The Experience Becomes a Church

January 01, 2009 | Don Klinger

The Experience is the first place in my life that I have been visible as a person, not by what I can give or do. I am amazed at the total acceptance of who I am. It is as if I am seen for the child that God brought to this world…God's daughter, one of us, a sister," says Leslie Ryan, participant in The Experience. Ryan is not alone in feeling this way about attending The Experience in Meridian, Idaho. Ryan began attending after listening to music on 89.5 FM KTSY.

The Experience began meeting four years ago with the mission of connecting with the estimated 14,000 unchurched regular listeners to KTSY. In October 2008, The Experience celebrated its fourth birthday, consecrated a new building, and was organized into a church by the Idaho Conference.

Every week 120–200 people meet to worship and to reach out to the community. Brian Yeager, pastor, leads this enthusiastic congregation as it seeks to reach people who are attracted to a more casual, contemporary church environment and will make a commitment to be involved in outreach to the community. Current attendance represents people from all age-groups—equally committed to the message of the Bible as taught by the Adventist church.

Those who signed as charter members accepted the challenge from Steve McPherson, Idaho Conference president, to fully embrace the Adventist family. Don Klinger, conference secretary, also encouraged the church to continue as salt in their ministry.

The church is beginning with a membership of 79, plus several regular attendees who have committed to joining the Seventh-day Adventist Church. One of those is Ryan, who says: "I want to be a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."