Many times, we hear the same thing over and over again: within Christianity, as a whole, it appears that the youth are leaving the church, and for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, it is no different. Time and time again, we see our young people leaving the church, but as much as we may try to keep them, by getting them involved in the local church as much as possible with Sabbath School, Pathfinders, and/or AY, they always seem to leave. It’s a problem that many local churches cannot seem to solve: how can we prevent our young people from leaving the church? But what if the answer was not that difficult? What if the solution was simply Jesus? Now, I know this sounds kind of cliche, but I am serious.
This past month , February 15-17, CAMPUS, the Center for Adventist Ministry to Public University Students, organized their annual Winter Retreat at Camp Au Sable for public university students and young professionals. This year’s theme came from Hebrews 2:9 and the focus of this retreat was to know who is Jesus presented by our guest speaker, Dr. Erhard Gallos.
The weekend was filled with many activities, but above all, students and young professionals had the opportunity to really dive deep into the first few chapters of Hebrews. If only time was not a restrain, I assure you that we would all still be there today studying the rest of the book of Hebrews. We started off Friday night with an introduction of the book of Hebrews by Dr. Gallos, where we really just discussed the background of the book to start off the weekend. We continued reading and dissecting the book of Hebrews all-day Saturday.
While it may seem difficult to get our young people involved in the church, this weekend was proof that all young people really need is to know who Jesus is. The lack of knowledge of who Jesus really is and what his sacrifice really means is all that we all need to really understand to fully accept the love and sacrifice that God made in giving his only begotten son to save our lives.
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By: Roxanne Dobson
Let me be the first to say that I didn’t think setting up a tent on a 5,200-acre college campus would get us anywhere. Our nightly turnout only confirmed my feelings. But God doesn’t think in numbers, He thinks in relationships and proved me grossly wrong.
Benjamin was a student whose room overlooked the CRAVE tent we had set up on campus for a Christian series meant to attract students to small groups. Despite already being involved in a Christian group on Michigan State University’s campus, he had been praying to find a more devout group of Christians on campus. At around the same time Logan, who was also a part of Benjamin’s first Christian group, was doing Bible studies with an Adventist student at MSU. Then enter Ada, who was invited to CRAVE by an Adventist classmate and is also a part of the same Christian group that Benjamin and Logan are a part of.
On a campus of a little over fifty thousand people, coming into contact with three people from the same Christian group in three different ways is nothing short of divine. God continues to work on our friends’ hearts, as Benjamin and Logan have accepted the Sabbath, Logan has become convicted about the law and the Antichrist, and Ada continues to study the Bible with an Adventist student missionary. Not only that, but some Adventist students have started spending time with their Christian group and a few other people from their Christian group have been to small groups and Friday night vespers. God continues to show His faithfulness by blessing our efforts for Him, by changing both our hearts and theirs through the truth.
Roxanne is a CAMPUS Missionary from Stanford University in California.
The Michigan Conference Executive Committee has appointed Pastor Andy Im to serve as the new Director of Communications for Michigan. Although Andy remains an integral part of CAMPUS, he now fills the vacancy left by Justin Kim who accepted a call as the Assistant Director for Sabbath School and Personal Ministries at the General Conference. Andy’s passion for photography and keen understanding of social media trends will take his department to the next level. We look forward to God’s blessings in the upcoming years!