Adventist Leader Calls Youth to Be a Part of God’s House

Inside a semi-dark auditorium, a few hundred chairs form a semi-circle around a stage where square light boxes form the shape of the cross. It’s the first time Sunset Lake Camp in Wilkeson has hosted the annual Washington Conference Youth Rally, and you’re not quite sure what to expect.

David Yeagley, Washington Conference youth director, warms up the crowd of 350 teenagers with a quote quiz: “Is It Leviticus or Taylor Swift?”

Soon, the musicians start leading a worship set with “Blessed Be Your Name.” It’s not just the musicians singing; the teenagers are singing too and taking video clips with their cell phones.

The cell phones are pocketed though as the speaker takes the stage. Dan Jackson, North American Division president, is here to talk with teenagers about their place in the home of Jesus. They are listening.

“I’m never discouraged [about the church’s future] when I interact with youth,” says Jackson, who goes on to share a series of stories, examples, Bible verses and invitations.

“You need to be part of God’s house,” says Jackson. “The home needs to be expanded; the fellowship needs to be increased.”

Jackson expounds on how youth can be a part of God’s house: be a minister, mediate God’s grace and tell the world about Jesus. “Every one of us accepts a responsibility to minister when we accept Jesus into our lives,” Jackson says.

The teenagers from throughout western Washington participated in five afternoon breakout sessions including a Bible study, a mass choir, community-building exercises, a prayer room and a Q&A session with Jackson.

A key question in the Q&A is: How can we as young adults fulfill the Gospel Commission? “Every day when you wake up,” Jackson responds, “commit yourself to God and pray for God to bring you to the right people. This is how the Gospel Commission will be fulfilled.”

Jackson continues this theme in his late afternoon presentation. “The church is in good hands,” he says. “I see this when I look at you. Don’t live your life without God’s word. When it comes to making decisions, look to the Bible.” Jackson closes his presentation with an appeal for young people to be ministers for God in their lives. The teenagers come forward to the cross to make a commitment to find a home in Jesus and finish the Youth Rally by singing “Jesus at the Center of It All.”

February 14, 2014 / Washington Conference