PAA Makes Community Connection Through New Church Program
Portland Adventist Academy launched an exciting new program this year to help make the Adventist churches in the Portland area better aware of the academy and its programs and to reach out to these churches in a unique way.
The Featured Church program involves student speakers, student artists, and Gale Crosby, PAA’s principal. The program started as a ministry to the youth of each featured church. Programs were presented in the youth and earliteen divisions consisting of song service, featured music and stories or testimonies from PAA students about what a relationship with their Lord means to them in daily life.
Then Crosby made a brief presentation to the church about the exciting things happening at the school and asked for their prayer requests.
As the year continued, the request came to let the whole church participate in the academy’s ministry, so two or three students would also preach during the worship hour, while other students would present other aspects of the worship service such as children’s story, special music, scripture and prayer.
Student groups conducting worship services in area churches is fairly common occurrence, but the thing that has made the Featured Church program unique is that each church has been asked to give a list of prayer requests that are then taken back to the school and incorporated into a PowerPoint presentation for the next student assembly. PAA students are able to see the prayer request, and then a student presents these requests to the Lord. The pastor of each church is also invited to attend, make some remarks and pray for PAA.
The academy members frequently ask that the churches uplift the school in prayer, but with this program, each featured church knows that at about 11:50 a.m. on the Wednesday following the Sabbath services, their church will be lifted up in prayer at the academy.
A bulletin board is maintained in a prominent place at the school where the prayer request list is posted along with photos of the church buildings, church leadership, PAA youth who attend that church, other youth at the church, and the PAA students that led the worship programs. This visual reminder of the featured church remains on the bulletin board until the next church is presented. The featured churches are also on PAA’s Web page (www.PAASDA.org and click on the "Churches" link).
This year eight churches were visited and featured. Additional churches will be added next school year.
Summer Mathis, a senior at PAA, is glad that not only does the Featured Church program allow the area churches to see the influence the academy has on the area youth, but it also allows the PAA students to get better acquainted with the churches in the Portland area.
Crosby believes that the future of the Adventist Church depends on the strength of the connections that are made with the next generation. The Featured Church program is helping to make that vital connection.