Last month Columbus, Ohio hosted Just Claim It 2, a convergence of three large-scale NAD events: the Youth Ministries Leadership Summit, the World Youth Prayer Congress, IGNITION: Young Adult Summit, and one Ohio Conference event, the Children’s Worship Festival.
Sponsored by NAD Youth/Young Adult Ministries, IGNITION facilitates ministry training, inspirational worship, and the discipleship of young adult volunteers and leaders across Bermuda, Canada, and the United States. Good fortune allowed me to spend most of my time with the IGNITION crowd in Columbus, and I remain very grateful for the experience. Denominational “signboards” everywhere these days seem to flash doom and gloom over the mass of young people currently leaving the church, but the spirit at IGNITION was one of optimism and hope in spite of the grim statistics about organized religion and my generation. Young adult leaders from everywhere were putting their heads together not to fret and complain, but to strategize and pray.
Three things about my experience with IGNITION continue to stick out in my mind.
First, I was impressed by the opportunities we had for networking while in Columbus. During the days we spent together, I met authentic people with spiritual intuition and vision doing meaningful ministry in their home churches and communities. I was invited to participate in the NAD Young Adult Ministry Advisory (YAMA). Functioning under the leadership of Allan Martin, YAMA is an eclectic collection of young adult ministry practitioners providing resources and encouragement to dozens of visionaries across the continent. Seeing that such an organized community exists made me feel optimistic about the future of young adult ministry in the Adventist Church.
The caliber of the scheduled workshops was the second thing that really impressed me about IGNITION. Author and consultant Dr. Tim Elmore, of “Growing Leaders,” helped us understand the unique DNA of the emerging generation and guided us through practical lessons in discipleship. It was neat to have such close access to someone of Dr. Elmore’s stature.
Finally, I really appreciated the space that was created for us to experience worship while building relationships with one another. For an event having such a clearly defined purpose, it was surprising how agendaless our time together actually felt. IGNITION was not only an event for networking and learning, but for spiritual rejuvenation.
This June YAMA will be hosting “IMPACT Atlanta,” a summer intensive experience of community service, spiritual formation, and leadership development running concurrent with the General Conference Session. A worldwide call has been extended for 250 participants, collegiate age through 35 years old—a “Gideon’s Band” of young adults committed in the spirit of Judges 7. Click here [http://www.impactatlanta.info] for more information if this event sounds like something you or someone you know should be a part of.
The Spectrum website will be abuzz with news from every angle during the GC session, and special reports will be posted under the spirituality section from IMPACT Atlanta as young adults process what discipleship and spiritual growth means to them.
Stay tuned June 23-July 3!
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2375