The I AM series is an innovative new outreach resource, developed as a joint project between the Greater Sydney Conference and Adventist Media, to enable young professionals to introduce Jesus to their secular colleagues, classmates and friends.
Young professionals in the Seventh-day Adventist Church have this real sense that we have something very special to share with people in our community. While this definitely includes amazing prophecies about the future and environmentally-friendly, healthy living, what we have to contribute with the world goes deeper and is more personal.
Your friends may be looking for something more in life. They might be just about to finish their studies or have recently begun their dream careers, yet deep down they have this niggling feeling that there must be more to life.
Because we have experienced the difference that Jesus has made in our lives, we want to introduce our colleagues, classmates and friends to Him. We want them to be able to experience the spiritual satisfaction, lasting peace and incredible joy that only comes from developing a true relationship with Jesus.
The I AM series is a resource that you can use to introduce your friends to Jesus. It has been developed for secular young professionals who are open to exploring more of the difference that Jesus can make in their lives.
It’s a 10-week series with a Sabbath away where you can introduce people to Jesus and share with them what the Sabbath experience is like. It consists of 13 video episodes that have been filmed on location with three presenters. Having three different presenters means that the episodes include different personalities and stories. Each viewer will probably resonate better with a different presenter, so overall the series will connect with more people.
There is also a Participant’s Guide, which includes notes from all of the episodes as well as reflection questions and further resources to explore. You can give your friends one of the I AM series postcards as a reminder of when and where the series will be held. Facebook banners and posts have also been produced, which you can use to promote this series on social media.
How to use I AM
There are a number of ways that you can use the I AM series.
Firstly, it can be used as a resource for your small group to grow your group evangelistically. Your home is a particularly good environment for building relationships with people and discussing spiritual topics.
Secondly, you can use it in your youth group and have multiple groups led by different hosts in your church hall or on a university campus. Remember the key to success is to provide food every time!
If you are a leader of a youth Sabbath School class, you can use I AM as an outreach resource to invite people to go back to the basics of Christianity. You can also use it as a one-on-one Bible study tool to introduce people to Jesus and the basics of Christianity. All you need is an iPad or smartphone and a location where you can have a relaxed and open conversation.
Just the start
Using I AM is only the start. Once you have completed the series with your secular friends, you can continue the journey by inviting them to go through one of the biblical biographies of Jesus with you, like the Gospel of Mark, or explore how faith transformed the professional life of Daniel.
If your friends are really keen to go spiritually deeper, then you can head into the prophecies in Daniel or Revelation. The I AM series introduces the concept of baptism and being part of a church community, so if your friend is spiritually ready for that major step, you could grasp the opportunity and invite them to make a bigger commitment.
Empowered and equipped
Our vision is for I AM to be a tool so that Adventist young professionals are empowered and equipped to introduce their colleagues, classmates and friends to Jesus. We see a thriving movement of young professionals who are growing in their relationship with Jesus and their faith in Him.
I AM testimonies
“Since starting the series the Sabbath School has transformed, from one where everyone sat in a semi-circle and it was awkward and hard to get discussion, to one where people enter, grab breakfast, sit down around tables and we don’t even need icebreakers anymore. The series includes great material that has made it easy for our youth to engage in discussion and the videos have been a brilliant tie-in and input. The quality of the production makes it very easy to watch.”—Matthew Hunter, Elizabeth Grove pastor
“Out of those who attend our group, about 30 per cent are returning youth who have not been present or regular [at church] for the past few years. We have also had three non-Christian friends come along and they have really enjoyed the program and discussions.”—Raul Moran, Wetherill Park youth pastor
“The series was amazing because it has been designed for the young people who are searching for meaning in life and for answers to questions that they have. The real life stories in the episodes really touched our hearts and the conversations afterwards allowed us to have some deep discussions.”—Tim Grant, design teacher and Caringbah youth leader
“The I AM series allows you to take people on a journey of learning to love God and each other through the presentations. Like an empty room, the series is like a box with paints, ornaments, picture frames, photographs, ready-to-assemble furniture and more, all in that empty room, waiting to be unpacked by a group of friends who want to discover God and each other together.”—Nathaniel Tan, Perth CBD church plant
Dr Sven Östring is Personal Ministries, Sabbath School, Stewardship and Discipleship director for the Greater Sydney Conference.