The North American Division Youth and Young Adult Ministries (YYAM) department started their Momentum (#momentum) series on Tuesday evening, March 10. This grew into weekly Sabbath programming that continues going strong through summer, with viewership in the thousands and scheduled programming through August. Starting August 1, the “No Backpacks: Back to School” series will feature a discussion on mental health and students.
“Our goal was to remain relevant, though we would be home for at least a week,” recalls Tracy Wood, YYAM director. “To our surprise, being home for the first week progressed into being home for the last five months.”
Vandeon Griffin, associate director for YYAM, explains, “Our office wanted to make an impact on youth leaders and teens who exemplify leadership qualities. The nightly Momentum meetings focused on what to do while home from school and work. Momentum means ‘strength gained through progress.’ We wanted our leaders and teens to continue to progress even in this unique time of COVID-19.”
The division team, which, in addition to Wood and Griffin, includes Armando Miranda, associate director, and Gael Murray, administrative assistant, decided to use the resources produced for youth Sabbath School groups to use when meeting on Sabbaths, and promote them instead in an online in a weekly church service to be used as a Youth Sabbath School. They wanted to share with a wider audience how to use the Sabbath School materials being produced weekly, and how the materials can impact the teens in the local churches as well as their leaders.
Through this process, the team learned that more people were accessing the youth website, their Facebook page, and their YouTube channel than other channels. Early on, they looked for young leaders to present the materials during the online services.
“Since the inception of hosting our first weekly worship service, we have connected with so many talented speakers, musicians, and facilitators,” says Griffin. “We have intentionally remained diversified in our selections of presenters, and this has proven to be a model for our leaders around the NAD.”
The YYAM team reported that statistics are encouraging, and they “give the glory to God.” They shared that as of late July 2020, they have reached 1,000 likes, nearly 2,000 comments, 450 shares, over 26,000 views, 56,500 reached, and 8,700 engagements through their social media pages. They’ve hosted 68 speakers, presenters, musicians, and facilitators, along with a special social justice conversation with seven Generation Z teens leading the discussion. The team also hosted a virtual graduation for the class of 2020.
As they prepare for the month of August, the team hopes their Back to School series, which delves into mental health, will help teens and leaders be successful in making the unique transition into this new normal.
Speakers for August include Darnisha Thomas, Jesskya Dooley, Nashonie Chang, Sandra Wall, and Chelsy Tyler.
“For the entire month, we will feature all female pastors to share the preached word,” said Griffin. “Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are actually experiencing #momentum—strength gained through progress!”
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