Beyond the Spotlight


I’m so grateful for the endeavors of the North American Division [NAD] to include and laud young adult leadership. I truly believe we are headed in the right direction and our intent is genuine, even altruistic. One such example is the inclusion of student government presidents from our Adventist campuses [AIA] and collegiate officers from Adventist Christian Fellowship [ACF] as voting members of the NAD’s year-end meetings [NADYEM]. For these collegiate leaders, NADYEM is a great honor and this spotlight on the next generation is a “feel good” for all.


My hope and challenge is for the Adventist Church to build on such moments–to integrate and empower young hearts not only into leadership, but into every facet of church life. Unless we intentionally foster a more longitudinal strategy for church life and discipleship, we will find even our brightest and best challenged in being part of everyday, Adventist faith community. Beyond the warmth of the spotlight for events such as NADYEM, what might be developed to extend warmth into our unions, conferences, and ultimately into the local church setting?


As a case-in-point, I would share Jessica’s experience. I so appreciate her candor and it’s evident that she loves the Adventist church. My hope is her honest perspective might challenge us to move beyond the spotlight–the event-based showcase of young adults–to fostering vibrant on-ramps to Adventist faith life in the everyday context. Find following her heartfelt sentiments:


One year later, I look back on my experience at the NADYEM17 with mixed emotions. When I was asked to share some reflections on my experience and where I am now as a recent graduate and former student leader, I was moved by the opportunity and yet I hesitated. Last year, I was blessed to have the privilege of serving as the Andrews University Student Association president with voice and vote at the NADYEM. I remember the passion and excitement that was alive in the hearts and minds of my fellow student association presidents as we stayed up late discussing the dreams that we had for our student body, our generation, and our church. We brainstormed ideas for change and even took our turns at the microphone, speaking passionately on the topic of “How to keep Young Adults in the Church.”


It was an incredible opportunity to hear the hearts of our church leaders and to be invited to participate. I am grateful for the welcoming environment and for how the leaders encouraged us to provide feedback and insights as young adults. It was a mountaintop experience, and we left Maryland inspired to be involved and hopeful for the future of our church. As the year wore on, we were able to still be involved with the NAD through various campus events such as  “Is This Thing On”, and Elder Jackson even accepted an invitation to speak for one of our student-led vespers at Andrews University. Several of our student association presidents were invited to be a part of an NAD educational committee, and we were even able to continue to collaborate amongst ourselves as Adventist Intercollegiate Association presidents.


The part that pains me, is the reality of the large disconnect and loss of community that many of us as young adults now experience as we leave our college campuses and enter the world as young professionals. As most of us leave our home communities and college campuses after graduation, it is challenging to build a new community and become involved in a new local church. Even as a young professional with every advantage of working and living in a city with a large Adventist population, it can be a struggle to find a church that welcomes new involvement and where young adults can find community.


I don’t plan to give up on the passions of building community and fostering discipleship that were central to my identity in college, but find it increasingly difficult to stay connected in my new environment. There no longer exists the college community of student government teams, friends, clubs, campus ministries, and campus church. Even the committee and ideas that AIA presidents were invited to participate in at the previous year’s NADYEM did not materialize, despite the time that was dedicated to brainstorming and planning.


The realization that breaks my heart is that I know that not everyone is the type of person who will drive 45 minutes to attend a young adult vespers where they may not know anyone else, and that if I am having a difficult time as a person who is actually trying to get involved and connect, then what more of the young adult who is not of that personality or is already ambivalent to staying in the church? I know that it takes time to grow new roots and to re-build one’s community, but I am afraid that not every young adult is willing to wait out the periods of disconnect and that if our churches do not intentionally involve new young adult arrivals, then we will look to build our community elsewhere.


