A mother who had just dropped her daughter off to a university in another state spoke of the nervousness about leaving this daughter in a completely new environment. Leaving home and starting tertiary education can be traumatic and life changing. How are they coping with dorm life or living in a shared rented house away from home? How has the local church responded to the challenge of “newness” that they are experiencing? Who is around to support them in this transition?
Here is an extract from an email I received from a grandparent: “Many of these young people face a deciding point in their lives as to whether they will choose to go to church on Sabbath or not, now that they are away from home influences. I invite you to pray . . . that they would make the right decision and choose to worship despite their freedom. And I also urge you to pray for the church folk where these young people will attend that they will warmly embrace them, cherish them, encourage them and respect their . . . perspectives, their challenging thoughts expressed and . . . use their talents including musical ones. Oh may they truly treasure these young folks who start attending the various churches in the various locations throughout the Pacific.”
This came from a grieving heart because a grandchild a few years ago had gone to church and wore different clothes and was not accepted or encouraged at all—and no longer is involved in the church.
Unfortunately our statistics tell us that the Seventh-day Adventist Church loses around 50 per cent of young people who transition into tertiary education. That is just not on. Why would we want to lose our brightest and best? Our future?
A disciple-making church disciples its young adults.