Stronger When We Grow Together
Do you know what would be music to my ears? I've been praying for a young adult testimony that goes something like this:
“Hey Rob, I had a really hard decision whether or not to work at camp this summer because I love my local church family so much. They’ve become such a blessing to me and every Sabbath is like a family reunion.”
My prayer was answered recently, when Danny Ramos, a staff member at Big Lake Youth Camp, shared this exact story during staff training.
Danny's experience is one I long for in churches across the Northwest. In times of societal fracture and generational disconnect, a healthy, Christ-centered church stands as a beacon of hope to all generations. As people are polarized by modern ideologies and philosophies, the message and methods of Jesus are still the answer.
An insightful book, entitled Growing Young, has outlined an effective model for a church to attract young adults and grow to become a thriving community. All generations become involved when we intentionally apply Jesus' approach as seen in the New Testament. Many churches have decided to no longer stand idly by. Instead, they have chosen to put their hope into action for their young people and the future of the church. It is inspiring to see what happens through prayer, learning, connecting and the implementation of proven biblical strategies.
The North Pacific Union has engaged in an intentional learning journey over the last three years to build Seventh-day Adventist Churches for all generations. The leaders of more than 150 churches, along with conference youth and young adult directors have discovered a very interesting and surprising thing. While this initiative began as an effort to reach young people, the outcomes have turned out to be transformational for all generations.
Beverly Neuman of Palmer, Alaska said, "The cohort inspired our older members to be active and innovative in their purpose for the church. Our talented young people add vitality to the older ones and we all gain a new vision for service. Our church has become a place to belong and grow spiritually."
Church leaders throughout the NPUC are championing “Growing Together” as a practical Adventist model for effective church development. The biblical principles, when applied to a local church, lead to a healthier and more vibrant church for all generations.
We should not be surprised that Christ’s method alone, when applied, works for everyone! For this reason, the North Pacific Union is launching another cohort, accurately named Growing Together. The Growing Together cohort point leader is Benjamin Lundquist, Oregon's young adult ministries director.
The cohort launches with the first online summit in January, 2022 and concludes in early December of 2022. It is a facilitated year-long learning journey for culture change led exclusively by church leaders from the North Pacific Union.
Would your church like to grow together? Go to growingtogethercohort.com and download the Growing Together Facts Sheet. Share the information with your local team and register as one of the many churches who are committed to growing together. The cohort model is proven, when followed and implemented, to help your church grow together as a family — and that is music to my ears!