The entrance of the Ellen G. White Visitor Center at the General Conference world headquarters is surrounded by eight quotations engraved on attractive panels on the walls. One of them says, “The Bible is God’s voice speaking to us, just as surely as though we could hear it with our ears. If we realized this, with what awe would we open God’s Word, and with what earnestness would we search its precepts! The reading and contemplation of the Scriptures would be regarded as an audience with the Inﬁnite One.”1
Another quote says, “A solemn responsibility rests upon the watchmen. How careful should they be rightly to understand and explain the Word of God.”2 As ministers of the gospel, we are called to rely upon the Bible as our number one source of power and lead others to it. Therefore, I recommend the following:
- Be rooted in God’s Word through daily and personal devotion.
- Preach the Word and what the Word says, applying biblical hermeneutics with the historical biblical or historical-grammatical method of interpreting Scripture, and allowing the Bible to interpret itself by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Be sure that the nominating committees, the church boards, and the local church members of your pastoral district understand the importance of electing the best personnel available to the positions of Youth Ministries leadership.
Youth Ministries leaders should be committed to studying and obeying the Word of God. Through their ministry, they should aim to exalt Jesus and Christian principles and truths based on the Bible, not on popular culture.
- Support and supervise these leaders once they are elected and positioned. Attend the meetings of each youth organization. Pass on to your youth leaders key information, ideas, and resources they can use to encourage youth to study the Bible, memorize it, and engage with Scripture in ways that are meaningful to them.
- Encourage youth to have a closer relationship with Jesus through the Word of God. Challenge them to ﬁnd creative ways to read the entire Bible using their hard copy and/or electronic devices. Design appropriate tools to register their progress. Each time they read the Bible through, present them with a certiﬁcate of completion.
In my pastoral ministry and when I was Youth Ministries director, I designed several tools, including a nice personal one that included a certiﬁcate of completion of the Bible Year Plan. In my editorship, I also included in the forerunner Adventist Youth Leaders magazine, a publication of the Youth Ministries department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, another tool to report the progress of those reading the Bible Encounter Plan. I’m sure you may have other practical tools and ideas in this digital era.
May the power of God be evident when we open, study, preach, and teach the Bible to the new generations, highlighting that it’s God’s voice speaking to us. Let’s encourage our young people to get “back to the altar”3 and not to be trapped in the negatives of the internet—and let’s model it!
- Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1948), 6:393.
- Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press, 1948), 5:15.
- See Back to the Altar, Seventh-day Adventist Church, https://www.backtothealtar.org