FOUNDATION AND PHILOSOPHY OF YOUTH MINISTRY
Purpose of the Adventist Youth Ministry
The stated purpose of the official organization was for “more effectual missionary service.” This resolution was preceded by an impassioned speech by Luther Warren in which he quoted from the messages concerning the Societies sent by Ellen White from Australia in 1893 and which he said had been sent repeatedly during the “last eight years”. The quote reads, “Young men and young women, can you not form companies, and as soldiers of Christ enlist in the work, putting all your tact and skill and talents into the Master’s services, that you may save souls from ruin? Let there be companies organized in every church to do this work. Young men and women, come to the work in the name of Jesus… [Unite] together upon some plan and order of action. Let there be a company formed, somewhat after the order of the Christian Endeavor Society…”
From the moment of its foundation, the purpose of the Adventist Youth Society has been missionary, more than a society. It has been a movement to reach youth, young adults, kids, and even adults for Christ. If the youth led component, the missionary and volunteer factors are taken away from the Adventist Youth Society it will cease to exist. As a matter of fact it has done just that in places where it is no longer led by young people and where mission and service are not part of its daily operation.
If you would have a solid Adventist Youth Ministry; it must be youth-led and there must be a very strong emphasis on mission and service. The primary purpose therefore of Adventist Youth Ministry is to win, train, commission, and retain the youth. To achieve a balanced ministry we need to incorporate the biblical dynamics of “Reaching Up,” “Reaching In,” “Reaching Across” and “Reaching Out.”
Reach Up - to inspire, challenge, and equip our Youth to: respond to Jesus’s call to discipleship, follow Him in the cleansing water of baptism, follow Him in the renewal of the Holy Spirit Baptism and abide in Him through the discipline of Spiritual Practices.
Reach In – to provide train so as to increase the spiritual gift of our Youth and to nurture Youth giving them the confidence to get involved.
Reach Across - to plan and develop: an intergenerational community with adult mentoring and accompaniment, a relational community where Youth are valued and included and a growing, caring, seeking, serving and reaching community.
Reach Out – to inspire, challenge, and equip every young person to embrace the personal call to mission and service.
Youth Leaders - We are all inexperienced in facing the snares and tricks of an enemy beyond our ability to resist without the help of Jesus. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the leaders to help the Youth to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. The leader needs to champion the cause of the Youth by seeing that the broader matters and issues affecting the Youth are addressed.
The leader has to be relevant and effective by relating ministry to the needs of the youth. It is imperative that he or she listens to and are informed by their perceptions, concerns, and suggestions. Effective ministry becomes possible in an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. The leader must therefore conduct ongoing research to discover areas that need attention, and be committed to experimentation and innovation in programs because of the ever-changing nature of today's youth.
Youth Council - is responsible for the activities that involves the Youth. The council is comprised of the all the elected AYS members, the Pathfinder and Adventurer members. This council is required to complete a report each quarter that relates to all youth activities and summit report in a timely manner to the Youth Department of the Conference.