“Sometimes we don’t like the shoes or the crazy hair our young people wear, but they are the future leaders of our church,” said Josney Rodríguez, who oversees thousands of pastors and church elders under the ministerial association for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America. “You must train them so they can be our leaders soon.”
Rodriguez was among dozens of speakers who took part in a special online youth ministry certification training program geared for youth directors, church pastors, church elders, administrators and active church members. The training aims to equip church leaders to better serve, retain, minister, mentor and prepare young people for the ministry. The two-day training was organized by the youth ministries department and was held May 22-23, 2019, in Miami, Florida.
“As leaders understand better how to connect, train, redirect and mentor the church’s most potential human agents, our young people, then more opportunities will be accessible to empower the youth to finish the work,” said Al Powell, youth ministries director for the church in Inter-America and main organizer of the event.
It’s about helping young people discover their gifts, allowing them to lead, and recognizing and affirming them, explained Powell. In order to do that, Powell reminded church leaders to put God first, pray and support young people along the way so they can impact others to join in the task of preparing a people for Jesus’ Second Coming.
“Put young people first too,” said Powell. “Be good leaders and allow them to move ahead.”
President of the Adventist Church in Inter-America (IAD), Elie Henry also reminded church administrators and leaders to understand their purpose, role and calling in carrying out God’s vision in their lives and the future of the church as he quoted the life of Jeremiah.