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Dr. A Allan Martin's Research Sabbatical: Growing Young Adventists

“We are healed to help others. We are blessed to be a blessing. We are saved to serve, not to sit around and wait for heaven.” --Rick Warren

At Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church we aspire to make our church the best place for young people to grow. Over my eight years here, I've witnessed first-hand church members pouring grace and goodness into next generations, aiming to embrace, equip, and empower youth and young adults for vibrant life in Christ.

We are so fortunate, because this is not the case everywhere. Our church is far from perfect, but our over 50 years of loving young people has taught us a thing or two that really ought to be shared with others. My sabbatical will allow me to do just that.

Over the next three months, I will have the opportunity to give focus to #GrowingYoungAdventists [#GYA], an initiative of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists [NAD] for which I am one of the primary architects.

Using #GYA, our church & school leadership, as well as ministry mentors, have been giving careful study to various core commitments that attract young people to a life of faith and community. During my sabbatical, I will continue my research, partnered with Barna Group, Fuller Youth Institute, and the NAD, and hope to teach, train, and equip other churches, leaders, and Adventist organizations to grow young. [GrowingYoungAdventists.com]

For some of you, this is the first you have heard of Growing Young Adventists. I hope your curiosity will entice you to listen to the audiobook I'm making available to you by clicking the image below:

Additionally on Sabbaths, during our 10:15AM Younger Generation Church worship experience, we will be giving #GYA emphasis in our #Generations series. This is a great time for all ages to come enjoy YG and learn the ways we have and continue to love next generations well.

During my sabbatical, our young adults and their mentors will continue to give leadership and direction to YG, and this is a great season to start or bolster your involvement as we have great plans for the months ahead. YG leaders, church pastors, support staff, volunteers, and guest presenters are all aligned to see that YG church continues to thrive, and even gain more momentum during my research sabbatical.

We have been blessed to be a blessing. I'm grateful for the opportunity, during my research sabbatical, to share with others the ministry wealth we take for granted. Let me also express my appreciation for you. Your love is what makes our church so wonderful. Your love helps us grow young.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me this week as I will be available until July 26th, with the intent to be back to regular church office hours October 29th.

It is my honor to minister alongside you. All for His Fame!

--A Allan Martin, PhD
Teaching Pastor
Younger Generation Church


P.S. I wanted to provide you some links to discover more about the research and work I'm doing with #GrowingYoungAdventists


Posted by A. Allan Martin, Ph.D with
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YG: Cultivating Faith-filled Disciples of Jesus and Young Spiritual Leaders

YG Church offers an exceptional opportunity for next generations to deepen their devotion to Christ Jesus and hone leadership skills as they aspire to transform our world. Giving some examples, we'll use the Growing Young core commitments as a framework for some illustrations.

Unlock Keychain Leadership

Our church leadership entrusts young people with access and authority, and empower all generations, including youth and young adults, with their own metaphorical “set of keys” to help influence and shape the direction of the entire church.

This past Spring, YG Church partnered with Burton Adventist Academy to provide student leaders with exceptional leadership training and development at the Catalyst Conference.

Empathize with Today's Young People

Our church family is committed to walk alongside next generations. This means “feeling with young people” as they grapple with existential questions of identity, belonging, and purpose; as they experience “systemic abandonment” due to divorce and the self-absorbed adults around them; and as they act out a desire for connection through social media.

Through various inter-generational LIFEgroups and specialty gatherings like DFW 1:1, held last Fall, YG Church intentionally builds relationships where the stories and experiences of next generations are valued and prayed over. 

Take Jesus' Message Seriously

In our church, “Jesus reigns over poor theology and His words ring true for young sojourners hungry for life-giving direction.” At YG Church, we believe that Jesus needs to be at the very center of all that we do and aspire to be. We too affirm the goal shared by a Growing Young interviewee, “The goal for our church is not really effectiveness with young people, but serving and following Jesus. And young people like me are attracted to churches that want to do that.”

Every YG sermon series and young adult gathering is especially curated to give emphasis to Christ Jesus, His power, His mission, and the transformative relationship He offers. The Heart Of Jesus, served as the theme and focus of last Fall's young adult gathering, DFW 1:1.

Fuel Warm Community

“Warm is the new cool” in our church, where authenticity triumphs over worship style or a multitude of programs. We resonate with what next generations affirm in YG church as “warm” attributes, such as welcoming, belonging, accepting, hospitable, and caring.

We see YG Church as an integral part of the larger Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church family. We see powerful value in every generation building authentic relationships across the ages as we live in vibrant community.

Our intention is to build long lasting, authentic relationships that transcend Sabbath morning. Especially when it comes to young people, we want to surround them with respectful, meaningful, warm relationships.

Prioritize Young People & Families Everywhere

Our church has a long history of the prioritization of young people—an impulse that, rather than excluding older generations, breathes life into our entire congregation. As one pastor put it, “Everyone rises when you focus on young people.” Involving young people in every ministry has allowed our church to thrive with authenticity and intergenerational relationships.

The Gayle Tucker Youth Annex, YG Church, UG Youth, Form Kids, Burton Adventist Academy, Adventist Christian Fellowship at UTA, and Club Ministries, are among a large array of evidences exhibiting the strong emphasis on young people and families at Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Be The Best Neighbors

In our desire to be a compassionate faith community, our church accepts the challenging task of offering young people a thoughtful path to neighboring well. YG Church provides opportunities for next generations to serve others, pursue social justice, find their calling, interact with popular culture, and respond to inter-cultural issues.

Last Spring, YG Church partnered with Form Kids, Burton Adventist Academy, and Southwestern Adventist University to support a Stop Hunger Now packing party. The service experience offered all ages the opportunity, side by side, to roll up their sleeves, don hair nets, and help families in need.

Deepening our Devotion to Christ Jesus

Since 2004, Younger Generation Church has cultivated a meaningful environment of worship, fellowship, and mission for next generations. Our vision is for YG to overflow Jesus beyond our four walls, blessing our community, transforming our world.

As we approach YG's fifteenth anniversary, the passion that sparked our young adult ministry continues to burn bright as next generations follow God's lead in our world and beyond.

The Young Heart of Worship from Arlington Adventist Church on Vimeo.

Posted by A. Allan Martin, Ph.D with

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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.

YGU aspires to be of benefit to the larger sphere of young adult ministry development across the Adventist landscape. We pray to be a blessing to many others and we are excited for the learning opportunities it will offer us as well.


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Service Times

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