for the church Might it be that the bystander effect has immobilized us into thinking
which need to be considered someone else will help (Wikipedia, 2007)? We have watched with the crowd
seriously. If we don’t, they will feel from the shore as new generations disappear beneath the surface.
disenfranchised, as many of them
already do.”
STRUGGLING TO STAY ABOVE WATER
It is disturbing. It would not be as As odd as it may seem to the metaphor, researchers and church leaders ask
perplexing if it could be said that young adults why they are drowning: “Why are you leaving the church?”
we have promptly identified this
trend and addressed it with all the Dudley (2000) found that young adult perceptions of the quality of
immediacy it deserves to rescue relationship with religious authority figures played a significant role in
and embrace new generations. It their decision to disengage from church life. Leadership across Adventism
would be laudable to share that concurred, stating that “the reasons most frequently cited by persons who
urgent interventions have been leave local church fellowship are found in the realm of relationships, the
implemented and the attrition absence of a sense of belonging, and the lack of meaningful engagement in
statistics have been reversed. the local congregation and its mission” (General Conference of Seventh-day
However, that is not the case. Adventists Executive Committee, 2007, para. 5).
Over a decade ago in research on Young adult and writer Kimberly Luste Maran (2000) noted the following:
Generation X, I found comparable
Too often the negative words and actions of more mature church
statistics of young adults
members push the younger set to feelings of anger, resentment,
disappearing from local faith life
bitterness, and fear. . . . Satan will employ any methods, including the use
(Martin, 1995). Dudley’s (2000)
of church members, to tear us away from our loving Father. (para. 23)
research reflects over three decades
of scrutiny regarding the departure As part of Paulsen’s Let’s Talk broadcasts, 25-year-old Kadene offered this
of new generations from the church. insight:
His book, Why Teenagers Reject
I think the best thing that church leaders can do for the youth of our
Religion, was published in 1978.
church is get acquainted with them. Too often, church leaders sit on their
Beyond the statistical analysis, I high horses and judge our youth without having the slightest idea of what
suspect both you and I can think of a they are going through. (Let’s Talk, 2007)
young relative or a young friend who
has parted ways with our church. I Paulsen (2006) made the following observation:
imagine we could exchange stories of We [church leaders] need to hear and understand what they [young
peers or grown grandchildren who adults] are saying, for it comes across clearly and strongly from those
no longer participate in Adventism. who are under thirty in our church. The point they are making is this:
We have known that young adults Being included, being trusted, being considered responsible, for elders
have been leaving our church for to be prepared to take some risk with inexperience, are sentiments and
some time now. That is why the attitudes which senior leadership must be willing to show, or we are
phenomenon is glaringly back in my gone! We are gone simply because we have no ownership responsibility
mind. We have become bystanders. in the life of this church. (para. 14)

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Research beyond Adventist POINTING OUT HEROES her home a safe harbor for young
cohorts offers some additional So what is the solution? The adults. Adults without children can
perspective. Robert Wuthnow (2007), Wikipedia (2007) article on make the simple effort of building an
professor of Sociology at Princeton bystander effect made a fascinating authentic relationship with a single
University, noted various trends recommendation: twentysomething. A friendship like
that are impacting young adults, this is as simple to start as a lunch
To counter the bystander effect invitation.
contributing to the fading American
when you are the victim, a
religious landscape. “My view is that
studied recommendation is to Pastor.
congregations can survive, but only if
pick a specific person in the If the statistics are correct, the
religious leaders roll up their sleeves
crowd to appeal to for help pastor’s positive influence and
and pay considerably more attention
rather than appealing to the impact on the climate of churches
to young adults than they have been”
larger group generally. If you is desperately needed. Setting the
(p. 230).
are the only person reacting to culture of young adult inclusion is
Noting a 70 percent attrition from an emergency, point directly to heavily dependent on the pastor’s
church life among Baptist young a specific bystander and give vision and leadership.
adults, Scott McConnell, associate them a specific task such as,
director of LifeWay Research (2007), “You. Call the police.” These Bill Bossert (2007) described how
said this: steps place all responsibility his dying church recognized their
on a specific person instead of fate and took heroic steps to turn
Clearly the reasons young
allowing it to diffuse. (para. 5) the tide. With careful self analysis,
people leave are a reflection practical research, and courageous
both of their past experience To burst through the bystander
yet inclusive change steps2, the
in church and the new effect, I’d like to point out several
Shepherd’s House reversed the
opportunities they have as potential heroes in the lives of young
attrition tide, resulting in a 60
young adults. . . . To remain adults.
percent increase of young adults in
in church, a person must have their church (para. 27). Change did
experienced the value of the Parent. not come without challenges and
teaching and relationships at During the important transitional discomfort, but in order to break
church and see the relevance for years of young adulthood, parents through the bystander effect, pastors
the next phase of life. (para. 19) play a vital role not only in the life need to be heroic so as to inspire
of their children but also within their congregations to be likewise.
Why are young adults drowning?
their sphere of friends. Parents
Although the responses may be as Professor/Teacher. Educators have
should make certain their home
diverse and personal as each young a profound influence in the lives of
and presence engenders hospitality,
adult, clearly the lack of mutually- young adults. Beyond academic or
safety, and wisdom.1
valued relationships that engender professional prowess, professors and
trust and shared support has left both Connie Vandeman Jeffery (2003) teachers are called upon to invest in
parties, young adults and Seventh-day shared a simple formula of food, young adult spiritual development as
Adventism, at risk of going under. friendship, and follow up that made well.

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Teaching at Spicer Memorial College, Mike Cauley (2007), president of and plan with us, and that
Falvo Fowler (2002) found that his the Florida Conference of Seventh- they are listened to as values
simple initiative to start a Sabbath day Adventists, challenged his are defined and the mission
School with his students made a constituency: agenda examined. (para. 17)
profound impact on what was once Do we care enough to learn It is not only the endorsement of
a “nominal” Adventist experience the language of kids [young high-level leaders, but also their
(para. 16). adults]? I’m as serious as a conspicuous actions4 that will serve
Jimmy Phillips (2007) noted the heart attack. We have a broken as a leadership catalyst to transform
“invisible majority” of coeds in the world. We have a society of young adult attrition statistics into
schools outside of our Adventist Millennials [young adults] retention trends.
system. Committed faculty and staff who are hungry for the
in these institutions can have an gospel, and we aren’t cutting Peers.
influence on thousands of Adventist it. Now, I haven’t talked to There are stellar young adults who
young adults who will benefit from the Conference Executive have not only remained in the church
their efforts to collaborate with local Committee about this, so don’t but are faith activists where they
churches and institutions to establish tell anybody. But I’m going are (Maran, Karimabadi, & Bourne,
student groups, faith fellowships, and to be asking them to begin to 2006). They are among the most
discipleship communities.3 Adventist plant churches to reach kids influential and powerful—not only in
Christian Fellowship (http://www. under 25. I’m going to be taking heroic action with drowning
acflink.org) is a great resource to asking them to help us figure peers but also in rejuvenating
support such an initiative. Faculty out how to become churches Adventism, fostering a movement
advisement and mentoring are key to in the biblical, New Testament that will draw new generations.
battling the bystander effect rampant sense . . . somehow we have
Lynette Frantzen (2004) offered the
on secular campuses and in the got to bring those kids, not
reminder that Adventism began as a
churches adjacent to these colleges to a place of entertainment,
young movement:
and universities. but to be fully committed
disciples. . . . We need to give Many of the Adventist
them the Church. (para. 48) pioneers first began their work
President/Administrator. when they were teenagers.
Vision-casting leaders offer Jan Paulsen (2006) further endorsed Pioneers such as Ellen Harmon
momentum towards constructive this idea: White, John Loughborough,
change. Exactly what form this In order to be effective in J. N. Andrews, Uriah Smith,
leadership takes depends on looking after the united and John Harvey Kellogg were
the denomination. Within the church and keeping it strong teenagers and young adults
Seventh-day Adventist church, in mission, it is critical that when they began making an
organized by conferences, unions the men and women who impact in the Seventh-day
and divisions, the president of each are young today be invited Adventist Church. They were
administrative level is instrumental to sit next to you and me; young, vibrant, and on fire for
in casting the vision for change. that they be invited to think God! (para. 2)

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Cauley (2007) shared similar thoughts: leadership” (p. 206). According to
It was the same age group [young adult] that was passionate about Dudley’s research respondents, an
the early Adventist movement. J. N. Andrews was 22 when he started ideal church is one where young
on the publishing committee. 22! He was a kid. Ellen White was 17 adults are “active in the life of the
when she had her first vision. She couldn’t even have graduated from group.” Young adults are of age
academy yet if she lived in our day. Uriah Smith was 21 when he joined and ability where involvement
the publishing work, and James White was 21 years old when he came and participation are vital to a
upon the scene and began to preach the Advent doctrine. (para. 11) sense of inclusion and importance.
Contextualization occurs naturally
We need a movement of that caliber right now. Those heroes from our when intentional efforts are made
Adventist heritage took valiant steps to save a drowning world. Today, young to integrate young adult leadership
Adventists are just as essential in the embrace and encouragement of their in the church (Martin, 1995).
peers. The church as a whole, and specifically parents, pastors, professors, and Leaders who are willing to minister
presidents, must build restorative relationships with young adults.5 collaboratively with young adults
solidify their sense of purpose and
significance as part of their faith
ABC’S AND D OF HEROIC RELATIONSHIPS community.
Even when we realize the potential influence we can have in the faith of
Compassion.
young adults, it can be difficult to pinpoint specific ways in which to help. The
following relational building blocks are effective in reaching out to others, Seventy percent of young adults
particularly to the younger generation: perceive Christianity as “insensitive
to others” (Kinnaman & Lyons,
2006). Social action is high on the
Authenticity.
priority list of young adults, and their
Young adults are desperately looking for relationships that are real, honest, perception of an attractive church
and transparent (Martin, 1998). Kinnaman and Lyons (2006) found young is one actively involved in helping
adults both inside and outside of the church to perceive it to be “hypocritical” people in need (Dudley, 2000).
and “out of touch with reality.” They advocate a corrective perception in Funding missionary endeavors in far
which “Christians are transparent about their flaws and act first, talk second” off lands is fine but one-dimensional.
(p. 41). Opposed to the faux facade of “having it all together,” young adults Global is good, but young adults also
are seeking out genuine interaction with heroes that are human, willing to gravitate towards ministries that meet
admit that they too are working through issues and challenges. Young adults local needs in their neighborhoods
want significant adults to be more relationally involved in their lives (Martin, and communities. They are eager
1995). Leaders who are willing to be authentic offer young adults a priceless to align with causes and advocacy
opportunity for rich relationships. that transcend denominational and
socio-political lines for the sake of
Belonging. making a good difference in the
Dudley (2000) noted a contributing factor to young adult attrition being world. Leaders who are passionate
the “lack of inclusiveness for youth involvement in congregational life and about making a difference among the

