DALLAS – YAWE was created by Southwest Region Conference Youth and Young Adult Ministries Director Carlos Ming. After polling the conference youth and hearing their concerns, the department set out to redefine its mission to equip and release them to change their world in a way that is unique to them.
In many churches, the generational gap is abysmal, resulting in aged and dying congregations. We need to reverse the course of growing old to growing young.
That’s what YAWE is all about–strategizing how we can bring change and repositioning youth for a successful spiritual life, where their God-given gifts and talents will be utilized along with those more experienced to continue building a Kingdom of God.
Our vision statement is “Giving God our Lunch,” taken from the feeding of more than 5,000 people in John 6. The miracle was made through a little one’s lunch. The disciples’ solution was to send him away, like many churches do every Sabbath. But God will supply all our needs and is willing to use anything or anyone to accomplish His mission. Jesus used this little lad’s lunch, just like we should do. We should bring our youth to Jesus so that He can make a miracle out of whatever is in their hands. We tell our youth, “God needs you, He will use you to make something great. You are important to God, to the Church and to the world.”
This is our initiative in growing young, and some of the expectations include adding youth in leadership positions at the local church with soul winning and outreach activities, preaching and teaching, all done in their own unique way and style. The initiative launched and continues to meet through online services Sabbath at 3 p.m. on the conference youth Facebook page. As we gather again in our churches, it will continue to develop and change the DNA from growing old to growing young.
In her book Counsels to Teachers, Parents, and Students, Ellen G. White shared, “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior might be carried to the whole world!”
By Vanston Archbold
Associate Youth Director