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Young Adults Gather in DFW Metroplex for Festival of Worship

[YGU Note: With some simple efforts to collaborate with area churches, your local conference, even soliciting union/division support, your young adult ministry can hold great inspirational gatherings and community-building events.  This is one we enjoy annually here in the Southwestern Union.]

Hundreds of young adults from across the Southwestern Union convened in Arlington, Texas, for the fourth annual Young Adult Festival of Worship. Union Young Adult Director, Elder Helvis Moody, and Southwest Region Youth Director, Elder Tyrone Douglas, inspired the gathered Millennials with messages giving emphasis to Christ Jesus being greater than all. In addition to the over 1100 attending in person, hundreds from around the world tuned in online for the worship service broadcasts, specifically contoured to spiritually encourage next generations.

“Our Arizona young adult community jumped online joining the young adult festival,” shared Benjamin Lundquist, Director for Arizona Conference Young Adult Ministries and NAD Young Adult Life. “We were incredibly blessed as a generation was celebrated, Jesus was uplifted, and leaders were challenged. It's time these festivals begin happening all across the country.”

Inspired by HE>i, a Hawaiian apparel company’s “lifestyle brand,” the Sabbath’s theme centered around Christ being greater than sin, satan, and self. Poignant messages by Moody and Douglas were further endorsed as young worshippers were inspired by moving music performances and engaged in authentic praise.

As part of the day’s worship, festival registrants spent time in the afternoon at Mission Arlington, a Christian-based agency that serves the neighborhoods of the DFW Metroplex with compassion, community-building, and caring assistance. Engaging community children with songs and smiles and popsicles, young adults were immersed in the joy that comes from sharing joy.

“I've got to say, there was something special about seeing young adults gather to serve the community,” expressed Debora Obeng, a 21-year-old software engineering major at University of Texas Arlington. “The interactions with the communities we visited were the most inspiring aspect of the festival.”

In an interesting turn of events, during the final worship session, tornado sirens went off signaling severe weather approaching. Evacuating downstairs to a standing-room-only venue, festival young adults continued to worship undaunted; The worship leaders adapted seamlessly to an impromptu acoustic set. While the storm raged outside, Elder Moody challenged and called all to live 24/7 lives of worship to which the young adults eagerly responded.

“It was refreshing and encouraging to see so many young adults with a passion for worship and a willingness to serve their community for Christ,” lauded Elder Douglas.

Sabbath concluded, the evening offered ample time for fellowship as Encounters Café provided young adults with a chance to enjoy table games, refreshments, and loads of laughter. Finally, the group headed out to enjoy broomball at ICE at the Parks, a nearby ice skating centre. Needless to say, the laughs continued as dozens of young adults took epic falls in their efforts to score goals.

From Arizona, Lundquist quipped, “Our only disappointment with the festival was the inability to play broomball online…”

The Young Adult Festival of Worship aims for next generations to honor Christ Jesus as Lord by expressing grace, embracing fellowship, and pursuing intimacy with Him. This invitational Sabbath gathering intends to inspire the young adults of the Southwestern Union and beyond to live 24/7 lives of worship for the fame of Jesus Christ.

“I had the privilege of witnessing young adults from across the Southwestern Union come together to worship God,” shared Elder Moody. “It’s my sincere hope the young adult festival of worship inspired them to go back to their churches and live boldly for Him.”

To enjoy captured worship sessions and follow up resources from the Young Adult Festival of Worship, go to festival.ygchurch.com

[YGU Note: YG University is eager to provide you all the planning and resourcing materials we have used over the past several years to host the Young Adult Festival of Worship. Email Pastor Allan with your interest, ]

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Making Ministry EPIC: An Old Fashioned Example

If we are to make a transformative difference in the lives of next generations, I am an avid believer in the EPIC model proposed by Dr. Leonard Sweet and endorsed by Dr. Tim Elmore.

In short, this model for teaching/learning calls for young adult ministry to be:

  • Experiential
  • Participatory
  • Image-rich
  • Connected

A Growing Leaders blog by Dr. Elmore does a nice job of describing each facet, so I'll provide the link and encourage you to read it.

An all too common question: How does the typical local church implement an EPIC approach for young adult ministry when budget and resources are often so limited?

My recommendation is, don't reinvent the wheel. Look for what GOD offers you in the surrounding culture to help your young adults learn transformative truths.

A great example of this is the movie industry. Film makers go to great lengths to foster an experience and to connect with their audience.  An exceptional ministry example is the work of Rik Swartzwelder and Nathan Nazario with the film, Old Fashioned.

Not only did Rik, Nathan, and their team produce a movie, but they also made concerted efforts to provide EPIC resources for use in community and ministry contexts.

But Old Fashioned didn't stop there. They also produced a novel, a devotional book, as well as a CD--all available online as well as in stores nationally.  I particularly appreciated this aspect in that, in addition to the value of the EPIC model, the film makers recognized we all don't necessarily have the same learning media preference. Beyond the film, some are moved by the music or the literary aspect of the story. Further, Old Fashioned's engagement in social media added yet another level of connectedness with the movie and its story line.

Much of the resources, including sermon outlines, graphics, ministry ideas, and video clips were free.  This allowed us at Younger Generation Church to develop a sermon series that went beyond just a 60-minute church program to a multi-media, multi-faceted initiative affirming virtue and values in relationships. Click the image below to access our Old Fashioned sermon series.

We hope you're encouraged to implement the EPIC model in your young adult ministry context, affording next generations to be inspired, transformed, and blessed. May you find GOD working in your culture, moving in your context--and may you join HIM in transforming the world.




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