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marginalized and who rally their community to action will We can begin by taking a step today to start an authentic
find young adults joining them in the fray. relationship with a young adult.6 Some ways of reaching
out include serving as a mentor, engaging in social
Discipleship. activities such as lunch, listening carefully, opening our
Bolstered by the rebellion of Boomers and the angst of homes, and offering our hearts. There are as many action
Generation X, today’s young adults are different—they options as there are young adults. If we each start with


are looking to be discipled by adults and others. Elmore one action with one young adult today, we will soon
(2008) describes young adults as not seeking a “sage on make a difference (Martin, 1998).
the stage,” but rather, a “guide on the side.” Mentoring
relationships foster life legacy and attachment, for both the
young adult and the mentor (Dudley, 2000; Martin, 1999).
When Christ’s followers “go and make disciples,” this Notes
impacts not only new generations but also the expansion 1. North American Division Family Ministries (http://
of Christ’s kingdom. Leaders who disciple young adults adventistfamily ministries.com) offers an array of resources and
support to parents in the discipling of new generations.
fulfill the Great Commission. Further, they equip young
adults to reach out to others. 2. Bill Bossert outlined the steps his congregation took at http://
adventistreview.org/article.php?id=1300, offering further
Being authentic, fostering belonging, expressing specificity to their strategy.
compassion, and intentionally discipling launches the 3. Ron Pickell, North American Division Adventist Christian
Fellowship Coordinator, offers some insights into what college
leader from the sidelines into heroic relationships with
students are looking for in a church at http://www.adventistreview.
young adults. org/article.php?id=1372.
4. It is conspicuous actions of leadership that reveal their most
important values. A couple of local conference presidents have
BYSTANDERS NO LONGER already instated young adult ministry directors at the conference
If the principles of social psychology hold true, readers level. The Christian Leadership Center (http://www.andrews.
may come to the end of this article and and feel relieved edu/clc) recently endorsed the development of young leadership
training, challenging presidents and all church officials to mentor
and pleased that the issue of young adults leaving the
new generations of leadership.
church is being addressed. “It is good that someone is
5. For over a decade, dre.am VISION ministries (http://www.
finally doing something,” they may think. dreamVISIONministries.org) has offered training and resourcing
in building authentic relationships with new generations. I
Sentiments such as these are the tragic reality of the offer a theological model for young adult ministry (http://www.
bystander effect. This phenomenon has already seen adventistreview.org/2000- 1556/story2.html), challenging young
generations of young Adventists drown, while potential adults to see their role as ministers to their peers.
heroes have stood by and watched. If the church is to 6. North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Young Adult
continue to grow and flourish, if it is to make a positive Ministry is committed to fostering the efforts of heroes, coaching
influence in the lives of young adults, it is imperative their efforts to build authentic relationships with new generations.
Find on the IGNITION blog (http://ignitionblog.wordpress.com),
that Christians take ownership of the problem of young various local and division-wide young adult ministry initiatives.
people becoming disengaged with church. We must no Contact amartin@GODencounters.org for further support,
longer be bystanders. training, and networking.

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cover s t o ry http://gcyouthministries.org
References Elmore, T. (2008). LifeGiving mentors: A research uncovers reasons 18 to North American Division of Seventh-
guide for investing your life in others. 22 year olds drop out of church. day Adventists. (November 1, 2005).
Barna, G. (2006). Most
Duluth, GA: Growing Leaders. Retrieved December 24, 2007, 2005 Year-end meeting #3. Friday
twentysomethings put Christianity from http://www.lifeway.com/ Fax [Electronic Newsletter].
Frantzen, L. (2004). Young Adventist
on the shelf following lwc/article_main_e/0%2C17
pioneers. Retrieved December Paulsen, J. (2006). Special report:
spiritually active teen years. The 24, 2007, from http://www. 03%2CA%25253D165949% Annual Council 2006. Paulsen
Barna Report [Online], Retrieved adventistreview.org/2004-1522/ 252526M%25253D200906%2C00. sermon: Service—an attitude.
September 12, 2006, from http:// story2.html html? Retrieved December 20, 2007, from
www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page= Fowler, F. (2002). Real. Retrieved Maran, K. L. (2000). Where is the joy? http://www.adventistreview.org/
BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=245 December 24, 2007, from http:// Retrieved December 26, 2007, article.php?id=774
Bossert, B. (2007). The Wausau church www.adventistreview.org/2002- from http://www.adventistreview. Phillips, J. (2007). The invisible majority.
story. Retrieved December 24, 2007, 1529/story2.html org/2000-1551/story1.html Retrieved December 24, 2007, from
from General Conference of Seventh-day Maran, K. L., Karimabadi, W., & http://www.adventistreview.org/
http://adventistreview.org/article. Adventists Executive Committee. Bourne, O. (2006). Adventist article.php?id=1371
php?id=1299 (2007). Review’s top 20 in their 20s. Wikipedia (December, 18, 2007).
Conserving membership gains—An Retrieved December 24, 2007, from Bystander effect. Retrieved
Cauley, M. (2007). 2007 Florida camp
appeal. Retrieved December 19, http://www.adventistreview.org/ December 19, 2007, from http://
meeting sermon [MP3 audio file].
2007, from http://www.adventist. article.php?id=715 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_
Retrieved December 25, 2007,
org/beliefs/other_documents/ Martin, A. A. (1995, Winter-Spring). effect
from http://www.floridaconference.
conserving-gains.html The ABCs of ministry to generations Wuthnow, R. (2007). After the baby
com/campmeeting/MP3/2007/
Jeffery, C. V. (2003). My Starbucks X, Y, and Z. Journal of Adventist boomers: How twenty- and thirty-
FLCM_06-02-07_1930.mp3 (also
kids. Retrieved December 24, 2007, Youth Ministry, 5(1&2), 37-46. [also somethings are shaping the future of
available as transcript from http:// posted at http://www.tagnet.org/ American religion. Princeton, NJ:
from http://www.adventistreview.
www.floridaconference.com/ dvm/ABCs.html] Princeton University Press.
org/2003-1503/story1.html
campmeeting/cauley2007.html)
Kinnaman, D. & Lyons, G. (2007). Martin, A. A. (1998, September). Won
Center for Creative Ministry. UnChristian: What a new generation by one: What if I did just one thing . .
(November 1, 2006). thinks about Christianity. . . and why .Adventist Review, 175(36), 20-21.
INNOVATIONewsletter, 12(19) it matters. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Martin, A. A. (1999). The gift hour:
[Electronic Newslettter]. Books. Faith in action. In A. Nash (Ed.), This article was previsouly published
Dudley, R. L. (2000). Why our teenagers Let’s Talk. (n.d.) Have your say. Unleash the dream: A new generation in The Journal of Applied Christian
leave the church: Personal stories Retrieved December 21, 2007, from challenges the church they love (pp.
from a 10-year study. Hagerstown, http://letstalk.adventist.org 73-81). Hagerstown, MD: Review Leadership, Vol. 3, No. 1 Winter
MD: Review & Herald. LifeWay Research. (2007). LifeWay & Herald. 2008/2009

equipping you
to nurture
new generations
www.growingdisciples.info
25 YMA . April – June 2012
cover s t o ry http://gcyouthministries.org
Perspective Tr a n s cen di n g ta l k w i th t y pe s of t i t h e

My MacGyver View of Young Adult Ministry


A. Allan Martin, PhD, CFLE
Young Adult Ministries Coordinator
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

A
ll you need to have an effective young adult of unbelief is powerful. I feel God
ministry is an identification card, an extension has called young adults to be true
cord, and silly putty. believers. Beyond knowledge, our
belief is based on something far more
id card : Ephesians 3:14-21; Acts 2:17, 18 existential, more at the core of us. So
OK, I will admit it, there are times that I am very instead of looking at a badge for our
guilty of coveting. When I go to a concert I confess to identity, people can look into our eyes.
envying those who have an “all access pass.” I
have this fantasy about being in the middle of all the And in our eyes they will see love.
action instead of being in the audience. Even if it Love that we don’t even understand.
was something as relatively unimportant as stocking the artists All right, so it sounds a little goofy,
with bottled water or carrying away mike stands, I would still but authentic love is scarce these
relish being identified with the performers. To be able to flash days. Sure, there’s lots of utilitarian
my ID pass and have security let me through with a hint of love and sexual love and hedonistic
familiarity—to kid around with the stars, to have a part in the love. But you’ll be hard pressed to
performance—OK, so it’s wishful thinking. find Christlike love among our peers.
Christ has, however, given us an
But in my view, it’s not a dream. Christ has given young adults an identity. identity that is characterized by an
No, it isn’t a badge or a little plastic sleeve on a string. It is something internal ability to love. To love the unlovely. To
(Eph. 3:16), something metaphysical that gives us supernatural abilities to love the enemy. To love the lonely. To
believe (Eph. 3:17), to love (Eph. 4:1-3), and to dream (Acts 2:17, 18). love ourselves. It is a love that is both
In this world it’s no small task to believe. With all the broken promises, fallen noun and verb. Young adults whose
role models, and superficial frauds/clones, it’s no wonder our generation eyes exude love have hearts that act
is skeptical. But I believe that Jesus has empowered Christian young adults on it. People are drawn not only to
to exhibit faith, and faith really sticks out in our world. A belief in the midst our eyes but also to our actions.

