Project Documents

Date of Award

2002

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Alfonso Valenzuela

Second Advisor

Werner K. Vyhmeister

Third Advisor

Nancy Jean Vyhmeister

Abstract

The Bible gives great attention to youth. Important Bible characters acted under divine direction, leaving teachings regarding leadership and obedience. The biblical terms most used in reference to young people are na 'ar, a young man possessing strength and vigor, and neos, a person full of youth and inexperience. Paul advised Timothy: “Let no one despise thy youth” (1 Tim 4:12). John saw young people as being strong through the word of God and overcoming the wicked one (1 John 2:14). Research of young people shows that in today’s society, generations follow each other approximately every twenty years. Each one affects society and brings changes of attitudes, values, and ways of facing life. Today’s young people are part of the Millennial Generation. Their attitudes, problems, and preferences are similar in many places in the world.

Research in the Tabasco Conference shows that between 1997 and 2001, 62.5 percent of those who joined the Adventist Church were young people. A survey of 596 young people showed that 78 percent of them admitted having left the church for a time. This suggests that they are not stable church members. They love the church, but have a somewhat fragile commitment to the church body and to God. They believe in church standards and doctrines. However, their church attendance and participation in church activities are far from perfect. They spend little time in Bible study and do not join in family worship. For them religion is not a priority and some are not sure they will stay in the church for life. Asked why young people leave the church, the respondents noted the following factors: misunderstanding, poor adult modeling (criticism, disagreements, lack of unity and love), and poor teaching in the church. They also spoke of their own immaturity and lack of communion with God and of commitment to the church. They mentioned the love of worldly pleasures and bad friendships.

The young people surveyed want a better church, more Bible oriented, more spiritual. On the basis of my study and the young people’s responses, I make the following recommendations: teach the young people better, provide appropriate counseling, prepare better programs for them, trust youth leadership more, establish youth ministry in local churches and form committees to translate and adapt materials for their use. The young people deserve the church’s best efforts to keep them as active members.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Mexico--Tabasco; Seventh-day Adventist youth--Mexico--Tabasco;

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/581

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