Naming their ship
Young people, as they journey through different stages of their development, need to examine and express what being a part of a church means to them. In doing so they stir up a question that may rarely enter into their mind about their individual connection to the body of Christ. Like the naming of a ship, it's about self-expression.
The suffix "ship" used in the Shipyard Model conveys a state of being. Ownership in this case means that young people feel invested in the church. They are not only contributors, but stakeholders. Youth own the mission of the church when they participate in the direction it is going. This is why ownership is a by-product of leadership, and until the church depends on young people to accomplish its mission, they are merely spectators.
Where to Start
Encourage a sense of ownership in young people by employing the following:
- Ask the young adults in the congregation to express and share what it means to be a member of the church, globally and locally.
- Evaluate your own effectiveness by surveying young people to find out what they think about the activities and events that they appreciate.
- Encourage their interest in mission work.
- Connect them to the global church by reaching out and writing letters to missionaries and church leaders in other parts of the world.
- Help young people understand the history and heritage of the Christian church and the the story of the Adventist movement.
Remember, ownership is the result of an enduring, intentional ministry to young people.
Want more suggestions on cultivating discipleship with your church youth? Find "Out of the Shipyard" on our Resource page.