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In our actions we can reveal our dreams. I am convinced that So young adult ministry as I see it is
Acts 2:17, 18 is talking about us. Christ has called our generation
based on the power of relationship.
to dream the dreams and envision the visions that will bring
about His return. Not only prophetic dreams; Christ is using Creating relationships of integrity not
our creative dreams, our holy ambitions, and our powerful only with believers but also with seekers
visions to transform our world. A revolution is happening. Not is something that young adults do every
like a political campaign, this movement is spiritual, and I get
the keenest sense of this when I chat with young adults. God is day. It’s reality. The other reality is that
molding our dreams, and I am taken back by how powerful and sometimes Christian young adults opt to
parallel these visions are. In local, regional, national, and global disconnect from the Power Source during
ways Jesus is using young adult dreams and visions to change our
world and bring about the next. the workweek so as not to be spiritually
“live” in their secular circles. But my sense
is that our ministry is based on the idea of
Extension Cord empowering ourselves to be who we have
Evangelism 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
been called to be—extension cords. To be
I believe that young adult ministry is like an extension cord. Christ
is the power that surges through us; every bit of our wiring is filled connected 24/7. I, like my peers, am drawn
with His Spirit. Our ministry is to be a conduit by which others to people and places where I feel connected,
are empowered by His love. Paul says that Christians (I take that where I feel safe to be vulnerable, where
to mean all believers, not just pastor types) are new creatures who
are given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-19). So to
I can sense there is a power bigger than
translate liberally, in the same way Christ plugged in to God and myself. That was what was so magnetic
served as our extension cord to God Paul is saying we are extension about Jesus Christ. And Christ is what is
cord ministers, connecting others to Christ. This is key. God is not
so attractive in Christian young adults and
opting to do this thing called ministry without us. He is doing it
“through” us. And to me that makes lots of sense. the communities we create.
As good as some of our churches are, I feel very few young adults
will step into a church without someone they know and trust going Silly Putty Community
with them. As eloquent as some of our preachers are, I feel very 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
few in our generation respond to a talking head as well as they I like to think of the Christian community
relate to a personal relationship with you or me. As sound as our created by young adult ministers (that’s you and
doctrines are, I feel very few of my seeking friends and associates me) as being made of Silly Putty. Some may
are convinced about Adventist Christianity unless they see what have thought of the church at one time being
my beliefs are doing to make my life attractively different. God’s like a wooden Peg-Board that only certain-
approach makes a lot of sense. In the same way He used Christ shaped pegs had rigid slots to fill. Only square-
to connect with you and me, He is calling us to connect with our shaped pegs could fit in, only certain forms of
peers, allowing His powerful love to surge through us. ministry, only certain types of roles.

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the opening and closing hymn, but I am convinced that your role in
in the midst of our lives. In our young adult ministry is vital and
fragmented and divorced world I want just as important as anyone else’s (1
to be part of a Silly Putty community Cor. 12:22-25). You know your own
Not our church. Ours is one in that sticks together. I want to be struggles to love yourself as Christ
which each believer is able to take where I fit in. I want to be where I loves you. You know someone who
their unique shape, stick themselves am needed. I want to be where I can doesn’t know Christ who may see
into our Silly Putty church, and relate. I want to be lifted right off the Him only through your eyes. You
find a perfect fit. Our Christian page. Silly Putty can do that. know a Christian sibling who is
community is able to lift even those hurting and needs your support. And
with comic-strip-like gifts right off if I were a gambling man, I would
the page and into our church. Silly MacGyver View of be willing to bet that no pastor,
Putty can do that. Paul talks about a Young Adult Ministry no church program, no religious
variety of spiritual gifts, ministries, I never watched faithfully, but in tract can address these issues better
effects, but the same Spirit (1 Cor. the midst of my channel surfing than you. So I would consider
12:4-7). In my mind, the Holy Spirit I was always amused by the show you indispensable to young adult
is the Silly Putty of our church that, MacGyver. In a space of little less than ministry in this regard. God gives
even with the diversity of our gifts, is an hour he could foil any criminal you the power; Christ gives you the
the unifying common denominator plot by rigging up a piece of chewing call; the Holy Spirit gives you the
that embraces us all. gum, a staple, and three Mentos. support. Card, cord, and putty? Go
Between commercials it was fun to see ahead. Save the day.
So we embrace our diversity and
welcome every form and shape of him take what he had in hand and put
spiritual ability. Why? Because we it to use to save the day.
need it. Paul’s metaphor of the body
OK. So you have an ID card, an
is so on target (1 Cor. 12:14-27).
extension cord, and Silly Putty. What
Who wants a body of all noses?
are you going to do with them? That’s
But further, we embrace each the synergy question of young adult _______________________
other because, like a body, we ministry. This spiritual revolution is Recommended Reading:
need each other. The living out of not about some big religious program
our Christianity is not an act of or some great event. It is not about a 1. T. Hershey, Young Adult Ministry
isolation; it is an act of communion, (Loveland, Colo.: Group Books,
dramatic change in some organized
an act of relationship, an act of 1986).
religious institution or the election
interdependence. It is community. of some visionary young adult to 2. H. R. Niebuhr, Christ and Culture
Young adult ministry, in my view, regional office. It is about you and me (New York: Harper and Row, 1951).
is the admission on our part that deciding to take what God has given 3. M. Senter, The Coming Revolution
we need each other and are willing us—an identity, a mission/ministry, in Youth Ministry: And Its Radical
by His Spirit to be the church. Our and each other—and live it out 24 Impact on the Church (Wheaton, Ill.:
worship happens not only between hours, seven days. Victor Books, 1992).

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Session 1: Developing a Dynamic, Deepening,
Love Relationship with God
To develop a dynamic, deepening, love relationship with God, I am:
• communing with God regularly through His word, prayer, and other Christian disciplines.
• participating with other believers in worshipping God on Sabbath and at other times.
• worshipping God daily as a living sacrifice by choosing His will over my own will.
• paying attention to what God is doing and praising Him for His love and faithfulness.

big idea
God created you for a unique, deepening, love relationship with Him.

connector
Look: Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 3:17

Memorize: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living
sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to
the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1-2).

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We Connect With God
The Journey Through The Bible.

exploration One of the main ways God connects


with His children is through His
Word. In the Bible, God uses people
God Seeks a Dynamic Relationship With You. to tell us the story of how much He
God is in love with you. Over and over again in the Bible, God reminds you deeply desires you and how He wants
that you’re His child and that He desperately seeks an intimate, growing to spend eternity with you. Through
relationship with you. A dynamic relationship with God starts with knowing various characters, teachings,
that God, for reasons we will never fully understand, loves you beyond your visions, and even poems, God
wildest imagination. As a response to God’s love, we can connect with Him communicates values and practices
and allow Him to grow in and through us. that He knows will allow you to live
Beyond communicating to us through His love letter, the Bible, and through life with significance now and will
prayer, God also communicates through wise people, promptings of the Holy shape you for eternity.
Spirit, and even through nature—where He shows us His power and care. In a world that bombards us with
In connecting with God, different people find different spiritual practices noise, consumerism, and all sorts of
helpful. Some people find the arts or solitude particularly valuable, while other worldviews, the Bible reminds
others connect with God deeply though keeping a journal where they include
us that we exist for God’s glory, and
their thoughts about God as they meditate on Scripture or reflect on their
that a relationship with Him is the
relationship with God in general. Some people’s journals don’t just contain
words; they contain poems, drawings, even cut out pictures that mean most important thing. We are given
something to them. Art, music—every kind of creativity can be a doorway for clarity about what really matters.
experiencing God. Solitude, particularly in nature (as Jesus frequently sought) Studying the Bible is not about just
is one of the best ways to connect with the Creator. knowing more; it’s about change
in our lives. The Pharisees prayed
The ways we connect with God are often referred to as “Christian
disciplines.” Christian disciplines are not a measure of your spirituality. It is and studied, however, they did so
simply any activity that helps you connect with God and that allows Him to in a self-seeking way rather than
work in and through you. They become the habits/practices that we put in looking for a connection with God.
place so that we can grow in the fruits of the Spirit. Disciplines will not earn You can know that hydrogen and
God’s love; you are already loved by Him. They are to help us grow towards oxygen make water, but that makes
the life God desires for us. no difference if you’re dying of thirst.
Knowledge is good, but only if it
• What would be your advice if someone asked you to outline the top brings about change that leaves you
three factors for growing healthy relationships? with a stronger love for God and
• Describe how it feels to stare into a sky full of stars, yet at the same time people. When you ask God to shape
remember that the God of the universe cares intimately about you. you through Scripture, you will
• What do you think are the top three factors that stop people from increasingly find yourself learning
connecting with God? lessons from Bible characters,

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dwelling on promises, and seeing the
world through new eyes. leader’s note
• Who is your favourite Bible And when you come before God, don't turn that into a theatrical production
character? What does that either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for
character tell you about God stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? (Matthew 6:5, The Message).
and what lesson might you learn
from that character?
from the pen of Ellen G. White
• Can you think of a time when
God brought a Bible verse to your “Christ impressed upon His disciples the idea that their prayers should be
mind at just the right time? short, expressing just what they wanted, and no more. He gives the length and
substance of their prayers, expressing their desires for temporal and spiritual
• What do you think it means to blessings, and their gratitude for the same. How comprehensive this sample
be “washed in His Word”? prayer! It covers the actual need of all. One or two minutes is long enough
for any ordinary prayer. There may be instances where prayer is in a special
We Connect With God manner indited by the Spirit of God, where supplication is made in the Spirit. The
Through Prayer. yearning soul becomes agonized and groans after God. The spirit wrestles as did
Jacob and will not be at rest without special manifestations of the power of God.
Another primary way of connecting This is as God would have it.” (Testimonies to the Church, Volume 2 581.1)
with God is through prayer. Prayer
can, at first, come across as being TO THE LEADER: Please share practical ways of praying with your group.
a bit odd. It might seem a little Below are six simple ways to change your life through prayer (taken from Barbara
strange to talk to someone we can’t Bartocci’s book, Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray).
physically see—and even stranger
to listen to them. However, in GIVE AN ALARM-CLOCK ALLELUIA. When your alarm goes off in the
prayer we are not really telling God morning, open your eyes and repeat this line from the Psalms: "This is the day
things He doesn’t know, but rather the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad." Commit to living in gratitude
inviting Him to be part of our lives, for the day, and you'll soon notice how much happier your day is.
seeking His guidance, and entrusting
situations into His control. We can PRAY WITH YOUR SNOOZE BUTTON. My friend Annie has an alarm
pray in our minds throughout the clock with a snooze-reminder that goes off ten minutes after the initial ring.
day, inviting Him into our lives, but When her alarm goes off, she sits up in bed without turning on the light and
it is also important to have some breathes slowly and deeply. "I pay attention to each breath, to my heartbeat,
more structured times of prayer to the feel of my skin against the sheets. I don't plan my day. I merely sit
during which we worship God, seek prayerfully in the early morning quiet. It centers me." When her snooze-
His leading, and renew our invitation reminder gives its ten-minute buzz, she turns on the light and goes about her
to Him to work in and through us. usual morning business.
There is also incredible power in PRACTICE HOLY CURIOSITY. A September 2005 issue of Harvard Business
praying for and with other people. Review said, "As a society we are biased toward answers. Answers settle matters
Ultimately, prayer is about coming and tell us it's safe to move forward. Questions are troublemakers, poking holes
humbly before God and inviting Him in ideas and plans."' But Albert Einstein said: "The important thing is not to
to lead. God really wants to hear your stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. Never lose your
voice—after all, you’re His child. holy curiosity." What a wonderful combination of words! Holy curiosity—

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our ability to wonder, to inquire, to first for those on their prayer lists, and
welcome what is new, and to keep our A dynamic then for each other. "In the beginning, it
minds open to truth when and where seemed awkward to pray out loud with
we find it—surely this is one of the relationship with someone," admits Twila, "but now I'm
most miraculous qualities that human convinced there's a reason why it says
beings possess. Maintain an open mind God starts with in the Gospels, 'Where two or more are
today. Ask questions. Acknowledge gathered in my name there I am in the
truth when you find it. Pray to be led knowing that midst of them.' Praying together is very
by holy curiosity. affirming. We rarely skip our prayer
God, for reasons time together." Invite God into your
BE MORE ACCEPTING. Once, in midst. Say a prayer with a friend.
the midst of a quarrel, my husband we will never
cried, "Why can't you accept me PRACTICE NIGHTTIME TAPS.
for who I am?" The anguish of that
fully understand, Relax into sleep with TAPS prayers.
question immediately stopped me, for loves you beyond Offer thanksgiving for the day’s
isn't that what all of us want? To be blessing. Show adoration for the
loved for who we are? But how can we your wildest Creator who has given us this
accept another unless we first accept incredibly rich universe. Petition for
ourselves? For years, I held myself to imagination. As a your needs and those of your loved
an impossible standard of perfection, ones. Express sorrow if you’ve hurt
and if I had to be perfect, why, those I response to God’s another in any way. Sleep well.
loved had to be, too. We can only love
God and our neighbour to the extent love, we can • Why do you think studies often
show that many Christians do not
that we love and accept ourselves. connect with Him pray?
Today, whenever you look in a mirror,
make eye contact with yourself, and and allow Him • What ideas do you have for how
say aloud, "I love myself. Not as I will you could make your prayer time
be. Not as I could be. But as I am." Did to grow in and more intentional?
you believe the words you said aloud?
If not, ask the Holy Spirit to aid you in through us.
greater self-acceptance. Then add these Sabbath: Strengthening Your
words: "I accept others as they are." Connection
PICK A PRAYER PARTNER. Every A particularly vital point of connection
week, Twila and her friend Helen meet with God is the Sabbath. Sabbath
for thirty minutes of prayer. After reminds us to reflect on our priorities.
asking for God's grace in the words It’s not about having one day separate
they speak to one another, they share and then living the other six like any
how they have used spiritual principles other person. It’s about strengthening
in their lives over the past week. Then and re-energizing our connection
they discuss any problems that are with God and His eternal values. Our
bothering them. Lastly, they hold Sabbath experience can change the
hands and take turns praying aloud, way we worship, the way we interact

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with others, and strengthen our relationship with God. However, you helping you: Take your everyday,
relationship with God. will more naturally connect through ordinary life – your sleeping, eating,
some of these ways than others. going-to-work and walking around
Sabbath is designed for us to take
Remember that everyone is wired life – and place it before God as an
a break from “time = money”
differently. Together we can learn offering.”
consumerism traps. It reminds us
from one another and stretch in our
that we are created for eternity and For Paul, your ordinary, everyday life
experience of connecting with God.
that life is not about the abundance is the very place to be an offering to
of our things. Rather, life is about • Can you think of a time when God. We don’t often think of walking
dynamically connecting with God you felt particularly close to around and going to sleep as being
and people. Sabbath gives us a break God? What factors do you think spiritual activities, but Paul says our
from the things that can clutter up shaped this closeness? every thought, word, and action can
the rest of our lives and provides be an act of worship to God.
a great opportunity to spend time • What Christian disciplines have
worshipping, connecting, serving, you tried and what made them Of course, this living sacrifice life
growing, and sharing. work or not work? isn’t something we attempt in our
own power. Jesus is not sitting in the
• Why do you think God invented • When are you best able to hear audience watching us perform. Jesus
the idea of Sabbath? God communicating with you? wants to do the ordinary, everyday
things of life with us. He wants to
• Why do you think it’s important work in and through us. We live life in
to take a break from “time = Connecting With God In partnership with Him. Being a living
money” consumerism? sacrifice is about focusing on Jesus’
Your Everyday Life
• How can you make your Sabbath presence with you as you go through
experience personal? God wants to connect with you the seemingly inconsequential
and live in the ordinary, everyday moments of your day.
moments of life with you. Sometimes • How easy is it for God to get your
we think that a spiritual moment needs attention in your ordinary day?
Your Connection Is Unique to be something unusual or out of the
The way you connect most deeply ordinary. However, your everyday, • Would you like to spend an
with God and just how God grows ordinary life is exactly what God ordinary day with Jesus in
you will be unique to you. He made would love to experience with you. person?
you that way. By looking at various The apostle Paul talks about doing • How aware are you of the
characters in Scripture we see that absolutely everything, even the possibility of meeting God
people connect with God in different everyday things, with God. He calls during your day?
ways. Some people feel deeply it being a “living sacrifice” (Romans
connected to God through learning 12:1). It seems a strange combination Making a Plan – Training in
intellectually about Him. For others
it is primarily through worship,
of words; however, being a living Godliness
sacrifice simply means that every
serving, nature, relationships, or part of our life is an offering to God. Like any healthy relationship,
contemplation/reflection. All of these growing in connection with God
ways of connecting are important The Message describes it like this: “So takes intentionality. We don’t become
and part of a balanced, growing here’s what I want you to do, God healthier and increase our muscle

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tone by just sitting back and seeing what
happens. If we want to get fit, we make a plan.
reflection
It’s the same with spiritual fitness. In growing • What do you think your friends would say are the top three
in Christ we need to orient our lives around factors that drive you?
practices and habits that remind us of what
matters and give God space to work in us. • What do you think are the top three things that get in the
way of growing in your relationship with God?
Imagine you are at the starting line to watch
the Olympic marathon. Just before it starts, an • If in the future an archaeologist was to study your messages,
official spots you and explains that your country credit card statements, and diary, what would they conclude
needs you to run. Regardless of how hard you your priorities are?
tried, you would probably struggle, unless you’re
already a serious athlete. If you were given a • What do you think it means to love God with all your heart?
year to prepare and you were serious about it,
you would shape your life around habits and • What factors might stop you from getting started on your
activities that trained your body. You would start “training in godliness” plan?
running short distances and gradually increase • If you cut back using the computer one hour a week, how
them. You might eat differently and arrange could you use this time to be in the presence of God or
your day differently so you could get to the gym. others?
You might buy different shoes and find a coach.
When the time came to run in the marathon, • Would your friends say that being around you is a bit like
you would be able to do by training what trying being around Jesus? What would have to change for this to
alone does not allow. It’s the same for training in be the case?
godliness (1 Timothy 4:7b-8). Training means
to arrange your life around certain exercises and
experiences that will enable you to become over application
time what you are not yet able to be—even by
trying hard. God Gives You The Choice.
In attempting to grow a dynamic relationship Too often we can live life with no regard for God’s perspective.
with God, many people try, fail, and think this Even sadder is that instead of looking to God for our meaning
life of connectedness with God is not for them, and fulfilment we chase the next thing that promises to fill the
or even wonder if it exists at all. Discipleship void. It might be a new body shape, car, or relationship – each
is not a matter of trying harder, but rather promising a sense of fulfilment and none delivering. There is
engaging in a lifestyle of ‘training in godliness.” nothing inherently wrong with these things; they are just not
designed to give us ultimate meaning and purpose.
• Have you ever found yourself trying to
connect with God and feeling like you’re The same God who made the world offers to remake your life
going nowhere? How would you explain and live the everyday moments in relationship with you. God did
the difference between training and not make you to be a puppet, with strings for Him to pull—that
trying? would make you His toy. Rather He made you with purpose and
the power to choose so that He could have a relationship with
• What do you think a plan for “growing in you. He does not force a relationship. God’s desire is to be invited
godliness” might look like in your life? into your everyday situations and live life deeply with you.

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Take some time now to
direct your thoughts back to
debriefing
Him: ask for His help or His During this session we looked at the ways we develop this love relationship
guidance, or simply share your with God—primarily through Bible study, prayer, and worship, especially with
heart with Him. others on Sabbath.
• What changes in your
schedule can you make Bible study and prayer
right now to make space to Think about and discuss:
“train in godliness”? (Share
• Have your ideas and attitudes about the Bible and prayer changed during
with your accountability
these sessions? If so, how?
partner.)
• In what ways did you find your devotional life changing as you tried out some
• What ideas do you have to of the suggestions and activities? For instance, did you begin (or already have)
give yourselves reminders a prayer journal? Was it only written, or did it contain art and doodles and
of God’s presence other things? Do you like or dislike the idea? If you don’t, what would you
throughout the day? prefer to do to make your relationship with God more visible and real to you?
• Identify a time this week • Which methods of prayer and Bible study were the most helpful to you and
where you can simply be why? Which were not helpful, and why? Did you discover anything not
mentioned in the session that you would like to share?
still and focus on God’s
love for you. Where and • Did you make a plan for training yourself in greater godliness? How is it
when will it be? working for you? What are some of the blessings you have found? What are
the obstacles you face? Ask your group if they have ideas and solutions. You
• What one Christian can all share both your blessings and your problems and ideas.
discipline will you train in
this week? Where and how Worship and Sabbath
will it happen? • Of course, what we do in the church building on Sabbath is only a small part
of what worship really is. Every discipline and practice in this session is all
prayer time about worship, from private devotions to prayer partners to corporate worship
on Sabbath. In fact, our every thought, word, and action is worship one way
• Remember to thank God or another. We might want to be careful and attentive to whom or what we’re
for loving you so much. worshipping!
• Pray about the thing that • Have your attitudes toward worship changed during these sessions? If so, how?
get in the way of your • Did you find a prayer partner? What are the blessings and challenges of this
connection with God. relationship? (Of course, do not share any personal details of prayers with the
whole group.)
• Ask God to work in
and through you in • Are you developing a growing ability to remain aware of God’s presence
and your connection to Him all day? Are you catching yourself sometimes
the ordinary, everyday
worshipping something else entirely? What do you do when this happens?
moments.
• How does fun relate to worship? •
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y o u n g a d u lt b i b l e s t u dy http://gcyouthministries.org
A Youth Workshop on discipleship
by Kimberley Tagert-Paul

A Love Unlike Any Other


They were married quite young; he Love. Perhaps the young people doubted. Then Jesus came to them
almost 13, and she the older woman you teach are not fully acquainted and said, “All authority in heaven
at 14. Shortly after their wedding, with real love yet, at least the kind and on earth has been given to me.
he entered the service of the U.S. of love that can sustain a marriage Therefore go and make disciples of all
Army, and later was awarded the for over 90 years. Hopefully, though, nations, baptizing them in the name
title of the longest living veteran of they have met the love of their life: of the Father and of the Son and of
the Revolutionary war. For Daniel Jesus! the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to
and Susan Bakeman, the history they obey everything I have commanded
made was not in the timing of their Do you remember what it was like you. And surely I am with you
marriage, but in its length. They are to fall in love with the Savior that always, to the very end of the age.”
officially the longest married couple gave His very life for you? Do you
ever recorded, a marriage that lasted remember your enthusiasm to share The great commission. That’s what
until her death. The length - an that love with others? Do you still we call it today. Jesus simply called it
amazing ninety-one years and twelve have that desire and zeal today, or His plan for His children. It was His
days! has it cooled in the burden of just plan to share the good news to every
living. tribe, tongue, and nation. He wanted
In India, an arranged marriage everyone to know that His Father
between Philipose Thomas and his was love. He wanted to correct the
blushing bride Sosamma lasted a mistakes and misconceptions that
period of eighty-eight years and Discipleship - God’s Plan man had made about God, and to
two days. It wasn’t love at first sight, Each participant in this workshop set everyone free from the burden of
partly because they were only 13 and needs to have their own notebook sin. So He met with His disciples that
12 respectively. Philipose admits that to journal in during the day on the mount, knowing that He
he never drank or smoked, and that presentations and discussions. would soon be leaving them. He had
he worked alongside the laborers final instructions to give. They were
on his families land. He said they to remember what He had taught in
never argued, she said they did, a Mathew 28: 16 - 20 both word and action and share it
lot. Whatever their differences were, Then the eleven disciples went to with others, teaching them in turn
they managed to work them out Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus to become disciples themselves, thus
and survive as the second longest had told them to go. When they saw fanning the rings of love until they
recorded marriage in history. him, they worshiped him; but some encompassed the world.

