Tamene Etefa Wayuma (Pastor)
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to understanding young people and training its youth for leadership and service to humanity. ‘’with such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of crucified, risen, and soon coming Savior might be carried to the whole world.’’ (Education, 271)
History of Seventh –day Adventist youth ministry
The first youth organization in a local SDA church was started in 1879 by Harry Fenner and Luther Warren in Hazelton, Michigan. The purpose of meeting was to promote missionary work, raise money for missionary literature and further the cause of temperance. The first official Seventh-day Adventist youth organization was founded in 1907.Their name was changed in 1979 after 100 years in to Adventist Youth. This small group of youths grown to Adventist Youth Ministry and today they are well organized and functions vigorously in Adventist churches all over the world. It is in their families and in their local churches that young people are spiritually matured, step up to follow Jesus, embrace his call to discipleship and find their place in God’s service. The role of this ministry at Conferences, Union, Division and General conference levels is to resource and build up the local church. Under this umbrella they are to work together, with the wider church community, toward the strong youth ministry that includes spiritual, mental, and physical development of each individual, Christian social interaction, and active witnessing program that supports the general soul winning plans of the church.
AYM mission:-To lead young people in to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and help they embrace his call to discipleship.
AYM motto:-The love of Christ compels us.
AYM aim:-The advent message to the entire world in my generation.
AYM goal:-To involve all youth in activity that will lead them to active church membership and train them for Christian service.
Youth Ministries is a department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church which works for and through its youth. Youth Ministry is defined as that work of the Church, operated through this department, that is conducted for, with, and by young people. The primary focus is the salvation of youth through Jesus Christ and their acceptance and involvement in the mission of the church. The purpose of the Youth Ministries is to facilitate and support the ministry of the Church in winning, training, holding, and reclaiming its youth. The department shares the responsibility for developing a global evangelistic strategy in consultation with administration and in cooperation with other departments of the Church. It is to assist the world Church in forming objectives, goals, and plans, and to provide training that will equip the body of the Church to save its youth and prepare them to take the gospel to the entire world. All of its activities are to be coordinated into a master strategy for soul winning and soul conservation.
Objectives of the Department
1. Provide youth with a Bible-based foundation that will enable them to develop a life-long relationship and commitment to Christ and His Church.
2. Lead youth to understand their individual worth in Christ and to discover and develop their spiritual gifts and abilities.
3. Equip and empower youth for a life of service within God’s church and the community.
4. Ensure the integration of youth into all aspects of church life and leadership in order that they might be full participants in the mission of the Church. To accomplish their objectives, the department is to achieve a balanced ministry by incorporating the biblical dynamics of fellowship, nurture, worship, and mission. It is to help the youth to develop their full potential physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially. Youth Ministries is committed to maintaining relevance and effectiveness in ministry by relating its entire ministry to the needs of youth.
Programs and Activities
Youth Ministries serves the worldwide Church through the following specialized ministries and programs.
A. Junior/Teen Ministry
B. Senior Youth/Young Adult Ministry
C. Local Church Youth Organizations
a. Adventurer Clubs (4 to 9 years)
b. Pathfinder Clubs (10 to 15 years)
c. Ambassador Club (16 to 21+ years)
d. Adventist Youth Societies (22 to 30+ years)
These local church youth organizations shall have three major objectives:
1. To work for the salvation of young people within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, helping them to grow spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially,
2. To provide fellowship for Seventh-day Adventist youth and organize them to work for the salvation of other young people,
3. To train Seventh-day Adventist youth for leadership roles within the church and harness their energies for involvement in all branches of church activities.
Public Campus Ministries
Youth Ministries collaborates with Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries and the Education Department in providing support to Seventh-day Adventists who, for a variety of reasons, attend public colleges and universities. These three departments promote and support initiatives designed to meet the spiritual, intellectual, and social needs of Adventist students on public campuses. In cooperation with leaders at various church levels, the committee aims to achieve these objectives by strengthening the faith commitment of these students to Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and mission, providing opportunities for Christian fellowship, preparing students to deal with the intellectual challenges that arise in a secular environment, developing their leadership abilities, and training them for outreach, service, and witnessing on the campus, in the community, and in the world at large.
The AMiCUS Committee cooperates with the Adventist Volunteer Center and Global Mission by encouraging the involvement of these Adventist students as student missionaries or volunteers. It also engages the support of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department in order to obtain, at the regional or national level, Sabbath exemptions for class assignments and examinations for Seventh-day Adventist students.