Determined in Detroit: Generation Not Overlooked as Youth, Young Adults Prioritized

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Great Lakes

By Carl Stagner

It’s very easy to keep doing what you’ve always done simply because you’ve always done it. Such natural proclivity isn’t unique to popular culture; it’s rampant in the church, too. Until glorification, the sanctified self still suffers from blind spots here and there in the pursuit of Christlikeness. In recent decades, disproportionate numbers of youth and young adults have seemingly disappeared from the local church on Sunday mornings across the United States and Canada. Part of this disturbing trend has been traced to doing things the way we’ve always done it, inadvertently rendering earlier generations out of touch with the new. Regardless of the why, the what is cause for concern for many a minister whose heart breaks for the next generation. The ministers at the Church of God of Detroit, in particular, have responded to the dilemma by prioritizing youth and young adults—determined that this indispensable segment of the population should be overlooked no longer.

Albert Grant serves as senior pastor of the Church of God of Detroit. The Michigan pastor may be the lead shepherd of the flock, but he possesses an especially soft spot for young people. Early this year, a renewed focus on youth and young adults rose to the fore—the Church of God of Detroit would demonstrate in word, in deed, at the church, and on the calendar, that the next generation matters greatly. Through his young adult ministry leader, who also directs the worship music ministries of the church, there are many great things happening and great things in store yet this year. Randy Perteet is enthusiastic.

Next-generation-led worship!

“Our main focus is the development, well-being, and education of youth and young adults,” Randy reflects. “Our program is built on salvation, education, and recreation.”

Citing the Great Commission, Randy emphasizes the evangelistic and discipleship-oriented strategy and structure of their approach. “We are growing Christian leaders to lead not only the church, but also corporate America. We are called to be the head and not the tail, to lend and not to borrow. Through Bible study, worship arts, fellowship, and academic assistance, we are putting our faith to work. We are training our young people to be disciples of Christ and leaders on their jobs and in their communities.”

Education is, therefore, part and parcel to the mission of the youth and young adult ministry of the Church of God of Detroit. The Christ 4 Life Salt and Life Scholarship Fund became a response to the need for education among the emerging generation. Quality education and, subsequently gainful employment, are the goals of harnessing the potential of the scholarship fund. “As Jesus came to give life and hope to his people,” Randy explains, “we intend to share our gifts to promote life and hope.”

 

Pastor Albert Grant

Recreation is another important aspect to Randy and the team. Learning and training has its place, but so does fun. Too often, the teenagers and young adults view Christians as mundane, stodgy, and lacking opportunities to enjoy life. Randy puts it this way: “Far too often, young people are skeptical about going ‘all in’ for Christ. Many believe life will be boring, and restrictive. We reject that narrative. We believe in having fun. We believe in creating an atmosphere where young people can thrive and experience the joy of the Lord!”

Specific examples of events and activities designed to promote such noble goals are game nights, “Poetry and Praise,” field days, “Paint and Praise,” training conferences, trips to Cedar Point, birthday and other life celebrations, and so on.

Pastor Grant is pleased. He prays that the youth and young adult ministry helps “develop the Church of God of Detroit into a church of the future and serve as an example for other churches to follow.”

Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.

Feature (top) photo: Young adults gathered outside the church on Easter.

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