Statistics are what you want them to be. Perhaps you’ve heard 80% of 18 year olds who have grown up in the church will leave the faith within the first year after high school. Or maybe you’ve heard that the average Youth Pastor length of stay at a church is less than two years. We’ve all heard that 50% of marriages will end in divorce. For every stat, we can probably find a differing statistic to prove the original stat to be “off.”
Regardless of the validity of the above numbers, I know that those numbers can’t be THAT off. The stats alarm me.
A couple months ago I was approached by a friend who talked to me about a new Bible School starting at the Lake Retreat Campus (Ravensdale, WA) in the fall of 2011. Several conversations took place and they eventually asked me to serve as a consultant to the school as they get started. I am very excited about this partnership I have with Adelphia.
IN SHORT, WHAT IS ADELPHIA BIBLE SCHOOL?
- Now, Not Just Later: It is a one-year Bible School for young-adults (primarily, though there is no high-end age limit). At the heart of ABS, is a desire for Mission51! The school hasn’t set out to be a place to get away to to gain a lot of knowledge for one year so that you have a foundation for life. Though this will happen, the goal is to live it out NOW, not just later (Mission51)!
- Community and COMMUNITY: Each weekday morning (M-F) for the 24-week experience (three, eight week terms) the students will learn from a new teacher each week (profs, docs and best-practice people from a variety of fields). This community will learn together each morning. Two evenings a week students will again gather for practical life skills discussions (finances, missional mindset, marriage & family, etc.) Then EACH afternoon the students are “off” so they can engage the COMMUNITY at large by intentionally engaging the 3 C’s!
- Campuses: Some students will work ahead on their college degree by taking classes in the afternoon at Green River, Highline, Bellevue, online or other. In addition to getting credits toward a degree, we will be sending out MISSIONARIES to these schools so that we’re not getting away from culture, rather, we are engaging it!
- Cities: Some students will be missionaries through off-campus jobs. The greater Four-Corners Region (Kent, Covington, Black Diamond and Maple Valley) is home to hundreds of small businesses and we want to see the ABS students taking on afternoon/evening/weekend jobs so they can intentionally be in the culture and sharing Christ through word and deed!
- Churches/Cohorts: Many students will choose to be part of a Cohort and serve through a local church. These Apprentice positions at churches will get students the exposure many need to decide whether or not a pursuit of vocational ministry is a fit. In addition, students will be intentionally trained by wonderful, proven leaders in their ministry field. Cohort Tracks are being explored for each of the following (and more): Youth Ministry, Children’s Ministry, Worship/Music Ministries, Missions & Church Planting and Career Work Force (a unique cohort geared for those who desire to work in a secular field but have long-term impact for Christ in that field).
I have been asked to serve not just as a teacher (Elisabeth and I are going to teach a week on Biblical Purity and Relationships) but also been asked to give voice to the establishment of the Cohorts! I think both student, teacher and churches are going to be so blessed through these Cohorts!
Besides the 22 weeks of teaching the Community at Adelphia will go through, the students will be challenged through the first term to discern which of the three offered two-week mission trips they feel led to participate in for their last two weeks of their Adelphia experience! Again, I am excited because Youthmark will be training the students for these missions!
There are so many other things I could mention about Adelphia (FREE iPad2 for every student, on-campus work-study jobs, lakefront property/views, Fireside Cafe, etc.) but this post is already getting too long!
Besides looking at the webpage (adelphiaschool.com) I invite you to contact me (brian AT adelphiaschool DOT com) about the school. I’d be happy to talk to you, your students or even speak at your Youth Group or church about Adelphia (we are looking for great mentors for these Cohorts/Apprenticeship as well).
As Adelphia equips students who are engaging the culture, I do believe we’ll see many of those beginning “stats” change. Young Adults who are committed to the mission-at-large will stay engaged longer and stronger! I’m excited to be a part of this!
Check out the promo video for Adelphia here.