Terry Harris PhD, Adventist Youth Director (AYS)
The Casalita Drive Seventh-day Adventist Youth Ministries exist to:
- Teach, Train And Empower Young People
- To Build A Personal Relationship With God, And
- To Mobilize Them
- To Share This Experience With Others.
AYS Begins 4:30 P.M. Every Sabbath..... Be there
The Adventist Youth Society is a department of the church through which the church works for and through her youth.
"Moses answered, We will go with our young and old, with our sons and daughters, and with our flocks and herds, because we are to celebrate a festival to the Lord'" (Ex. 10:9, NIV). "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates" (Deut. 6:6-8, NIV). "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and purity" (1 Tim. 4:12, NIV).
"We have an army of youth today who can do much if they are properly directed and encouraged. . . . We want them to be blessed of God. We want them to act a part in well-organized plans for helping other youth." Ellen G. White, in General Conference Bulletin, Jan. 29, 30, 1893, p. 24.
The servant of God called for the establishment of a youth organization in each church and told what kind of organization it should be. "Let there be a company formed somewhat after the order of the Christian Endeavor Society. . . ." Counsels on Health, p. 537. "Let there be companies organized in every church to do this work." Ellen G. White, in Signs of the Times, May 29, 1893.
"When the youth give their hearts to God, our responsibility for them does not cease. They must be interested in the Lord's work, and led to see that He expects them to do something to advance His cause. It is not enough to show how much needs to be done, and to urge the youth to act a part. They must be taught how to labor for the Master. They must be trained, disciplined, drilled, in the best methods of winning souls to Christ. Teach them to try in a quiet, unpretending way to help their young companions. Let different branches of missionary effort be systematically laid out, in which they may take part, and let them be given instruction and help. Thus they will learn to work for God." Gospel Workers, p. 210.
"With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!" Messages to Young People, p. 196.
In addition to their participation in the youth organization, the young people will be be integrated into responsible leadership and involvement in the entire church program. In all lines of church work the youth should be active. "In order that the work may go forward in all its branches, God calls for youthful vigor, zeal, and courage. He has chosen the youth to aid in the advancement of His cause. To plan with clear mind and execute with courageous hand demands fresh, uncrippled energies. Young men and women are invited to give God the strength of their youth, that through the exercise of their powers, through keen thought and vigorous action, they may bring glory to Him and salvation to their fellow-men." Gospel Workers, p. 67.
The primary focus of youth ministry is the salvation of youth through Jesus Christ. We understand youth ministry to be that work of the church that is conducted for, with, and by young people.* Our task is to:
1. Lead youth to understand their individual worth and to discover and develop their spiritual gifts and abilities.
2. Equip and empower youth for a life of service with God's church and the community.
3. 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.
In response to these inspired directives, the Youth Department was organized to give leadership training and to provide resource materials and evangelistic plans for the Adventist Youth Society in the local churches. The Spirit of Prophecy sets forth the objectives of the youth organization as follows: (1) to train the youth to work for other youth, (2) to recruit the youth to help their church and "those who profess to be Sabbathkeepers", and (3) to work "for those who are not of our faith." Signs of the Times, May 29, 1893.
In seeking to reach these objectives the youth are called upon (1) to pray together, (2) to study the Word together, (3) to fellowship together in Christian social interaction, (4) to act together in small groups to carry out well-laid plans for witnessing, (5) to develop tact and skill and talent in the Master's service, and (6) to encourage one another in spiritual growth.
(As taken from the General Conference Website, Church Manual - Page 100 - 102)