Equipping churches to understand, value and partner with young people on the things that are important to them is the topic of a free virtual workshop sponsored by the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) at Fresno Pacific University.

“Churches Bridging to a New Generation” will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Saturday, August 21. Register at eventbrite.com/e/churches-bridging-to-a-new-generation-tickets-151703863339?aff=odeimcmailchimp&mc_eid=71a70f181d&mc_cid=247455fbf0 and the first 50 people will get a free lunch voucher.

Layla Van Gerpen, associate regional director of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and Jameson White, Executive director of Fresno/Madera Youth for Christ, will lead discussions on how churches are addressing the generational disconnect with young people, re-engaging those who are either “evaporating” or actively walking away from the church. Questions will include: What do next generation or not-yet followers of Jesus care about? What are they talking about? What do they wish the church was addressing and acting on? What biblical input would help us understand?

Both Van Gerpen and White are leaders with deep experience in this mission. Van Gerpen has for two decades reached next-generation leaders in Central California and Southern Nevada with eh Gospel and equipped them for mission. As a Lebanese-Japanese daughter of immigrants, she grew up with a deep love for hospitality, cross-cultural relationships and advocacy. White is a Fresno native who wants every teen to know and trust God’s saving love for them in Jesus. Every year YFC connects thousands of teens in Christ-sharing relationships on campuses, in juvenile detention institutions and in the community.

The workshop is part of the New Skills for a New Era Initiative, helping leaders build their church’s toolbox to bring new skills for a new era. Funding comes from a $990,280 grant to FPU from the Lilly Endowment’s national Thriving Congregations Initiative, aimed at strengthening Christian congregations to help people deepen their relationships with God, build strong relationships with each other and contribute to the flourishing of local communities and the world.

CCT connects the strengths of FPU with the resources of the region to transform cities. Part of the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, CCT supports entrepreneurial creativity, spiritual freedom, economic vitality and justice, environmental integrity, cross-cultural/social collaboration and political health in the Central Valley. 


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations