Do you remember the first time you left home to work or study? What helped you through this major transition and life change?
Last year I had a lot of conversations with parents about their young people finishing high school and moving away to study. The parents were upset because their son or daughter hadn’t been able to find a new Adventist church where they felt welcomed, involved, or supported. The parents wanted to know what we were doing for the young people who were slipping away from church and God.
It’s great to be able to share we are definitely doing something!
We lose most young people from our church when they leave home to work or study and they simply fall off the grid. But from 2018, we have a network of Adventist churches all across NZ who are working together to intentionally care for the tertiary students and young professionals who move to their centre. From the beginning of 2018, we have churches in Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson (as well as 8 centres in the North Island). It is exciting and inspiring to see the desire, willingness and ability of so many churches to ensure young people are supported, nurtured and equipped for this major chapter of their lives.
These churches are committed to using 7 healthy church principles (Christ-centered foundation, grace-filled atmosphere, life groups, mentoring, intergenerational connections, family focus, and discipleship) to grow their ability to serve and share the everlasting Gospel in their context, knowing that these principles are particularly essential for supporting, equipping and empowering young adults.
Please pray for the churches who have been ready to begin this journey with our young adults. Please also support us in prayer as we continue adding willing and able churches in 2019 to the network of churches committed to ensuring young adults no longer slip through the cracks or fall off the grid.
Contact details and information for the churches in the network will be released shortly. We are excited that young adults, parents, teachers, pastors, youth leaders, and friends will be able to make contact with a church in a centre where a young person is thinking of going. No young person need ever fall off the grid! Wherever they go, we have a home for them.
Below are a couple of photos of the students from Dunedin.
-Pr Lance Boulton, Adventist Young Adult & Tertiary Student Ministry NZ, NZPUC