My name is Marcos and I believe the local Adventist church has a story to tell. A story about God's heart and soul - who he is and what he is like - that no one else is telling. And it's my passion to optimize the local Adventist church to tell that story effectively.

Imagine a world where every single local Adventist church was oozing relevance, authenticity and making a difference in its community? That world is my dream. And I want to make it a reality.

That is what is all about. Every blog, podcast, book and course is designed to equip church members and leaders everywhere to optimize their local Adventist church for success. And we need to because if there is one painful reality that is apparent to us, its that the local Adventist church is failing.

Just over a decade ago, I was a typical teen who was eager to get away from 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 story 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.
— Roger Hernandez, "Everyone Welcome"

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 'Jesus. All.' Paradox", p3. The Compass Magazine

So here's my point: I have found that 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 to their story. 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 optimize your local Adventist church to tell the story God is calling it to tell. I do this by providing weekly blogs, social media engagement, online courses and a monthly newsletter and podcast. The goal is to flood the world with local Adventist churches that are relevant, authentic and effective.

The local Adventist church has a story to tell. Let's optimize it to tell that story.