Aspecial mission offering that will be collected during the General Conference (GC) session’s second Sabbath worship service, July 11, 2015, will challenge attendees to put their money where their mouth is.
The money is slated to fund thousands of youth-driven mission projects worldwide.
“We often talk about how young people are vitally important to our church’s life and mission,” said Gary Krause, director of the Office of Adventist Mission. “This special offering shows we mean it.”
The General Conference session offering will be used by Adventist young people, ages 25 and younger, for outreach and evangelism, according to a vote approved by delegates of the 2013 Annual Council. Each division and the Middle East and North Africa Union Mission are to establish committees in which 75 percent of the members comprise children and young adults from elementary school through college age. The committees will develop youth-led projects funded by the special offering. No matching funds will be required.
Linda Mei Lin Koh, GC Children’s Ministries director, said the offering would motivate and generate new and untried ideas among young people and encourage them to play a more active part in the life and mission of the church.
“We want to encourage those serving on the committees to be creative and to come up with new and novel ideas for evangelism and outreach that have never been done before,” Koh said.
The initiative, coined Give Them the Keys, represents a new philosophy to engage young people in the mission of the church, GC Youth Ministries director Gilbert Cangy said.
“We’re going beyond saying ‘We have a plan’ to saying ‘God has entrusted you with gifts from the Holy Spirit’ ” he said in a GC-developed video about the program. “Now we want you to prayerfully engage that spiritual giftedness within your community.”
An offering for youth-led evangelism also has been assigned for collection on selected dates in all the world divisions.