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workshop http://gcyouthministries.org
Module 1 Think back to when you first met Jesus. When did you
fall in love with Him? What did you love the most about
Define Jesus? If you could share only one thing about Him with
others, what would it be? Remembering this first love is
Discipleship. What is it? Who can be a an important part of discipleship. Discipleship involves a
disciple? relationship, in our case with Jesus. It isn’t the passing on
of traditions taught by man. It is a very real and growing
These are questions that are good to discuss. But before
relationship. It’s not about making students, it’s about
you get there, get your group up and moving.
making disciples. It’s a call to live like Jesus did.
Break into two groups and spend the next 30
minutes coming up with an impromptu skit about
discipleship. Have one group act out what they Power Question
think discipleship is. Have the second group act In light of what has been discussed, what is
out what they think discipleship isn’t. This should your relationship with Jesus? Are you living as
provide for some interesting discussion. a disciple? Are you committed to sharing your
faith - living it as well as speaking about it to
When gathered back together, have each person others who need to become disciples of God?
write out their own definition of what discipleship
is. When these are shared, come up with a group
definition in light of Mathew 28:16 - 20, and write it
on a chalk board or poster.
Jesus spent quality time teaching His disciples everything Skit for Module One
He could about His Father and Their love for each person
ever created. Now, Jesus called His disciples to go out and Setting:
make more disciples. A street corner with foot traffic passing by
occasionally. Man 1 is standing on a box of some
kind with a megaphone in hand. You can make a
Power Questions megaphone with a paper cone - just have him shout
Is everyone called to be a disciple? How do you his lines as directed. Keep the setting simple, just a
become a disciple? If we are disciples, what is our sturdy box with give the illusion as people pass by.
responsibility toward God’s plan for discipleship?
Cast:
Man 1 and Man2, at least one person to pass by the
Defining Moment
speaker. You can easily change this to Woman 1 and
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great theologian and martyr 2 if needed for your group.
was once quoted as saying, “Christianity without
discipleship is always Christianity without Christ,” Why Man 1: (Standing on the box and shouting into the
is this statement both simple and profound at the same megaphone) People. Listen up. Jesus loves you. He died
time? What does it say about our privileged duty to make for your sins. Repent. That’s what you need to do. Jesus
disciples for Christ? loves you. . .

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Passerby: (Walks past the man and Man 2: “Thanks. I’ll remember that.” First, let’s take a look at whom Jesus
scowls) Weirdo. Then, at work, one of my coworkers chose as his disciples.
Man 1: (He shouts out to their seemed sad, so I offered to pray for
retreating back.) But, Jesus loves you. her. She said it made her feel better. From the book of Mark, the first
(He looks a little discouraged. Then he called was Peter. He was a
Man 1: So you think you can be a
sees man 2 and starts again.) fisherman. He was also called Simon,
disciple without shouting out to the
(Shouting again.) Sir, Jesus loves you. Simon Peter, or Cephas from the
world about the wonderful love of
Aramaic for "rock.“ Peter comes
Man 2: I know that. Come down a Jesus?
from the Greek and means the
minute, would you.
Man 2: I don’t need to shout at all. same. Peter had a fiery personality.
Man 1: (Still shouting.) I can’t. I have to I simply do what Jesus did. I love Andrew was Peter's brother
tell the world about the love of Jesus. them, and try to meet their needs. and fishing partner. In the book of
Man 2: Would you please stop When they see that I’m different, John, it is noted that Andrew was
shouting. I want to talk to you. they often ask why and I get to tell first a disciple of John the Baptist.
them gently about God’s love. James was the next called. James
Man 1: Well, O.K. But just for a
was also a fisherman and is noted
minute. I have a job to do. Man 1: Wow. That would certainly as the son of Zebedee, a fisherman
Man 2: I know. I love Jesus, too. be easier than standing on this box from Capernaum. John was James'
all day shouting out to the world. brother and partner in the family
Man 1: You do? Well, (stands) why
don’t you get up here with me and Man 2: Not only easier, but people fishing business. Jesus gives the two
we’ll tell the world together. will like it a whole lot better, for sure. brothers the name Boanerges, which
is a Greek form of the Aramaic "sons
Man 2: Sit down here, would you. (They stand up and walk off talking of thunder.” We can tell a lot about
(He pulls the man back to a seated quietly, and Man 1 leaves his their personalities from that.
position.) Jesus told us to share His megaphone on the box.)
love, but not like this. Philip was from Bethsaida,
Man 1: What do you mean. He said another town on the coast of the
to make disciples of the world. We’ve Sea of Galilee. We can assume that
got a big job to do. Module 2 he was also in the fishing business.
Bartholomew was called next,
Man 2: We can’t reach the whole Discern and we don’t know a lot about him.
world. So we start where we are
at. One person at a time. Like this Now that we have a working Matthew is called a tax collector.
morning, I held the door open for a definition of what discipleship is, and Thomas means "twin" in Aramaic.
woman struggling with two toddlers. isn’t, we can move on to discernment. Later, he is called "doubting
She thanked me and I told her, What is discernment? It is the Thomas" because he doubted Jesus’
“No problem. Have a good day and quality of being able to grasp and resurrection until he touched Jesus’
remember God loves you.” comprehend. In our case, we need to wounds himself. James was the son
grasp the definition of a disciple and of Alpheus. He is not to be confused
Man 1: What did she say? translate it into our own lives. with James the Great or James, the

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brother of Jesus. Simon was called group, and lacked formal education. he would build His church through
next. His name means "the "zealous,” What can we learn from Jesus’ choice him. Jesus knew all about the
so he was often called the “Zealot. of these men? impetuousness of Peter and his fiery
Thaddeus was the eleventh called. temper. He called him anyway. Does
There's a bit of controversy when it Jesus know all about you? You can
comes to this 11th disciple. In Mark
Discerning Time count on that. And you have to love
and Matthew, he's called Thaddeus. The famed author, C.S. Lewis once His sense of humor that He chooses
Luke, on the other hand, calls this stated, “Until you have given up us to bring His Word to the world.
man Jude, son of James. Then, yourself to Him (Jesus) you will not
have a real self.” Let’s think about this. Becoming a disciple is an instant
Jesus called a man named Judas calling. As soon as you know about
Iscariot. He, the treasurer of When you fell in love with Jesus, you
had to give yourself to Him in order Jesus, you should be sharing Him
the group, is of course the one that with others. But the process of
betrayed Jesus in the end. for Him to become your personal
Savior. But how surrendered do we becoming an effective disciple takes
need to be? Are there things about time.
These are the men that Jesus called to
ourselves and desires that it is O.K. to
be the first disciples. Some we know
hang on to, (parts of our past) if we
more about that others. The ones that
are to serve Him completely? Power Questions
we do know about, had personalities
of fire and conviction, hard working Jesus tells us in Mark 8:34, “Then he As a group, discuss and
men that weren’t afraid of the called the crowd to him along with record in your journals
elements, or the hard work to come. his disciples and said: “Whoever ways that you can become a
wants to be my disciple must deny disciplined, effective disciple,
themselves and take up their cross remembering that discipleship
and follow me. “ is a relationship. How many
Power Questions of these ideas are you already
Can we take up our cross daily and
Why do you think Jesus choose implementing in your life?
yet hang on to the baggage of our
these particular men to become What ways can you help each
past? Your young people may not yet
the first disciples? What about other to become closer to Jesus.
have a “past.” That’s not a bad thing.
their personalities lends them Personally, what areas of your
Somehow, though, they need to see
to the work Jesus had in mind? Christian experience, including
the importance of giving themselves
What about their personalities emotions, relationships, and
fully to Jesus to become His true
and backgrounds make them will, need to be brought under
disciples. One of the best ways for
seem unsuitable to the work of the Lordship of Jesus so that
them to see that is viewing it modeled
the gospel? you can be a more effective
in your life.
disciple?
The men that Jesus called were not Is this an instant process? Remember
the brightest, the wealthiest, nor the Peter in the garden, Remember In order for youth to identify with
most influential members in their what he did with his sword? Jesus the church in their future, we need to
communities. They were a diverse called Peter and even told him that identify with them now. We want our

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workshop http://gcyouthministries.org
youth to grow in their relationship Marcus: You really embrace all this Andrea: Guess we all have some
with the Lord so that when they discipleship stuff, don’t you. reading to do.
are “in” the world, the church and
their faith will have a significant Chase: (He looks at Marcus) Sure. It’s Marcus: Yep. (He stands up and
place. How can we achieve this by not an option. Not to me. God says stretches, then bends down to the pot
being true disciples? How can we when We come to Him, we are to of flowers and gives Chase a goofy
encourage them to disciple? become disciples. look.) But first, I’m going to stop and
smell the flowers.
(A stray ball comes rolling in from off
stage, and Marcus picks it up and Chase: (Stands and swats at Marcus)
Skit for Module 2 throws it back off stage. Someone Hey. . .
yells, “Thanks.”)
Setting: Laughing, they all move off the stage.
A park bench Put a pot of flowers Marcus No problem. God bless you!
on the sides of the bench. Three (He calls off stage.)
members from a youth group
are discussing the discipleship Andrea See. You just did it.
training. Marcus: Did what?
Cast: Chase: You just shared God with
Andrea, Chase, and Marcus someone.

