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My Experience of Younger Generation Church

My desire has always been to find a way to bring my local church youth and young adults into a closer relationship with our Creator. I have tried many ways to accomplish this, but with an ever-changing world and fast-paced society, it’s become exceedingly more difficult. I have visited Younger Generation Church [YG] in Arlington on many of my trips to Texas, but I have never had the real “behind the scenes” experience until my most recent visit. I asked for some time to talk about ministry and see beyond the worship experience. I learned many things that I hope to emulate when I return home.

The green room devotional was how it all began that Sabbath morning, where the team gathered to worship before the worship; Beautiful singing and a discussion-based study of the Word got everyone geared up for the YG service that immediately followed. Everyone was so engaged from the very beginning that I clearly felt the Spirit of God.

During YG, the worship team invited the congregation to “worship how they are wired,” many standing to their feet and lifting their hands in praise to the Almighty. Others remained seated in careful reflection, but worshiping none-the-less. This blew my mind, such freedom to express worship as one is inspired and impressed.

As I closed my eyes and listened to the lyrics, as I heard the instruments skillfully played, my heart was lifted heavenward and I felt tears roll down my cheeks. For me, this was a foretaste of heaven. I found it fascinating that every portion of the YG worship experience was being led out by young adults. It was obvious that they take the work that they are doing for Christ seriously. They took it as being really meaningful for them, as it was for me. The worship experience began and ended on time [seldom the case in my local church experiences], which I felt was very respectful of the congregation and reflected a level of excellence.

The sermon was approximately 20 minutes in length, which is purposefully done to emphasize the main point of the worship experience. Every portion of the worship is intentionally crafted to focus on the main point, giving the experience purpose and clarity. The Lord has truly blessed Pastor Allan Martin with the wisdom and energies to be the one to deliver these powerful sermons and encouragements to YG.

I thought the worship experience was the end of YG, however this was not the case as immediately following, all were invited backstage to the green room for refreshments and fellowship. I loved the encouragement of the green room host for everyone to enjoy the food and “meet someone new to you.” This community-building time offered newcomers an introduction to others and opportunity to spark friendship; Belonging, which is often missing from today’s church, can take root in this casual gathering in the green room. For me, this was icing on the cake.

But wait, that’s not all. Following some time in the green room, the host invited those interested to enjoy YG’s community group. Held in a separate venue, this conversational Bible study, led out, again, by young adults, offered a chance for all to dive deeper into the sermon topic or a Biblical principle of interest. While participating, I felt my opinion valued and listened to the different life experiences of various young adults and adults alike. We got so into the discussion I didn’t want to see it end.

For me, Younger Generation Church was a wonderful worship experience. It was great to mingle with next generations and together experience the glory of God. I felt authentically drawn in and was inspired to be part of something greater. I’m going back to Belize, energized to share, to break barriers, to be non-judgmental, to be embracing and mostly, to experience Jesus Christ! Thank you YG for making me feel welcome and part of who you are. #IAmYG

–Dalheart McFadzean,
Local AY Director, Belize City, Belize
in YG

DFW 1:1 -- Experiencing the Heart of Jesus

“It's great to know that Jesus is still a draw in 2017,” beamed Pastor Lola Moore Johnston, Young Adult Ministries Director for the South Central Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “It was refreshing to be in a space with people, young and mature, who were excited to hear and speak about Jesus.”

DFW 1:1, a smaller-scale version of the One project gatherings, was hosted this Spring at Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church. This event’s intention is to help people, especially next generations, deepen their relationship with Jesus and foster a profound, positive relationship with their community.

“DFW 1:1 set the record straight for what we, as Seventh-day Adventists, believe and should exemplify every day—LOVE,” endorsed Ashley Hollon, a 27-year-old architect from Dallas, Texas. “It all comes down to love; Love for God and love for others.”

“The Heart of Jesus,” DFW 1:1’s focus, was based on the Biblical passage, Luke 15. Featured speakers included Pastor Johnston; David Franklin, Senior Pastor, Miracle City Church in Baltimore, Maryland, Co-host, Hope Channel’s Let’s Pray; and Dr. Alex Bryan, Senior Pastor of the Walla Walla University Church in College Place, Washington.

"I was immensely blessed by my experience at DFW 1:1,” lauded Cece Cobb, a 27-year-old software engineer from Dallas, Texas. “The speakers were dynamic and the messages thought-provoking. . . Each session concluded with honest and heart-felt conversations about how we as individuals, and as a community, could more fully develop the heart of Jesus."

Following the general sessions, the event offered times for “recalibration,” allowing participants to process their thoughts on the various presentations/reflections, and to begin engaging in practical applications intended to make a difference in their lives.

“I appreciated and enjoyed the chance to not just listen to a sermon, but also dig deeper into what the speaker said,” noted 31-year-old teacher, Kristina Cruz, from San Antonio, Texas. “The recalibrate round table discussions gave us all a chance to express ourselves and ask questions. Recalibrate gave us a deeper look into our own personal thoughts on matters that are affecting not only young adults, but the Church as a whole.”

Vennor Hackshaw, an elder at Arlington, shared, “To me the most important parts were the recalibration sessions, where we got opportunities to engage our youth in conversation by listening and sharing experiences. In their search for answers to life’s challenges, I could sense their passion for Christ and their desire to have a more intimate relationship with Him.”

“I also enjoyed the meaningful fellowship opportunities as facilitated by the Recalibrate sessions,” added Cece.

Additionally, DFW 1:1 offered generation One (ages 13-17) and TOP kids (ages 4-12) to help bring teens and children into a closer relationship with Jesus through fun, interactive activities and social events.

Michelle Mattingly, a 34-year-old dispatcher, from Arlington, Texas, shared her experience as she served as a volunteer for the generation One program, “I saw teens filled with the Spirit, being welcoming and taking on the mentoring and leadership roles with their peers and younger children. I was so humbled to see how wonderful and full of the Spirit the teens of this church are.”

To culminate DFW 1:1, Elemental Worship Collective, an eclectic ensemble of young artist, musicians, and worship leaders, offered a “Night Of Worship” concert filled with authentic expressions of praise to honor Christ Jesus.

“The music completed the feel of the event, and the worship leaders did an amazing job leading us into a worshipful mode,” added Kristina. “DFW 1:1 was such an eye-opening experience and I was blessed to attend.”

“DFW 1:1 was a rich spiritual experience. [For me,] it was about coaching, mentoring and connecting with young people,” Elder Hackshaw reflected. “We were challenged by the speakers to come out of our comfort zones and connect with the youth of our church.”

Intent on focusing on the heart of Jesus and fostering intergenerational community, DFW 1:1 was sponsored and organized by Younger Generation Church, the vibrant young adult ministry of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church. ygchurch.com

“I would really encourage adults to stop and have a conversation with our young people,” admonished Elder Hackshaw, “Get to know them by name and face, then listen to their dreams and aspirations. Make a connection—it is rewarding on both sides.”

It’s also the heart of Jesus.

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YG University [YGU] is our endeavor to be a life-long learning community of disciples, seeking to deepen the Christ-centered devotion of next generations, beyond the contours of Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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On Campus Worship Experience:
Saturday, 10:15am CST
4409 Pleasantview Drive
Arlington, TX 76017-1427

Online Worship Experiences:

Saturday, 10:15am CST
Sunday, 11:30am CST
Monday, 6:00pm CST
Wednesday, 6:00pm CST
Friday, 8:00pm CST