Trends in SDA Young Adult Ministry

Speaker: Categories: Feb 09, 2008


[1hr, 5min, 26sec / 59min, 46sec]


Why should SDAF choose to be interested in young adult ministries? Are such ministries uniquely different from ministries to older adults? If so, why? If so, how? Based on the activities and worship services of your church, to which age group would these mostly appeal? To what degree would you consider them to be successful? To what extent do the various age groups appear visiblypresentat Sabbath morning worship services? To what extent, if any, are they significantlyabsent? Has your church leadership (pastor/s and elders) indicated concern about the disparity? If so, in what way(s) and with what results? Should not justONEAdventist worship style

fit all age-groups? Didn't justONEdo the job effectively only a very few years ago? What's happened to Adventism recently? What's causing the change(s)?

Sam Leonor and Tim Gillespie, the SDAF presenters for February 9, minister to college students and post college young adults at La Sierra and Loma Linda universities. They will discuss major trends in young adult ministry - and indicate which trends might be seen at their respective campuses. Special attention will be given to movements outside of our denomination that are influencing Adventist young adults such as Emergent, Passion Conferences, and the Acts 23 network. The speakers will also focus on the rise of Generation of Youth for Christ (formerly General Youth Conference), GodEncounters, and other developments within our denomination. They will discuss the theology and practices that are shaping the conversation among these young adults.

From their personal experiences they will reflect on ways in which their ministries to a unique demographic in our church might differ - perhaps rather dramatically - from what others might deem proper and conventional for SDA services. They will be so brave as to suggest additional - perhaps even inevitable -- ways forward.


Sam Leonor indicates that he loves his work as pastor to the students and faculty of La Sierra University where he has served for the past eight years. Prior to that, he served as pastor to young adults at the La Sierra University Church. He is passionate about initiating spiritual awakening among young adults, especially college students. His ministry is marked by a call to a radical faith that engages culture deeply and emphasizes justice. His other interests, he notes, include making music, traveling, history and good food. He was raised in Central America where his parents were part of developing health care missions. He has degrees from Southern Adventist University with a BA in Secondary Education (Religion and History) and Andrews University with a Master's of Divinity.

He is married to Shelley Campbell. Together they have a daughter, Alexandra (born in 2000), and a son, Micah (born in 2003).

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