Marcus: How’s that? Module 3


Andrea: I’m so glad spring is here
again. I love spring. Chase: Remember what you said? Design
Chase: Me too. The start of discipline is sharing We have defined discipleship, we
Marcus: You love flowers? (He looks God’s love. It doesn’t have to be some have discerned how to disciple, now
at Chase with a silly look on his face.) grand elaborate gesture. It starts it’s time to take it even further, and
small and builds from there. see how to individually implement
Chase: Funny. No it’s not the flowers.
Well, God made them and I love the Andrea: Like a seed. Small. Growing. it in our lives. How do we disciple?
colors, but it’s more than that. People (She smiles) When should we disciple? Where can
are out and about, the world is just we disciple?
different. Marcus: I like that. I always think
I have to do something big and get Christian discipleship is much more
Andrea: Oh. I get it. It’s easier to worn out just by thinking about it. than just being a believer. It is all
witness, isn’t it. When people are about being Jesus’ follower. Believing
outside. . . Chase: Being a disciple means living is the first step. When Jesus called
Chase: Yeah. You got it. People are like Jesus. To do that, you have to His disciples, they believed Him. But
in a more receptive mood after all know who He was. It’s all in His they had to get up and follow Him.
the cold of winter and all. Word. Everything we need. We must do the same.

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workshop http://gcyouthministries.org
Designing Time
Power Questions Discipleship by it’s very nature tells us that we must
What are some ways that you can be participate in the ministry and share what we know with
strengthened as a disciple? Remember, a others. How do you do this? Are there appropriate places
relationship is about growing. If you don’t grow to acknowledge God? Does that imply that there are places
with the relationship, then the relationship it is right not to witness? Of course there are often rules
usually dies. Nobody wants that to happen in the workplace, but, living as an example is often much
when they follow Christ. What happens if you more effective than words. A kindness done is often the best
don’t read His Word daily? Do you feel hungry recognition of God.
for His Word? Would it sound crazy to schedule
With the explosion of technology, new ways to witness and
quite time alone with God? Is your schedule
help others grow have become available at our fingertips.
busy? Then when will you fit in time with God
How can the new technologies aid your ability to disciple?
if you don’t plan for it?
How have you used technology to witness and disciple and
Do you need fellowship with others to grow in what were the results? Are places like Facebook and My
Jesus? Look at what the Bible says in Hebrews Space appropriate places to share your beliefs with others
10:23-25. Why would this need to be said in ? Does technology give you a wider audience than face-to-
the Bible. Do you think it could be because face witnessing does? Are there challenges because of the
of our busy lives, that Jesus knew it would be expanded audience? What are they and how can you work
easy to give up gathering together instead of within the challenges?
worshiping on your own? Why does fellowship
help us grow? Did Jesus attend church each
Sabbath? Did He use excuses that there were
too many hypocrites in the church? How can
The Cost of Discipleship
we apply Jesus’ time with His disciples to our Are there costs to serving Jesus as His disciple? Yes, there are.
own lives?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer understood this when he said,
Now that you are growing in your relationship “Salvation is free,. . . Bur discipleship will cost you your life.
with Jesus, how can you start becoming an Many people lose friends and family when they come to
effective disciple. Can you start with little things Jesus. They either don’t understand or out right reject the
and make them part of your life? Then move on truth and don’t want to be reminded of it. Jesus understood
to bigger challengers? Sometimes we just need this. Many of His followers turned away from Him at
to step up to a challenge God is leading us to different times. Consider what the Bible says in Luke 14:25-
and trust that He will give us the strength and 27. Is this a warning from Him that following won’t be easy?
ability that He is calling us to. Often the results
of such obedience are remarkable. It just takes Many Christians around the world suffer greatly for their
one step - and then God will continue the work choice to follow Jesus and become His disciple. In many
that He has begun in us. countries, proselytizing is against the law. Does that stop
Christians in those countries from sharing what they know?

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No, it doesn’t. In fact, they seem to Skit for Module 3 Worker Two: Sorry, I have to
be eager to share more. Are they disagree with you. Your faith goes
deliberately seeking out danger? No. Setting An office. Use two simple with you wherever you go. It’s how
They love God and can’t help sharing desks if possible, a couple laptops you express it that create a problem.
what they know. For those of us in would help to create the illusion of a
countries where we can share freely, work space. Worker Two has a Bible Worker One: I guess I don’t
do we have the same zeal to do it? on their desk. understand.

Many Christians have to make Cast: Several coworkers are present. Worker Two: You know that old
sacrifices to follow Christ. Jesus’ You can use men or women according saying, “Preach the gospel always. If
disciples understood this and yet, to your group needs. Some could be necessary, use words. You can’t stand
followed Him faithfully. Many did working without having a direct part on a soapbox and shout out your
not have their own homes. in the dialogue. faith, but living it will say much more
anyways.
They trusted that God would provide
for their needs. Did He? Will He Worker One: (Walking past a Worker One: I guess I can see what
for us? Is learning this lesson an coworker, with a bunch of papers your talking about. I just, well, I
important part of our faith and that he/she drops.) Oops. I’m sorry. didn’t know how to start.
growth? (They bend to start retrieving the Worker Two: That’s not so hard,
papers.) I didn’t mean to interrupt really. Just remember how you felt
Yes, there is a cost to discipleship.
your work. when you first fell in love with
But the rewards are not measured
in monetary units. Heaven is a very Worker Two: It’s no problem. Really. Jesus, when you first received His
real place, and any cost associated Let me help you. (He/she helps pick grace. That’s where you start, at the
with being there will be well worth up the papers and puts them in beginning. If your are authentic
it. We need not fear the work of order.) with your faith, others will feel safe
discipleship. We should be wise, but around you and want to invite you
not afraid. Worker One: Oh. I see you have a into their lives. Then you can share
Bible with you. Do you read that? bits and pieces that are relevant to
D.L. Moody, a great theologian once (Worker One looks surprised.) them. It’s not rocket science.
said, “No one can sum up all God
is ale to accomplish through one Worker Two: I read a little bit on my Worker One: Thanks for sharing.
solitary life, wholly yielded, adjusted, lunchtime everyday. I don’t have as You’ve given me a lot to think about.
and obedient to Him. much time in the mornings as I like I never thought I could share my
to read. How about you? Do you ever faith at work, safely. Now I see there
Power Question read the Bible? are probably other places I can share,
In light of today’s study, are too.
Worker One: I do. But I didn’t think
you ready to continue to follow we could talk about it at work. I’m Worker Two It get’s easier. It’s like
Christ as His disciple wherever new here, but in my last job, religion an onion. You peel one layer at a
He leads you? and the workplace didn’t go together. time. Besides we are not alone. The

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Holy Spirit helps us to share and build for God’s kingdom. Want to get together Thanks for asking. (Worker One
for lunch, and we can talk more? Part of being able to share is being faithful to leaves ,Worker Two goes back to
our employer, too. work.)
Worker One (Laughs) You’re right about that. Sure, we can do lunch and see
how we can work together to share more with our coworkers. End of Workshop

PROGRAM PLANNER
by Kimberley Tagert-Paul

Mentoring
Program Target: To begin a What are you waiting for? Shouldn’t have come from or where you are
discussion that will allow youth to you get up right now and go out going. But, there is help. And that’s
explore an area not often talked and get it? Is there something you what today’s program is about -
about - the need to be mentored need? What might help you in your mentoring.
as well as the need to be a mentor. search? A map? A compass? A
Discussion will help them explore plan? Can’t you go out and quickly To do:(Have a poster or board that
the possibilities of choosing a mentor find it without those things? How you can write on and pens or chalk
that will guide them in the right long do you think it would take to do so.)
ways, as well as learning how they you? Oh - do you also need to know
can in turn use their talents and what you are searching for? First, lets define Christian
gifts to be a blessing as a mentor, mentoring. Any one have an idea
especially to younger youth. Can you imagine having to search of what we are talking about? (Give
the whole city for something - not time for discussion - writing down
Scriptures to use: Jeremiah 29:11, knowing how to narrow your search the definitions as given.) So let’s
Jeremiah 33:3. Proverbs 18:16 or even what you are looking for? It sum up what we think Christian
would be impossible to do, wouldn’t mentoring is. (A one-on-one
Introduction: There is a treasure it? Some of you may feel that your relational experience in which one
hidden somewhere in our city. Your life is just like that now - in-between person empowers another person
job today is to go out and find it. adulthood and childhood - not by giving of their time and talents as
O.K. Go. Good luck. really understanding where you resources given by God.)

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r e a dy- t o - u s e resources http://gcyouthministries.org
Now we know what a mentor is - do 4. After discussion within the right person to help you and prayer
you think it is easier to be mentored group, ideas that others see together when that relationship
or to be a mentor? Don’t most them confident in and able to forms. Second, ask questions, both
people want someone to help them mentor. of you. It is the duty of the mentor
- but how many are willing to take to lead and guide - not to
the time to help? So you’ll find it Next, ask them this question: If give all the answers. Mentorees
is important to find a good mentor you just plow through life without a need to ask questions as well. In
in your life - but also to reach out plan or direction - but keep steady looking for a mentor -
with your knowledge and talents to to the plow - you’ll probably get Look at their track record. Success
mentor someone else. somewhere, but will it be where speaks for itself. Allow your
God wants you to go? (allow for mentor/mentored relationship to
There are things you will gain as discussion within the group - this develop naturally. Forcing it to try
a mentor and a mentoree: Can we should help them discuss that just to achieve a goal seldom works.
make a list of these? getting through doesn’t have to be Don’t overwhelm each other -
(Allow for discussion - have the two their plan - that they can become observation is often the best way to
sections ready to write in on your more and that daring to reach out learn. Ask question, think things
board or poster.) to a mentor can help them become through, but don’t expect all the
A mentor gains . . .(wisdom, the not only productive but all God has right answers to be forthcoming.
chance to disciple, networking, planned for them.) Allow about It takes time to reach goals and
accountability.) 20 or more minutes for discussion desires. Let God lead you and
A mentored gains . . .(wisdom, within the small groups. you’ll find that being a mentor and
someone to believe in them, being mentored is one of the most
accountability, networking, rewarding experiences you can have.
someone to help push you.) These Gather the groups back together.
are suggestions - the group will
probably have more ideas. Finding a mentor and being a Prep Time: Have a board to
mentor can add dimensions to your write on or two poster boards to
To do: Divide the group into teams life that will help you to become write on - one for the definition,
of 2 - 4. Give them paper and pen all that God has planned for you to the other for ideas on mentors/
and instructions to . . . be. Why settle for mediocre when mentorees. Be prepared to divide
God created you to be fantastic? the group into smaller groups
1. Write a list of things that they are
Everyone needs at least three things: (preferably try to mix them up so
confident enough in that they
a dream, someone to believe in that they are not with their closest
could mentor someone else.
them, the determination to get to friends) Have paper and pens
2. Write a list of areas that they the victory line. available for each member of the
would like a mentors help with. group. Encourage them to take the
3. People they can think of that There are things you can do to make papers home and look at them. It


might help them in finding the this relationship a success. First, should encourage them to see what
guidance they seek. start with prayer, both to find the others see as their strengths.

