The Seventh-day Adventist Church began like a Silicon Valley start-up—led by young people with vision and passion for a cause. People such as Ellen White, John Loughborough, J. N. Andrews, Uriah Smith and John Harvey Kellogg made a significant impact on the developing Seventh-day Adventist Church while still teenagers and young adults.
Today youth continue to impact and energize the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In fact, more than half of Adventists worldwide are between the ages of 16 and 40.
The church nurtures and empowers its young members, not only at the local level but through the worldwide Youth Ministries department, which oversees ministries to specific age groups. Adventurers is a club for children ages 6 to 9, with 1 million members worldwide. Pathfinders, with 2 million members, is for young people ages 10 to 15. The Ambassador Group strives to meet the spiritual, social and lifestyle needs of those from 16 into their 20s. The Adventist Youth Society—created by youth for youth more than 125 years ago—now links 10 million youth on every continent of the globe.
The Youth Ministries department mission statement reflects its emphasis on service and its confidence in the abilities of the younger generation: “To lead young people into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and help them embrace His call to discipleship.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church focuses on youth because it is indebted to them for its beginnings and it depends on them for its future.