Hundreds of pastors and conference leaders recently gathered for the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Pastors’ Retreat, held at La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa. Fuller Youth Institute’s Jake Mulder and North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists’ Daniel R. Jackson powerfully presented Growing Young Adventists, challenging each of our churches to become the best place for young people to grow.
Elder Jackson emphasized the importance of fostering warm, grace-filled communities where our young people can thrive. Growing young doesn’t happen without great intention and passion for those who are lost. Drawing from Luke 15, Jackson drew from his local pastoral experience to share how valuable it is for us to be about Jesus’ mission to “seek and save the lost.” He spoke with vulnerability and candor about how his family had been personally impacted by the warmth and acceptance of their local church even in the midst of very difficult circumstances surrounding their daughter and grandchild.
Jake Mulder provided an extensive and contextualized overview of Growing Young’s core commitments, helping pastors consider how they may apply growing young principles to their churches. Leading up to the retreat, pastors took the Growing Young Assessment online, sharing their perspective of local church realities; The results certainly generated fascinating conversations with Mulder. Every pastor received a Growing Young book compliments of Texas Conference, and considerable time was spent in Q&A and active discussion about its content.
AdventSource offered young adult ministry magalogs and an assortment of relevant resources for pastors to bring home. Growing Young Adventists was introduced as initiative purposed with aiding local congregations in loving next generations well. Thanks to the Texas Conference communications team, audio files for the retreat presentations are available.
To follow up the conversations and content of the pastors’ retreat, a set of Growing Together Summits will be held in the Fall, inviting intergenerational leadership teams from local churches to attend and innovate contextualized implementation of #GYA in their home church. More information and registration available at http://txyouth.org/growingtogether