Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Growing Young Adventists

Ohio Conference's Growing Young Cohort Enters Second Year

Story by Edward Marton

The Ohio Conference Youth Department has entered its second year of “Growing Young Adventists”—a church transformation process designed to foster intergenerational worship, fellowship and service.

Ten churches journeyed through the Growing Young process at the beginning of 2020, bringing all generations together in Christ and in service for the community. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and disrupted many of the churches’ plans. In stride, they adjusted to other ways of reaching youth and young adults through digital means. Of the original 10 churches, eight have decided to continue on the Growing Young journey, and four new churches have joined to form a new yeartwo cohort.

Growing Young Adventists is a journey that engages all generations in the life of the church community, using six essential strategies: keychain leadership; empathy for youth and young adults; taking Jesus’ message seriously; warm relationships; prioritizing young adults and young families in church decisions; and being the best neighbors to one another and the community.

Jake Mulder, author of Growing Young, along with six coaches from the conference office staff, are mentoring leaders from each of the 12 churches in the year-two cohort (some pictured). Each church will choose one of the six essential strategies in which to grow and experiment throughout the year, as they look to see Ohio Adventist faith grow young in 2021.

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