For the many young adults who once served in the spotlight of collegiate leadership, it is difficult to navigate leadership and involvement once you have lost the “voice” that student leadership afforded you. Personally, I have been blessed to begin to build community through hosting a Friday night bible study with housemates and friends who gather to end the week by digging into the Scriptures. We have some fascinating discussions and are currently delving into the book of Acts, which coincidentally explores the birth of a new kind of church and community.


As many of us transition from college students to young professionals, there is a twilight zone that exists before church intentionally strives to draw us in as young parents. For those of us in the period of life where we are no longer students, but working professionals who have not built young families, we are standing in a gap where many will be forced to find community and meaning outside of the church. I think that we as a church can do better to embrace our young adults who have transitioned and lost their former communities. I think that this gap is a prime opportunity for our church to recruit the energy, ideas, and skills that many young adults have to offer. I believe that each of us strives to find value and meaning in life through various channels, and that the post-grad transition forces us to discover new methods and opportunities.  And while I may not have an official leadership position, I would like to encourage others who may find themselves in the same transitional boat to take heart and to do what they can to create a community and use this season of life to deepen their personal relationship with Christ.  —Jessica Yoong


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GODencounters Reveres Jesus at the Center of Revelation

WorshipLeaders“GODencounters was an experience that I will not forget,” lauded high school senior, Chrissy Gaban. “It strengthened me mentally and spiritually. . . it felt like God was specifically speaking to me through the worship sessions.”

Steve2Author and missions specialist, Dr. Steve Case, was featured at the 2015 GODencounters Conference, hosted by Younger Generation Church [], the vibrant young adult ministry of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church, Texas, USA. The theme, “Jesus Revealed. Jesus Revered.” challenged young adults to explore the book of Revelation and understand the importance of humanity’s worship in the context of Earth’s final moments.


“GODencounters made me see that Jesus is the whole point of the book of Revelation,” confirmed Ian Reyes, a business marketing major at University of Texas at Arlington. “I am no longer intimidated to study it!”

As a prequel to the conference, Dr. Case presented the week of prayer for Burton Adventist Academy, as well as Revelation 101: Finding Jesus in the Book of Revelation, a special three-night event for the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church. The intent was to offer great intergenerational opportunities for the entire community to explore Revelation and discover Christ Jesus at the center of it all.

“I was fascinated with the demographics of the turnout,” mused Michael Cuilla, a local businessman who shared he had coordinated many Daniel and Revelation Seminars in the past. “Not only were there young people, [there also was] older people, and very old people – everyone thoroughly enjoyed the week. Made simple enough that a child could understand, I felt I got more out of this in-depth Bible study.”

Volunteers2GODencounters is a young adult movement that started at the turn of the century, encouraging next generations to pursue a 24/7 experience of the living GOD. This year’s conference had over 1,100 in attendance on the culminating Sabbath, and thanks to Arlington Church’s media ministry, over 250 online viewing sites joined in from Pyatigorsk, Russia; to Lagos, Nigeria; to Calgary, Canada; to Atlanta, Georgia, USA, to name only a few locations. All the sessions for GODencounters and Revelation are accessible on demand from Younger Generation Church’s Vimeo channel,

JesusRevealeJesusRevered“My aha moment was realizing that the book of Revelation is God telling His story through Jesus – that Jesus is going to win and He’s in control,” added Cuilla. “We just need to stay connected with Him. I felt encouraged that God would be with us. I realized the importance of staying connected through prayer and the concept of claiming territory for God. . . Why did it take me 49 years to learn these two principles?”

Discover more about Younger Generation Church at

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YG University: Help for the Local Church

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Over the past ten years, Younger Generation Church [YG] has learned a great deal about young adult ministry in the local context. We’ve experienced great successes and seen our share of failures, but through it all we’ve been humbled by what GOD has done through YG to deepen the devotion of next generations to Christ Jesus.

As we begin a new decade, we wish to engage with other local churches, ministry leaders, and young adults who share our passion for young adult ministry. It’s our hope to learn from others and to share, as open source, YG resources, insights, experiences, expertise, and assets.


