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