Hi, I am Sal Garcia, youth ministries director at the Southern California Conference. One of our core values here in the Southern California Conference is Engagement: “We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ. To reach people no one is reaching, we will have to be fully engaged, doing things no one is doing.”
This is an amazing statement, because it specifically details the task and mission of our conference: “to reach people no one is reaching.” Question: Are we reaching youth that no one else is reaching? If the answer is yes, then let’s strengthen our methods.
If the answer is no, then we have to remind ourselves: the reason why we are in the place we are today is because we are doing the same things we have always been doing. In order to be in a different place tomorrow, we have to begin to do new and different things today.
We may need to change our approach but never our message. For there is only one message—the three angels’ messages—at the very end of time found in Revelation 14:6-13.
We may need to change our approach but never our message.
We are praying for revival fires among the youth in Southern California Conference. Ellen White writes, “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!” (Education, page 271).
God has called the youth today to be kings and priests: “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever!” (Revelation 1:5-6, NIV).
So let’s get this picture straight. God, through His Messenger, says, “there can be an army of youth to proclaim the soon coming of Jesus,” and those youth, an enormous army, are called “kings and priests.” Why are they called kings and priests?
Kings, because of their high calling in Christ Jesus. They have been called to reign with Christ when He returns but also now. To reign with Christ as those who have been delivered from sin, self, and Satan. Then, they are called priests. In the Old Testament, a priest did ministry of behalf of the people of God. Now in the New Testament, we are all priests, and youth especially are called to “offer their bodies as living sacrifices” in service to God (Romans 12:1-2, NIV).
With this picture in mind, how does the Youth Ministries Department of the Southern California Conference participate in the mission of the conference, specifically in “engagement”?
Today, we have a generation that all they need is a passport, a plane ticket, and a cell phone to go anywhere and to do the most innovative and creative things to reach their own peers.
Here at the Youth Ministries Department, we are committed to training and discipling youth to be fully engaged with their society, culture, and community for the sole purpose of leading other youth to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, as Savior, Lord, and Friend.
In 2024, we have already planned four major youth events and programs to help youth to reign as kings and priests and be that “army of youth” to reach other youth for Christ.
By the grace of God, in 2024, we will prepare an army of youth to witness and win other youth to Christ and the everlasting gospel.
First things first, let’s start praying for the fires of revival and for early rain of God’s Spirit.
As adults and youth work together, God will indeed one day finish His work.
The youth of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Southern California are the church of today. As leaders, administrators, and adults, we must partner with the youth so that God can use them to finish His work. As adults and youth work together, God will indeed one day finish His work.
We have to try new things and new ways of reaching the youth of Southern California. God will help us as we work together to see an army of youth—reigning as kings and priests—proclaim the message of the soon coming Savior.
We invite you to become a prayer partner and financial supporter in helping the youth of Southern California Conference to engage their friends for Christ through these four big events.
Let’s support the youth in our churches and conferences through our prayers and offerings so that they can finish the work. Together, we can reach those that no one else is reaching through an army of youth, because youth are the apple of God’s eye.
I invite you to pray and support the mission of the Southern California Conference and the Youth Ministries Department, “until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
May God bless you!