‘What we try to do is make individuals whole’

Pastor James stated that even though this is a youth week of prayer he likes to involve the parents and older individuals in attendance because worship starts at home.

‘What we try to do is make individuals whole’
July 14
06:20 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Seventh Day Adventists hold youth week of prayer



Churches are constantly looking for ways to reach the millennial youth of their congregation.  On Sunday, July 10, Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church kicked off its youth week of prayer to do just that.

From July 10 through 16, Pastor Gary James of Renewed Hearts Inc. will be delivering the message to the congregation. Renewed Hearts has a focus on teaching individuals to be emotionally intelligent through their personal responsibilities and personal development. The mission and vision of Renewed Hearts is building relationships by providing resources and direction.

James, who is making his second trip to Ephesus, Seventh Day Adventist faith. He feels as though you do not have to dumb down the message in order for today’s youth to absorb what he has to say.

“Hearts are broken throughout life by a lot of different situations, especially with young people, and most of them center around relationships,” James said.  “What we try to do is make individuals whole and from there we build relationships and that renews their heart.  When the heart is renewed, the first thing people want to do is tell someone else who may be hurting that they have been there before. “

James said in his organization, “we don’t tolerate, we accept.”  He wants the young people to come how they are and they will understand you and then see where they need to go.

He said one of the challenges he faces during a youth week of prayer is having to reach the entire audience.  James wants to have information for the young people but also have something the parents can take away as well.  He says without the parents reinforcing what he is trying to convey to the young people, his message is null and void.

“The message I want to convey this week is how the parents can effectively help the youth in these difficult and challenging times we live in and give them an understanding of the big picture,” James went on to say.  “When you have the big picture, you have better tools and strategies to fight the challenges they fight.

“Many of the young people do not know why they are here.  They do it because they think its right and they have done it all their life and have come up in the faith.  But when you know why you are here, it helps you fight battles.  If I could sum it up, I would just say know why you are here.”

Ephesus Church Pastor Godwin Mitchell said he has known James for years and the fact he has worked with the millennial generation for years was a blessing to be able bring him back to the church.

“He is so solid in God’s Word and what he does is he unpacks the Word in a way that anyone can grab it,” Mitchell said.  “There are a lot of questions from the millennial generation and addressing those questions is a challenge nowadays.  For him to come and reach back and deal with something that many aren’t willing to deal with is great.  His plus is that is he loves young people and could not have thought of no other person to come and speak with our young people.  He is very relatable and down to earth and the Lord has an anointing on him.”

For individuals who are not of the Seventh Day Adventist faith who attend the week of prayer, James said, “Even though you may not be of the Seventh Day Adventist faith, that does not mean you are not a part of the family of God. All God’s people are of the family of God and play a role in God’s plan.  I want them to ask the question, not do I become a Seventh Day Adventist but what do I need to do as my sole purpose with my relationship with God.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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