It’s for this reason YG University [YGU] has been launched.

Beyond the important work of weekly young adult ministry, in our local context of the Metroplex and Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church, YG aspires to be of benefit to the larger sphere of young adult ministry development across the Adventist landscape. We pray it will be a blessing to many others and we are excited for the learning opportunities it will offer us as well.

As an influential church leader, we hope that YGU segments will provide you with insights and wisdom in your ministry endeavors.  As a sampler of this intent, find below some common questions YGU addresses:

• Why aren’t our programs getting traction with next generations?

• What is an interpersonal skill that I need to relate with Millennials?

• How are today’s young people different or the same from other generations?

• What are the perceptions Adventist young adults have of the church?

• What kind of church are next generations drawn to?

You will find regularly released from YGU, easy-to-integrate-and-share segments that are intended to help leaders like you–and local churches like yours–love young adult well.

Finally, if you have questions for YGU to address, please send them along []; It’s our intent to be relevant and helpful to where you are. We’re excited for what we will learn from you as well.

We’re here to support and encourage your vital ministry as we all aspire to deepen the devotion of next generations to Christ Jesus.

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YG: Inspiring Those Around Us with the HOPE of GRACE

While at Unity Park last Sabbath one of our very own, Deborah Obeng, snapped a picture of Bogdan Kuchurivskyy with his arm around a homeless man. Later Deborah posted the picture on Intsagram with the hashtag “inspire good” and the caption “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve. Thanks for welcoming us into your home and hearts and for sharing your testimonies.”

With this hashtag she formally entered and then WON a Kenneth Cole Productions Marketing picture contest. Kenneth Cole Productions will donate $500.00 to the charity of Deborah’s choice which is Revive Community Care! Thank you Deborah for taking the time to serve with Revive Community Care! Thank you to all of the volunteers who are coming out to volunteer at Unity. It’s really such a special ministry to go out there each month.

If you would like to simply show up to help serve, please remember we go to Unity Park every 4th Sabbath, to serve the homeless. Thank you for your prayers, participation and financial support []. This ministry is entirely dependent on your donations to Revive Community Care. For more information contact Deborah Obeng, or Ashley Ortiz, See More

— at Younger Generation Church.

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Young Adult Ministry Training @ Equipped for Ministries Convention

It’s time to register for Equipped for Ministries, Southwestern Union’s ministries training event coming to Frisco, Texas, August 28-31, 2014, offering certification and training by experts in a variety of church ministry disciplines. Inspiration, Equipping, Fellowship and Empowerment. For more info and to register, visit or call 817-295-0476.


1920038_616939012967_1944768459_nEquipped for Ministries is proud to provide training in Young Adult Ministry aiming to empower local churches and conferences in a step by step model for starting or sharpening their endeavors to disciple Millennials.  Here’s a preview of the training schedule [schedule/topics subject to change]:

  • Friday, 8:30AM – How to Start Young Adult Ministry
  • Friday, 11:30AM – You Lost Me: Why Young Adults Leave
  • Friday, 2:30PM – Keys to Effective Young Adult Ministry
  • Friday, 4:00PM– Getting Young Adults Involved Successfully
  • Saturday, 8:00AM – Keys to Young Adult Worship
  • Saturday, 9:30AM – Successful Young Adult Mentoring
  • Saturday, 3:00PM – Tools to Sharpen Young Adult Ministry
  • Saturday, 4:30PM – Best of the Best in Young Adult Ministry

Resources and experiential learning will be a vibrant part of the training, placing you in dialogue and contact with some of the nation’s top leaders in young adult ministry.


JamesonJameson Francis serves as the Worship Director for the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church and the organist for McMillan United Methodist Church. He has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Minor in Religion from Southwestern Adventist University, a Masters of Education in Counseling from Tarleton State University, and a Masters of Arts in Worship Leadership from Dallas Baptist University. Jameson and his wife Eunice are blessed to have two children Nyla (6) and Ethan (4).

