Vancouver 98672 Youth Initiate and Conduct Church

Vancouver 98672 Youth Initiate and Conduct Church Dustin Serns, Portland Adventist Academy senior, had two goals when he initiated a student-conducted church in his home town of Vancouver, Wash.: planting a church in a "dark" Washington zip code and getting his fellow academy students involved in a spiritual outreach ministry. Serns chose Vancouver zip 98672, home to 43,000 people without a nearby Adventist church. Serns and his team rented a middle school multipurpose room in this zip code for their one-Sabbath-a-month meeting. The service is a typical Adventist service with songs, prayers, a story, preaching, offering and outreach. So far they have been in operation for five months and plan to continue at least through this school year. Serns is hoping that the youth church will continue even after he graduates and goes to college. PAA students Jonathan Long, Jonathan Kirkwood, Kevin House and Jonathan Moor have worked on the planning team with Serns, while Raymon Sehorn, Patrick Mok, Luis Zaragoza, Jeff Terroros, Jonathan Long, Kevin House, Serns and Taewoo Yang have presented sermons. Other students have contributed music, stories, taken offerings and served as ushers. One would expect a student-led worship service to have some creativity and surprises. Serns explained that it was only natural to ask the adults attending to come forward for the story, making it an adult’s story rather than a children’s story. Also, hubcaps, shoes and stretched duct tape have been used to collect offerings. On a more serious note, there has been creativity and originality in the outreach program. One Sabbath, the youth took a “prayer” walk, during which they took to the streets near their meeting place after asking for God’s guidance to lead them as they went door to door seeking people to join them in prayer. Serns said the response was good, and several individuals commented on how unique it was for young people to come to their homes on such a mission. Serns has many memories of this project and has learned some important lessons. For one, he said that “delegating is cool" besides being a necessity. Serns also reported that many students have been very happy to get involved when given the opportunity. Further, he has learned that it is difficult to reach the community in a meaningful way and that they will have to give this a lot more prayerful consideration.

Vancouver 98672

Youth Initiate and Conduct Church

Dustin Serns, Portland Adventist Academy senior, had two goals when he initiated a student-conducted church in his home town of Vancouver, Wash.: planting a church in a "dark" Washington zip code and getting his fellow academy students involved in a spiritual outreach ministry. Serns chose Vancouver zip 98672, home to 43,000 people without a nearby Adventist church.

Serns and his team rented a middle school multipurpose room in this zip code for their one-Sabbath-a-month meeting. The service is a typical Adventist service with songs, prayers, a story, preaching, offering and outreach. So far they have been in operation for five months and plan to continue at least through this school year. Serns is hoping that the youth church will continue even after he graduates and goes to college.

PAA students Jonathan Long, Jonathan Kirkwood, Kevin House and Jonathan Moor have worked on the planning team with Serns, while Raymon Sehorn, Patrick Mok, Luis Zaragoza, Jeff Terroros, Jonathan Long, Kevin House, Serns and Taewoo Yang have presented sermons. Other students have contributed music, stories, taken offerings and served as ushers.

One would expect a student-led worship service to have some creativity and surprises. Serns explained that it was only natural to ask the adults attending to come forward for the story, making it an adult’s story rather than a children’s story. Also, hubcaps, shoes and stretched duct tape have been used to collect offerings.

On a more serious note, there has been creativity and originality in the outreach program. One Sabbath, the youth took a “prayer” walk, during which they took to the streets near their meeting place after asking for God’s guidance to lead them as they went door to door seeking people to join them in prayer. Serns said the response was good, and several individuals commented on how unique it was for young people to come to their homes on such a mission.

Serns has many memories of this project and has learned some important lessons. For one, he said that “delegating is cool" besides being a necessity. Serns also reported that many students have been very happy to get involved when given the opportunity. Further, he has learned that it is difficult to reach the community in a meaningful way and that they will have to give this a lot more prayerful consideration.

April 01, 2006 / Oregon Conference
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