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bible study: junior youth
Contributor : Kimberley Tagert–Paul
BIBLE STUDY:
How to design your future
Leaders Notes: This is a self contained study. It would be good for individuals or in a
group setting. It would be good to review Judges 6:36-40 and Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 53
to see how Gideon used a fleece to interpret God’s will.

Ice Breaker: Before the invention of the compass - sea


Which Way Should You Go? travel was especially difficult. Most mariners
stayed close to shore. They had to depend
You are about to enter uncharted territory. on things like landmarks and the night sky
You are all alone. Everything about your to navigate their way around. The compass
mission depends on the decisions you are allowed man to move about and explore. So
about to make. Are you ready? what happened if it was a foggy night?

You see trees before you. Lots of trees. So As a teen - that’s just what you are doing;
what will you take to survive through the moving about and exploring your world. But -
forest that is before you? Food - of course like ancient mariners, you, too, need a compass
you won’t forget that. And water - no one to help you navigate through your future.
would forget that. So what else do you need?
Do you have one? If you have your Bible
A sleeping bag in case you get trapped
handy - then, yes you do! The Bible is God’s
and it gets cold. A large knife for cutting
compass - a gift to us to help us make the
tough vines. Extra socks in case yours get
decisions that we are called on to make.
wet. Your list is getting longer. Forgetting
anything?
Oh - yeah! You finally remember. You need
Dig-In
a compass. Adam and Eve were the first humans to
have to make decisions. One of Adam’s first
A compass is a tool that helps someone decisions was to name the animals that God
navigate. A magnetic compass always point created. Can you imagine that scene . . . .
to true north. There are now more modern
ways of determining direction that don’t “His name?” Adam laughed and the corners
depend on the magnetic poles of our earth - of his eyes wrinkled with pleasure. He watched
but the good old fashioned compass is still a the creature dance among the clover, leaping
valuable tool. and bounding with life.

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bible study: willjunior
“His name shall be Lamb. He
youth
be my favorite. I’ll keep Oh, that . . .that’s easy! . . . It’s called overconfidence and it
Contributor : Kimberley Tagert–Paul
him close to my heart, for he lives his joy - the joy I feel leads to many mistakes. Yes, it’s good to have confidence
here. . .” Adam spread his arms wide, “ . . . in the garden in your abilities. Confidence usually means that you have
with you.” studied, practiced and learned that you can do what you
are setting out to do. Confidence comes from hard work.
God laughed and smiled His delight at his newborn son. But overconfidence can lead to careless mistakes and bad
He looked into his face, the image of his Father. What joy decisions. Don’t get caught up in this trap. You are too
Adam brought to his Father’s heart. . . smart for that, right?

What a time God and Adam must have had together So How do you make the best decisions for you?
that day. Adam making wise decisions and sharing
them with his Father. Too bad that not many days later, Talk It Over
he would make a decision that would change the world Have you ever made a bad decision? What were the
forever. Good decisions - Bad decisions. How do you consequences of that decision? Did you need help in
know what to choose and how to plan as you navigate correcting the problems caused by your decision? How
through these rough teen years and into the future God do you think God feels when we make poor decisions?
planned for you? Or
Do you think using the fleece method is a good way to
Hot Potato: make decision? Explain your answer. Have you ever
Words to Use to Make Stupid Decisions. tried a “fleece” answer? Why or why not.
We’ve already come this far . . . .Ever heard those words.
Perhaps on a drive with your parents . . .perhaps when
deciding on dating. Many people feel that they’ve already
Apply It/Bible Text Discovery:
invested too much time, money, or emotions to turn back Jeremiah 29:11 Do you believe that God has a plan for
even though it is clear they are heading in the wrong your life? Do you believe that He created you with a
direction. Ever feel that way? Don’t be afraid to turn purpose in mind? Do you sometimes feel that you have
back. TURN BACK! Continuing to go in the wrong gone outside of that plan? Can you get back on track
direction isn’t going to get you any closer to the goal. with God? God says in this verse that He has not only a
plan for your life - but He also wants to give you a future
Everyone else seems to think this is right . . . .Ever heard and a hope. Maybe the first step in making decisions is
those words? You’ve probably used them yourself. Just to come to God and believe.
because everyone else says it is right - doesn’t make it
so. It’s a good way to be led way off track. Look at those Jeremiah 33:3 Who is going to answer your questions
that died at the Waco complex of the Branch Davidians. and help make decisions for you? Does God promise
Everyone assumed that their leader, David Koresh, that He will do this with you? Do you believe enough
was right. 75 people died that fateful day in April 1993 to allow God to show you the things you need to know?
including 21 children. Sometimes others may be right Let God prove to you that He will do this for you by
- but you need to use wisdom before making decisions trusting Him in all areas of your life. God can be
based on someone else’s knowledge. trusted - you need to learn that for yourself.

46 YMA . April - June 2012 junior youth bible study http://gcyouthministries.org


bible study: compass
Joshua 1:8 God’s Word is the
junior youth
we need to help us beams of heaven's light are shining upon your pathway
Contributor : Kimberley Tagert–Paul
navigate our way through life. dear youth, and I pray that you may make the most of
How can you meditate on it day and night? What do your opportunities. Receive and cherish every heaven-
you think it this means? In what ways can you carry sent ray, and your path will grow brighter and brighter
God’s Word into your decision making? Do you trust the unto the perfect day. “
principles in God’s Word to lead you into the right paths? Youth Instructor, February 2, 1893 par. 8)
How can you grow to believe that even more? Does
meditating on God’s Word include things like prayer?

Mark 11:24 and Isaiah 26:3 How can things like prayer, Sharing Time
and finding God’ peace help us make decisions for our
lives? Do you believe that God will answer your prayers You can share the principles you
when you pray for wisdom? Does having a deep sense of have learned about decision making
peace about a decision help you feel that God is blessing with your friends. Show them that
that decision. Are there times that we cannot trust our
the Bible is a good guide to help
emotions? Is having a sense of peace different from
emotional feelings? them make decisions. Remember
that the Bible, prayer, and peace can
Matthew 25:23 In what ways can you grow in your be great guides.
decision making with God? Is it better to start with
small steps and grow from there or to take big leaps?
Why do you feel this way? The faithful servant had used
wise strategy that was developed over time. How can you
develop your strategies to succeed in life as the servant This Week’s Challenge
did? Is being faithful in the small stuff a step in the right
direction to lead you to bigger and better things? The Look at Gideon’s method of
wise servant knew that he shouldn’t quit when it came to obtaining direction in Judges 6:36-
the master’s business as the unwise servant did. Is not 40. Look at Chapter 53 of Patriarchs
quitting a good strategy for your life? If you quit, will
and Prophets to see what Ellen
you leave the victory to someone else?
White shares about Gideon’ choice.
How can you apply this to your life
Extra Gem this week?

Ellen White understood how hard it was as a young


person to make right choices and good decisions. She
wrote the following in the Youth Instruction, Feb. 2, 1893.
“We should be pervaded with a deep, abiding sense of
the value, sanctity, and authority of the truth. The bright

47 YMA . April - June 2012 junior youth bible study http://gcyouthministries.org


them construct with cardboard, foil, and the other
materials, the weapon they are assigned. Ask
them to discuss the meaning of the weapon both
Spiritual Warfare in Roman times, and as God meant it for us as
Christian soldiers. Provide them with the following
Program Target: To help youth see the need to put to open discussion - and also read it latter for the
on God’s armor in their daily lives. To help them whole group.
see that there is a spiritual battle raging around
them that they may not see - but is none-the-less Belt of Truth
very real. To see that God has provided us with
armor, just like a good Roman soldier to withstand Roman soldiers had on a linen undergarment
the enemy. covered by a woolen tunic that went to about
the knees. Over this they would place the
Scriptures to use: Ephesians 6: 10 - 20
breastplate, but just under it they put on a
To Do: Have cardboard, scissors, tin foil, glue, heavy belt. It was usually made of bronze with
leather scraps, and anything else you might have for a leather buckle. It had one function - to be the
the teens to construct the different pieces of armor. foundation of the weapons of war: the dagger,
and the sword. The belt was the foundation of
Introduction: Invite a policeman to come in with
war. Jesus wants to be our foundation in the
his full uniform and explain each piece and its use.
fight against the enemy. He is Truth - and with
If you can’t do this, start by having the group sing the
His truth we can fight the lies of the devil.
old children’s song: I’m in the Lord’s Army. Sing it
through several times and have them march around (Open a discussion on Jesus as Truth while they
the room to wake them up! are fashioning a belt.)
Leader: Do you believe that you are a soldier in the Breastplate of Righteousness
Lord’s army? Are we in peace time or battle? The A typical breastplate could have been made with
world is at war - but as Christians, we know that we leather, or with interwoven brass rings. Still,
too are in a daily battle against the enemy. We know others might have been made of a single piece
the outcome - and so does Satan, God wins, so what of bronze. Soldiers often fought hand-to-hand,
does he have to lose? He is pretty tricky at hiding so being able to move freely was important. The
the battle from our eyes. But just because we can’t breastplate was important to protect the vital
see it doesn’t mean that it is not real. Today we are organs. It was one of the most important parts of
going to take a closer look at Ephesians 6 and see the uniform. Much like today’s Kevlar vest worn
just what Paul was referring to when he spoke about by policemen, no soldier would have entered a
spiritual battle and the armor that God provides. battle without it. Jesus is our righteousness.
To do; Divide the group into six teams and have If we trust in ourselves going into battle - we

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are going to be in trouble. We the Shoes of Peace while they are (Open a discussion on Jesus as
need to focus on Jesus, the fashioning the sandals.) the Shield of Faith while they are
cross, and living in a daily fashioning a shield.)
relationship with Him.
Shield of Faith Helmet of Salvation
Several types of shields might The Roman helmet could be
(Open a discussion on Jesus as be carried by Roman soldiers. made of different materials.
the breastplate while they are The one Paul was referring Usually it was bronze because
fashioning the breastplate.) to was probably the large of the lighter weight. It
rectangular one. It would could also be made of iron or
have been about 4 feet tall leather. Cheek-pieces were
Shoes of Peace by 2 feet wide. It might have added to protect the side
been made by layers of wood of the face as was an extra
Roman soldiers often wore
covered in linen and leather. piece on the back to protect
sandals that were of thick
leather soles studded with Brass of bronze would have the soldiers from arrows that
nails to make them stable covered the edges. They came from above. This piece
and strong. A good stance could be used by individuals, was so important that it was
was important when fighting, or held together to form a called the soldier’s salvation.
especially hand-to-hand. In literal wall of protection. Jesus is our only source of
the cold months they might The shields used in this way salvation. We can find
stuff them with wool or fur would allow the soldiers to deliverance only in Him. If
but they were tightly laced advance on a city and fight we depend on ourselves - then
around the legs to provide against arrows raining down we will not be able to stand.
even more stability. Jesus on them from the wall. Used Only through Christ can we
came to earth to bring God’s correctly, it was a powerful find deliverance.
peace. His life and death weapon. If dropped, it
(Open a discussion on Jesus as the
brought us into a right became useless. Jesus wants
Helmet of Salvation while they are
relationship with the Father. to be our protection against
making a helmet.)
This allows us to fight with the arrows of the enemy. If
boldness, confidence, and we put our COMPLETE
peace. Only in Christ do we trust in Him, then He will Sword of the Spirit
have this stability in a world be our shield and protection. Roman soldiers carried two
gone wrong. We cannot rely on our own types of weapons. A short
strength to fight the battle . dagger and a longer sword.
(Open a discussion on Jesus as The shorter sword was good in

