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NSD’s First Youth, Children, Education Summit
February 11, 2019

The first summit ever of its kind: Youth-Children-Education (YCE) Summit! About 100 delegates attended the YCE Summit, organized by the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), at Sky Bay Hotel, Gangneung, South Korea, from January 13 to 16, 2019. The delegates were comprised of the directors of children’s ministries, youth ministries, and education departments of all Unions/Conferences/Mission under the NSD. In addition, all school principals and college/university presidents also participated.

With the theme of “Making the Church Young,” the speakers presented topics on how to attract young people and to disciple them to be active and faithful in the church. The speakers were departmental leaders of the General Conference (GC): Dr. Linda Koh, children’s ministries director; Dr. Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, education director; Pastor Pako Edson Mokgwane, youth ministries associate director; and Dr. Jiwan Moon, Public Campus Ministries (PCM) director.

Delegates from all over the NSD participated in group discussions, inter-departmental as well as by department. Collaborative works among the three departments were discussed. Schools and local churches are to work together, to make sure that all efforts are systematically done to retain our young people in the church.

The result of the discussions was coming together to serve as the basis for establishing an effective strategic plan, not only for this quinquennium but also beyond. Among the agreed efforts are connecting local churches and Adventist schools by involving church pastors, teachers, and parents, in spiritual activities of the school; empowering young people to be part of church leadership; making sure all spiritual activities at schools are evangelistic in nature; encouraging young people to be missionaries wherever they are; and recruiting as many Adventist children as possible to enroll in Adventist schools. Enrolling Adventist children in Adventist elementary schools is considered one of the most important decisions that parents can make to keep their children in the church.

At the end of the summit, NSD president Kim SiYoung emphasized the importance of caring for the young people of the church through all possible efforts. He related his childhood and youth experience of faithfully attending church services and programs. Recalling how he was given colorful stars on his paper crown as rewards for his faithful church attendance, he invited Dr. Linda Koh, GC children’s ministries director, to put a big star on his crown, a strong reminder of how important it is to keep our children in the church.

NSD directors of the three departments continue working together: Kim NakHyung for youth ministries, Lisa Clouzet for children’s ministries, and Richard Sabuin for education. Although many commented that the summit was a successful one, it was just the beginning of a continuous work until Jesus comes. How can we make our church young? The answer is this: It is all about retaining our children and young people in the church, and to empower them to participate, to serve, and even to lead!

Article by Richard Sabuin