Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

John Coaxum (left) and Max Gomez, pastors at the Connection Community church, engage the young adult community in authentic and effective ways.

Connection Community Serves as Safe Haven

Story by Benia Jennings

Young adults are becoming more absent from churches. Finding creative ways to minister to this age-group is a well-known challenge, not only in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but within other denominations as well.

The Connection Community church plant was founded a year ago in Columbus, Ohio, after thoughtful planning with Allegheny West Conference (AWC) leadership. At the church, pastors John Coaxum and Max Gomez lead a small group, “Doing Life Together.” They intend to engage the young adult community in authentic and effective ways.

Over the past year, the church plant has connected with both Adventist and non-member young adults who are at the top of their occupations and have a significant influence on society. This army of young adults is enthusiastic about reckless service, relevant worship and relational community.

Over the past year, Coaxum and Gomez have assisted more than 1,000 people in the surrounding neighborhood through service events and giveaways. They train their young adults to be Bible workers and disciple-makers, and they bring their non-member circle of friends to a church they consider to be a safe haven.

Through this multicultural connected community, many have been won who had “given up” on the Church. Gomez says, “Through a non-biased approach to ministry, we have found that they are frustrated with the institutionalism that may often hinder the church, and are ready to take up the mantle to redefine church in a way that connects them back to God and their community.”

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