“And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.” Acts 20:9.  It’s hard to imagine anything more tragic happening during a church service and it’s also hard to imagine anything more tragic happening to a young person. But I would suggest this story is eerily repeating itself every Sabbath around the world and contains an extremely relevant message for parents, church leaders, youth advocates, and the younger generation! 

 What Eutychus desperately needed that night, was someone in the congregation to take an interest in him. Someone willing to sit beside him on that windowsill and keep him from falling… there is another way to express love for the younger generation that will also help keep them from falling out of the church. Ellen White hones in on it when she writes “The Youth are objects of Satan’s special attacks, but KINDNESS, COURTESY, and the SYMPATHY which flows from a heart filled with love to Jesus, will gain their confidence, and save many of them from the snare of the enemy…WE SHOULD SEEK TO ENTER INTO THE FEELINGS OF THE YOUTH, SYMPATHIZING WITH THEM IN THEIR JOYS AND SORROWS, THEIR CONFLICTS AND VICTORIES…We must meet them where they are if we would KEEP THEM…” (Gospel Workers p. 207-212). 

Perhaps you’re wondering if there are Adventist youth resources that can help your church grow younger by reaching and retaining the next generation. There most certainly are! If you go to youth.adventist.org you will discover at least five helpful resources. First, there is an excellent Spiritual Gifts test that young people can take to discover where God may be pointing them in ministry. Second, we have a mentoring resource—which will train your church on how to effectively mentor young people. Third, our Senior Youth Leadership (SYL) training curriculum will help you and your members become even more effective Adventist youth leaders. Fourth, you will want to check out the Intergenerational Churches of Refuge resource( iCOR). If it’s studied and incorporated into the culture of your Church, iCOR will make it a place that attracts young people and helps keep the ones you have from falling away. 

We highly recommend that every church pastors, elders, and deacons study all three resources carefully together. You can also download our quarterly Adventist Youth Leaders Magazine which is available on our website as well. Let me conclude by saying that in every congregation there are Eutychus’s. Young people who are living on the very edge of eternity. This should concern us all and motivate us to urgent and intentional action! Our great God put this story in the bible so that you, your local church, Conference, Union, and Division could be proactive. Although it is ultimately the decision of every young person whether to stay or leave the body of Christ, we can make it easier or harder for the enemy to push them over the edge! It is our earnest prayer at the General Conference Youth Department that the youth under your influence will be truly fortunate! Resources can also be found on the SBC Youth Page: https://www.southbahamasconference.org/adventistyouth.php

Adapted from the Article, A Boy called Fortunate, Adventist Youth Leader Magazine by Gary Blanchard, Former World Youth Director.