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hand-to-hand combat. It was able to be
used quickly and pierced easily. It was
Spiritual Gifts and Playing Ball
an invaluable weapon. Jesus is our Word
Program Target:
- in His written Word. In Him, we see
To help the youth realize that they have been give a gift by
the living example of what God wants
God, and that they need to share it to help others.
us to know about Him. God’s Word is
powerful against the enemy. Jesus used Scriptures to Use:
the Word to refute the enemy when He
Eph. 4:11 - 16, Romans 12:3 - 8, I Cor. 12:7 - 11
was tempted. We must read His Word
daily and memorize it - so it will always
To Prepare:
be available when we need it.
Make a copy of the Spiritual Gifts Inventory for each
To do: youth. Have pens/pencils for everyone. You will also need
a checkerboard (preferably a heavy one), a bowling ball, a
Call the group back together and tennis racquet, some goggles, and an baseball mitt.
have one of the teens model the entire
armor constructed by his friends. Introduction:
Have a member of each group read Today we are going to talk about spiritual gifts, but first we
the description of each piece and add are going to have some fun.
anything they discussed about it.
To Do:
Conclusion: Playing Ball
Yes, we are at war daily. But we know We are going to go outside and play a game. Here is
that we do not have to fear. We Do have the equipment that we will be using: A Checkerboard, a
to be prepared. We need to buckle up. bowling ball or ping-pong ball, a tennis racquet, goggles,
Thank God for His shield. Wear our baseball mitt. Can you guess what game we are going
helmet with pride - don’t be afraid to to play? (Give them time to respond.) Oh no - we are
share the gospel with others. Read His going to play baseball. (Take the group outside, quickly
Word daily. How often? Daily. It is our divide into teams, and let them play one inning with the
offensive weapon. We should memorize equipment you have provided. It will be a challenge for
them to figure out how to make things happen - and they
scripture. And don’t forget to pray. The
will probably get bored very quickly.) This should take
commander of the army wants to hear
about 20 -25 minutes. You might want to change the rules
from you and guide you as you walk for quicker play, like 1 out per side if it takes too long to
through the minefield. Trust Him. He complete an inning.
is able to bring you through.

End with Prayer. Gather the group back together.

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Leader: Spiritual Gifts Inventory:
That was fun! We were able to • Read through and pick the one that best exemplifies you.
do some of the normal things in
• There may be several that you relate to - circle them, but star the one
baseball - but it sure was hard.
that brings you the most passion.
Having the right equipment
makes all the difference. We • (Give the youth time to read through and make their choices. Then present
do better at anything when we the gift with their number that is included at the end of the survey.)
have the right equipment. The
same thing goes for the body 1. I love to share the gospel in a way that is easy to understand. I want God to be real to
of Christ. That’s us. God gives others. Helping others discover the truth in the Bible makes me excited. Breaking things
down to help others understand is something I can do - and enjoy.
each person a spiritual gift, that
when used correctly helps the 2. I enjoy sharing with others spiritual guidance. This is easy for me to do, and others often
come to me for just that.
whole church. We don’t have all
the same gift, just like we can’t 3. Give me a challenge. I can break it down and see what needs to be done. I love to help
others apply the truth in their lives. I don’t mind sharing my opinion, and am often asked
all use the same equipment at for it where spiritual things are up for discussion.
the same time. What would
4. I’m the take charger person in our group. It is easy for me to give directions and people usually
we all do if we just had baseball like working with me. If I put my mind to something, it always gets done and is successful
bats? While we can get things
5. I want to give God’s message to others in a way they can understand. I love to share the gospel
done, if we use our gifts as with others, and seek out opportunities to do so.
they are meant to be used, the
6. I enjoy meeting new people and it is easy for me to make them feel comfortable. I enjoy
potential is so much greater. having others at my home, and enjoy studying God’s Word with them.
But, first we need to know what
7. If someone is struggling with their faith, I enjoy helping them find the answers they
our spiritual gifts are. Everyone need. My heart makes me want to help those that are struggling and others often come
has at least one. And we all have to me for guidance.
the gift of Faith. Some just have 8. I want to seek out God’s will in every area of my life, help others to find God’s will.
it in larger measures. Some
9. If I see a person in need, I have to help them. That is who I am. A guy with a sign - “Will
people have several gifts. There work for food” finds me digging money out of my pocket. I care about others that are
is no real test to find them - we suffering and try to help.
need to feel the leading of the 10. You probably won’t find me out front. I don’t like being the center of attention. But I do
Holy Spirit. But we can look at enjoy helping- a lot. Things like working in the kitchen, or helping with repairs at church,
things in our lives and have an those are the things I can do to serve God. I want to help make things a success, but I don’t
idea of what God is telling us want to be the leader.
about our gift. So, we are going 11. I want to learn as much about the Bible as I can. I practice my faith and want to share it with
to take an inventory now and others. I read from God’s Word everyday. It is that important to me. Others have asked me
about difficult things and I enjoy the challenge of finding the answers in God’s Word.
see if it will help you identify
12. This is a gift given to all who believe, but perhaps some have it in an even greater measure.
your spiritual gift. (Pass the
I can feel the Spirit in my life, see Him working in others. When trials come, my faith is a
paper out to each youth with a statement to others that builds up their faith. When others are discouraged, I can see beyond
pen/pencil) it to the good that I know God will bring.

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Poster for Divisions - p1.pdf 1 5/2/11 10:28 AM

(Answer key: Do not copy this on the inventory page.


1-Teaching
2-Pastoring
3-Wisdom
4-Leadership
5-Evangelism
6-Hospitatlity
7-Exhortation
8-Discernment
9-Mercy g Honoring Jesus
10-Service
11-Knowledge g Revealing His Kingdom
12-Faith
g Transforming His World
Were you surprised or did you already know what your gift was? Do you
have more gifts than you realized? (Allow discussion)
C

CM
g Equipping His People
MY

CY

g Fulfilling Destiny
CMY

Conclusion:
Are there other gifts that God gives to his people? (Allow
for discussion) There are things like music, writing, craft
work - working with your hands to do things like building,
repairing, audio, computers. All of these gifts are needed,
too, in the family of God. It helps each of us when we
Youth Ministries Department
identify the gifts that God has given us. We can pray about
these gifts - learning how to use them in the best way to
glorify God and to help our fellow man. The church will
run much more effectively if we use the gifts we are given. It
helps to have a treasurer that understands and likes working
with money. It helps to have a song leader that likes to sing. adventurer pathfinder ambassador adventist youth
It would be hard to put a leader in a position where they
were following. Success will be much greater if we work in
the areas of our strength and passion. There aren’t gifts that WWW.GCYOUTHMINISTRIES.ORG
are better than another. God knows your distinct personality
and gives the gifts He knows that you can use the best to We are a global movement of destiny,
glorify Him. We don’t get to pick our gifts, they are just that. united in purpose and mission. Our mission
Gifts from God, and powered by the Holy Spirit. is to lead young people into a saving
relationship with Jesus Christ and help
Prayer: Let’s take time to thank God for our gifts and learn them embrace His call to discipleship.
to use them for His glory.

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skit: Test Drive
Focus: To help young people see that the baptismal vows are just an extension of their love for Jesus. If they
love Him - then following what He wants for them is just the next step in building a relationship with Him.
Central Bible Truth: Baptism is an outward showing of your growing relationship with Jesus.
Scripture: Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Ecclesiastes 5: 1-7
Program Target: Young people who may have not yet been baptized and a reminder to those who have.
Cast: Two characters. Sheldon - who is thinking about being baptized. Taylor, a (girl) friend.
Props: Two chairs set side by side like the front seat of a car.
Setting: An empty stage except for the two chairs.

Taylor: (Sheldon is already on stage and Taylor: Sheldon, do you love Jesus? Taylor: And if you make a mistake
pretending to drive a car. Taylor walks afterwards. . .?
Sheldon: (He stops and looks at
up to him and sits in the empty seat next
Taylor) Of course, why do you ask? Sheldon: That’s what asking for
to him.) Hi Sheldon. What are you
forgiveness is for, right? The more I
doing? (She gives him a funny look.) Taylor: Did you have to test out His
grow, the
love before you believed in Him?
Sheldon: I’m taking a test drive. easier it will be to do what is right.
Taylor: A test drive? (Looks around.) Sheldon: No - that’s just silly. (He Taylor: (She sits back in the chair
A test drive of what, Sheldon? continues to pretend to drive.) and smiles.) I think you’ve got it.
Sheldon: My vows, or course. Taylor: Then why do you have to test Sheldon: (Sheldon pretends to take
your baptismal vows out before you out the keys of the car and open the
Taylor: Your vows? Huh? Do you agree to them? Do you believe they door. He stands.) O.K., then. I’m
mean your vowels? come from God’s Word? off.
Sheldon: No silly. My vows. I’m Sheldon: (Pretends to put the car in Taylor: Where to now? (She looks
thinking about being baptized. park, and looks at Taylor) Well, yes, I skeptical.)
Taylor: (She hesitantly speaks.) O.K. guess I do. Even the ones about our
bodies and the things we put into Sheldon: To the pastor’s house, of
(She looks around her.) I don’t think
them. I mean Mountain Dew isn’t course. I need to schedule a baptism.
I get it.
mentioned in the Bible, but anyone Taylor: (Smiling.) Wait a minute.
Sheldon: (He continues to pretend can see that it’s not good for you. That’s one journey I’ll be glad to
to drive and acts like he is thinking And our bodies are the temple of the accompany you on.
deeply.) I’m trying to see if I can keep Holy Spirit. . . Hey, I get it now. I
all those vows you make when you are don’t have to test drive them, I just
baptized. So - I’m test driving them. have to believe them and want to do (They walk off the stage together,
(He returns to pretending to drive.) what Jesus says is right. smiling.)

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