How to reach millennials and how to make today’s evangelism relevant, dominated the conversation at Potomac’s annual pastors’ meeting, May 16 and 17. To gain a fuller picture of the community and demographics Adventist evangelism often tries to engage with, four individuals, three of which had no affiliation with the Adventist church, were invited to share their views of spirituality and Christianity.
Daniel Wise, a University of Virginia graduate student, shared his research on religious studies and trends he has uncovered within various demographics. Hajjah Amr Rasheed, an active Muslim in the Charlottesville (Va.) area, who teaches the Koran and oversees mentoring and after-school tutoring for refugees, discussed her beliefs and religious view. Steven Minson, a massage therapist living in Arlington (Va.), discussed his views on agnosticism and God and Michelle Sawwan, a member of the Charlottesville Seventh-day Adventist Church, shared the story of why she almost left the Adventist faith.
Guest speaker, Roger Hernandez, Southern Union’s Ministerial and Evangelism Director, shared information on religious and spiritual shifts, including the “rise of the nones,” a notion that there is a rise in people who self-identify as atheists or agnostics, as well as those who say their religion is “nothing in particular.” He challenged pastors to consider how their church could be an effective part of this change, without compromising integrity and encouraged pastors to ponder questions like “What breaks your heart?” and “What are you going to do about it?”
The next pastors meeting will be held in October.