The success of Voice of Youth (VOY) Ignite 2021, which resulted in 10,586 new church members, led the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) to launch the VOY EXPAND 2022 on January 28-29, 2022. EXPAND stands for Exponential Advancement through Nurturing and Discipleship. VOY EXPAND 2022 aims to nurture and disciple new members following the Christian Life Cycle: Bring them to Christ, build them up in Him through spiritual disciplines, train them how to minister using their spiritual gifts, and send them out to witness through the VOY EXPAND.
The VOY EXPAND 2022 envisions equipping 1,507 church-based VOY teams with 12 young people in each team (18,084) to prayerfully lead 10,549 newly baptized disciples while discipling the new members brought through VOY Ignite 2021.
Referencing a lecture on “Nurturing New Members in Local Church” by Nyrh Cabance, Gayle Anne Saquiton, a delegate from the North Philippines said, “We always have these ideas of nurturing but [we are] just so unorganized. This lecture put everything in place and even gave more additional inputs. I loved the 12 lessons. [We are] praying for an increase in membership retention by God’s grace.”
Jasper and Lourd Jane Delgado from the South Philippines added, “What a beautiful nurturing strategy! I’m excited and eager to share this with our youth and church here in our district.”
Cabance, who is a church elder at an Adventist church in Manila, Philippines, also noted Ellen White’s emphasis on nurturing new members. He read: “After individuals have been converted to the truth, they need to be looked after. … These newly converted ones need nursing, watchful attention, help, and encouragement. These should not be left alone. … They need to be educated with their duties, to be kindly dealt with to be led along, and to be visited and prayed with.”1
Roger Caderna, SSD Nurturing, Discipleship, Reclamation, and Integrated Evangelism Lifestyle director, pointed to the solemn responsibilities of young people. He read:
“Upon the youth rest grave responsibilities. … If the youth will consecrate mind and heart to the Lord’s service, they may reach a high standard of efficiency and usefulness.”2
Bienvenido Mergal, SSD Education director, led the youth to understand the details on how to win souls to Jesus and how to keep them in the faith. SSD Women and Family Ministries director Virgie Balayo also discussed the Health and Happy Evangelism Manual, a resource that seeks to empower the youth in proclaiming the gospel and the health message.
During the Sabbath (Saturday) morning service, Adventist Church president Ted N. C. Wilson invited young people “to take an active part in proclaiming the everlasting gospel,” and in joining the church’s “I Will Go” initiative.
The launch and orientation ended with a commitment message from SSD president Samuel Saw. He reiterated his administration’s support of VOY EXPAND and challenged his audience to connect with Jesus as they actively reach out to others.
1Ellen G. White, Evangelism (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2002), 322.
2 Ellen G. White, Messages to Young People (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2002), 210.