RyanGilRyan Gil is the Producer for the Younger Generation Church, the vibrant young adult ministry of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church in Texas. His specialties are in the areas of live event production and media content creation for nearly 15 years. He and his wife have devoted themselves to serving the next generations.


JANINAJanina Irving, NAD One Year in Mission Project Coordinator, loves missions. She has done international mission trips and have served in places such as Haiti, Guatemala, India for a year, and most recently the Ukraine for two months. She has also served here in the United States through colporteuring for 2 1/2 years in California, the NAD representative in New York City for 6 months, and her local Arlington Seventh-day Adventist church through being the YG volunteer coordinator. Janina has shared that her greatest joy and passion is to share the hope and love of Jesus Christ with  a dying world.

amartin-profilephotoA. Allan Martin is the teaching pastor of Younger Generation Church [], the vibrant young adult ministry of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church in Texas [USA]. Dr. Martin continues as adjunct faculty for the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, specializing in discipleship and family ministry. He and his wife, Deirdre, tour nationally, speaking about relationships as well as equipping new generations in Christian lifestyle and leadership. Along with daughter Alexa, they reside in the DFW Metroplex.

HelvisMoodyHelvis Moody is currently the Youth Director of the Southwest Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Pastor Moody is married to his lovely wife, the former Miss. April Watkins of Alexandria, LA. He enjoys playing basketball, horseback riding, cars, and evangelism. His motto is “Glorifying God in Everything.”


FernandoFernando Villegas is currently a pastor with the Texico Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, as well as director for Young Adult ministries.  His passion is sharing with others how to grow in the Christian life.  Currently, he lives in Midland, TX, with his wife Mirley and their three children, Emily, Michael, and Jonathan.


JeffJeff Villegas is the Youth and Young Adult Director for the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference. He has been married to Darlynn for 15 years and enjoys traveling the world with her. His passion is to help youth/young adults experience an authentic life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. He also enjoys challenging youth and young adults to get involved in church ministry by utilizing their creative skills and authenticity.

Beyond the young adult ministry training there will be renown presenters and great opportunities to be enriched and inspired!  Notable speakers include:

Slide2Don’t delay register now for Equipped for Ministries today!


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Online Education…Where No One Can Hear You Scream Part 2: How to Kill a Woolly Mammoth

eLearning is Half the Battle


The Sound of One Hand Typing

Remember back when you were in school?  The empty building, the vacant classroom, sitting alone in contemplative silence when the teacher was your only friend?  Unless you were trained as a Shaolin Monk, then probably not.  You were surrounded by people, some paying more attention than others perhaps, but still people.  You were not alone, and that made more of a difference than you were probably aware of.  We are social by nature, even in the creation story it is acknowledged that it is not good for us to be alone.   We make connections, associations, even comparisons that bump and nudge the primal forces within us to propel us forward in our learning.  There may be situations where we need to seek the isolation and solitude of a single instructor and student (see Shaolin Monk reference above) but generally this is NOT something…

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The 3 biggest networking mistakes

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Wall Street’s ups and downs: JP Morgan cuts staff, Morgan Stanley’s bankers get a raise

A sign of things to come?

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Celebrating Milestones


Younger Generation Church [YG], the young adult ministry of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church in Texas is celebrating an important milestone this year.

Having launched their young adult ministry in 2004, they will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary with a black-tie affair. The special evening is slated for August 2, 2014 and will entail an abundance of gratitude, great food and great company.

Honored guests include Ritchie & Sheila Pruehs, Mike & Gayle Tucker, Brooks & Jaclyn Pruehs, and Shastin Rains.

Younger Generation Church [YG] is the vibrant young adult ministry of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church. Our mission is to deepen our devotion to Jesus Christ by pursuing intimacy with GOD, experiencing community with each other, and inspiring those around us with the hope of grace.


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Be on the lookout for new updates and changes coming soon to Ignitionblog. We have some catching up to do!

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