In the 1960’s, Wayne Rice and Mike Yaconelli came together to convince the church that ministering to youth was essential for the health of the church. Their vision turned into the organization Youth Specialties. According to Mike,
“We sure didn’t know where youth ministry or our little company was headed. All we knew was that God was somehow inviting us into this thing.”
If you are reading this article, you understand how Youth Specialties has impacted youth ministry in the United States and around the world.
Our culture has shifted in the past fifty years since the birth of YS, changing the role of church within our country, the role of faith within the life of the individual, and the meta-narrative of human development. These shifts have altered our perception of human development and created a new life phase called emerging adulthood – a period following adolescence characterized by various forms of instability when the individual is making autonomous decisions and forming beliefs.
As our world rapidly changes, there is a great need for those ministering to emerging adults (EAs) to stand and work together.
Together we can accomplish more for the Kingdom. Together we can… gather resources, share ideas, and speak as one that we might attract the attention of others.
But it is more than that… we must awaken the voices of EAs so they can share. Give them platforms so they can be heard. We must show emerging adults that we are listening. We will convince them that they are not the object of our work, but partners as we labor side-by-side.
For in this unity, the church will become all that she was intended to be. That her body might be whole, and that her beauty might be revealed through diversity as the generations worship our bride – Jesus Christ.
I have glimpses of the vision. I have two hands, one of which holds a pen. I have pennies in a bucket. I know a few people who stand beside me in this work.
It is not much, but it is a start.
- Who has hands that are ready to work?
- Who has resources to contribute to this movement?
- Who has the connections to get the ball rolling?
- Who has a passion that cannot be contained?
- Who has a vision of what could be?
Not for the sake of any organization, but for the sake of the Kingdom. Not for the sake of another conference, but for our common purpose. Not for the sake of another voice, but a medium through which we can hear His voice.
To whoever has resources, let them give. To whoever has hands, let them grab a shovel, a pen, or a megaphone. To whoever has a vision, let them speak.
If you resonate with this call, you may have something to contribute. Join me in this thing that I believe God is doing. May we together step forward in faith, expectantly waiting to see what God will do.
Dr. G. David Boyd is a forward thinker, a collector of Marvel Comics, an avid gamer, a radical follower of Jesus Christ, a father of three boys, and a husband. David is the managing director of EA Resources, a faith-based non-profit organization dedicated to equipping parents and churches to understand emerging adulthood. He’s also the founder of the EA Network, a network that connects those who minister to the needs of emerging adults.