A Faith Community of Adventist Young Professionals
Adventist Young Professionals (AYP) is more than a community for Mechee Cherine, AYP chapters director and Madeline Small, AYP Dallas chapter coordinator. For them, AYP is an answer to prayer and a catalyst that equips them to thrive as ministry leaders and community builders.
AYP is a global lay-led organization that fosters Christ-centered communities across the Southwestern Union and around the world. Founded in 2019, on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic, the independent ministry now disciples over 7,000 young people through the transitional period following college and preceding parenthood. Through a global digital community, faith-focused city-based chapters and an annual discipleship convention that trains young adults to collaborate with local churches in building faith communities, AYP is impacting souls for the Kingdom. With an emphasis for missions, the ministry’s leaders seek to unite, engage and inspire young people to get involved in their local church and align in mission.
“I went to a public university, and attended a tiny church where I am one of the few young people,” shares Small. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, I was looking to create spiritual connections and to build friendships with people my age who share in this desire. I found AYP’s virtual groups through social media, and it truly built my faith and provided me the community I needed in that season. AYP answered my prayers.”
Cherine, who leads Small along with over a dozen other chapter coordinators, shares a similar experience. She found AYP through an online search during a transitional period in her career; this led her to get plugged into a virtual AYP book club. There, she was blessed spiritually and was introduced to new friends with whom she could experience deep conversations about faith and life.
The experiences of Small and Cherine reflect that of thousands of Seventh-day Adventist young professionals who are part of a local church, yet yearn for a support network of fellow young professionals who share in this experience. Unfortunately, many of those who don’t find this within the Church walk away from the faith. AYP provides a support network and inspires young professionals to persevere.
Globally, young adult-led AYP groups are enabling meaningful connections regardless of geographical distance, and local chapters are bringing together young professionals from area churches to collaboratively and innovatively create communities for Christ.
“AYP empowers inreach and outreach to co-exist,” shares Cherine. “I love that spark of excitement when two Adventists with similar stories or interests find one another during an AYP gathering,” adds Small. “Likewise, it is incredible to see young professionals invite their friends and colleagues of different faith backgrounds, and witness these friendships eventually lead to hearts won for Christ.”
Cherine reflects on how a chapter recently welcomed the Muslim friend of an Adventist young professional and is now introducing her to Christ in an intentional, yet welcoming manner. Preparing for divine appointments such as these is a key aspect of AYP’s focus, which is why discipleship is such an integral focus of the ministry’s programs and resources.
“Each summer, we come together as a global family to gain new tips, tools and techniques in order to represent Jesus each and every day. Throughout the year, mentorship and devotional resources keep the learning journey alive,” shares Cherine. Through the annual convention and these resources, the organization prepares young professionals to share the Gospel whether at their jobs, amongst their friends or through their local churches. In July, the AYP Convention will return to the Dallas/Fort Worth area focusing on preparing young professionals to thrive at the next level through their God-given calling.
By Adventist Young Professionals. For more information about the mission and ministry of AYP, visit AYP.me.
Note: Adventist Young Professionals is not part of, affiliated with, or supported by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists®. Thus, any content or opinions expressed, implied or included in or with the services offered by Adventist Young Professionals are solely those of Adventist Young Professionals and not those of the Seventh-day Adventist® Church.