Leaders from the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists visited Walla Walla University on Saturday, May 12, for the purpose of engaging with WWU students. In an event called, “Is This Thing On?,” Dan Jackson, NAD president; Alex Bryant, NAD executive secretary; and Tom Evans, NAD treasurer, met with 182 students and a small number of campus visitors to answer pressing questions on NAD policy.
As students gathered in the Winter Educational Complex, a tone of eagerness and anticipation mounted as the livestreamed event started. Throughout the event, WWU students, as well as students around the world, showed just how important it is to the younger generation to have a solid understanding and impactful role in the church. Question topics included how the church, the NAD specifically, plans to address the issues of women in leadership, education in Seventh-day Adventist schools, how younger generations can connect with older generations in church leadership, and how the NAD plans to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community. The dialog continued for nearly an hour after the cameras were turned off.
Travis Stanger, freshman electrical engineering major, said, “I thought it was nice to see that the church is actively looking at how the younger generation is responding to the SDA beliefs and telling us what they’re doing to accommodate the questions we asked.”
Tobi Brown, freshman electrical engineering major, said, “‘Is This Thing On? was a great experience that enlightened me to the inside of student’s minds and their burning questions. However, the best questions came when the camera was off.”
The event reached thousands of people outside of the WWU community. On Facebook alone 8,000 people tuned into the live broadcast, 107 people shared it, and there were a total of 1,115 reactions and comments, which included 400 questions and statements. Twitter reached more than 66,300 accounts.
In a closing statement, Dan Jackson told the young people listening, “The plain and simple truth is: you are needed and you are wanted in the church. Help us.”
To watch the recorded program, visit ittoshow.com.
Posted June 1, 2018