Hi and welcome to my site!

My name is Marcos and I believe the local church is the future of Adventism. But that wasn't always the case. Just over a decade ago, I was a typical teen who was eager to get away from church. So, if you have any of "done with church teens" in your life, happen to be one of those or are simply a Jesus follower who is looking for ways to connect with the youth and grow your church, then hang out with me for just a few more minutes. I believe my story will inspire you.

By the time I was in my early teens, I had joined the ranks of the typical teenager who was officially done with the Adventist church. I was uninterested, rebellious and disconnected from the whole thing. And the weird part is, it had nothing to do with what the church believed. I wasn't angry at God. I wasn't angry with my family. And I wasn't angry with the church members. I didn't hate my upbringing or resent our beliefs and I had no arguments to pick with the pastors sermons (mostly because they were too boring for me to even know what they were about). In addition, I wasn't interested in being a bad person. I didn't want to go party. I didn't want to experiment with drugs or alcohol. And I wasn't looking for a way out so I could go do my own thing.

So why was I done with church? The simplest answer I can come up with is this one: The church was an interruption.

In other words, I saw my life as an unfolding story and every weekend that story got interrupted by this thing called church that had little to nothing to do with the world I lived in. It was like I got sucked into a vortex and came out in a different planet. Then, when the weekend was over, I would be allowed to go back to the world I actually lived in. And because that weekend had nothing to do with my real world, I saw it as an interruption. God was nice. The people were nice (some of them anyways) and the food was good. But I eventually got tired of my world being consistently interrupted by this irrelevant thing called church. So I checked out.

And I'm not the only one. And teens aren't the only ones. A whole generation is checking out. In his book, "Everyone Welcome", Adventist pastor Roger Hernandez writes:
People have stopped hating the church because they don't even think about it.
Ouch. But it gets worse.
In 2013 the Adventist church held its first ever member retention summit. The results were sobering. The data revealed that from 1960 onward 30 percent or 1 in 3 people were leaving the church after being baptized, in less than 3 years. The precise ratio was 43 people lost for every 100 converts.— Adrian Zahid, The Compass Magazine
So here's my point: I have found the most of the youth who leave our churches are not doing so because they want to go and be wild. I have also found that many people who never go to church aren't absent because they want to be anti-God rebels. Instead, what I have found is that - like me - they see church as an interruption. It's irrelevant, disconnected and provides no value to them, so they stay away.

So what are we supposed to do about all this? Here is my answer: the local church.

Yep, that's right. That same thing I considered an interruption to my life turned out to be the solution as well. And all it took was one person who was willing to show me the relevance of the story of God for my whole world to be flipped upside down. Once I saw that God was not an interruption but that his story had everything to do with mine and mine with his, I began to get curious. That curiosity was the rope God used to pull me out of my own little world and into an experience of knowing him and reaching the world with his story.

Years later, after having served 4.5 years in the Army, I travelled to Southern Adventist University in Tennessee to study theology and from there, God led me and my family to Australia where I now pastor two churches in the Western Australian Conference. And it is because of these experiences, combined with God's calling over my life, that this website exists. My mission is to provide your church the tools and education needed for it to become a relevant, disciple-making movement. I do this by providing weekly blogs, social media engagement, online courses and a monthly newsletter and podcast. The goal is to equip Adventist leaders and members everywhere to revive their local churches and transform them into centres of influence that radically impact the world.

The local church is the future of Adventism. Let's optimize it for success.

About About Reviewed by Pastor Marcos on November 10, 2017 Rating: 5