Since the inception of the Youth Department, the directors in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church have always exceeded the obvious of their times. As we approach the second coming of Jesus Christ, this thrust becomes of paramount importance. We need to build upon our ancestors’ visions by looking beyond the obvious as we enter the third millennial. Our current programs are great, yet we must not relax. It is essential that Adventist youth be challenged to finish the work of the gospel.
Facing the future with such a mentality requires us as youth leaders to shift our paradigm from program to people, and past to future. Business as usual must stop. It is obvious we have youth camps. It is obvious we have many youth activities. It is obvious we have outstanding Pathfinder programs, and it is obvious that we have an energetic Adventurer program. If we want to prepare our youth to face the future, we must move beyond the obvious and come up with programs that are “issue”- and” need-driven.” There is nothing wrong with the obvious: uniforms, parading, or insignias. However, we are losing too many young people despite the excellent programs we have. They are looking for more than the obvious. Let us build a youth ministry that meets the needs and issues affecting the spirituality of the youth.