Emerging adults are a special kind of moving target. How can churches meet them where they are, supporting them in their transitions without condescension? Practical considerations for engaging young adults and the whole of the Christian community.
Posts Tagged ‘young adults’
There are plenty reasons why pizza is an ideal food for youth groups. It arrives ready-to-eat; most people like it (vegetarians included); and it can be very cost effective, depending on the deal you have with your local pizza place.
But pizza can wear a little thin (get it?).
We asked Blake Woods* and Randall Curtis*, both experts with years of youth and young adult ministry experience: what are the other options for feeding a group?
It seems like churches are constantly asking, “How can we attract more young people?” While this opens a larger conversation, one starting point is to consider how your congregation welcomes (or would welcome) young adults when they walk through your door.
While many churches have created welcoming environments and ways to greet visitors, these policies can be updated to better welcome the millennial population. So what are people in their 20s (or 30s) thinking about as they come to church? Here are some hopes and fears, and ways to address them:
Most congregations honor their graduating high schoolers—a blessing in church and a cake at coffee hour, and maybe the gift of a prayer book. But once graduated, how well does your congregation stay in touch? Those who go off to college or the military are only ever seen again for an hour on Christmas Eve, if at all. Those who don’t move away from home may feel that there are fewer resources in the parish to meet their needs.
Young people are not looking for the easy path in life. They don’t mind a challenge – it is too often us who fear the challenge. They are not looking for the path of least resistance.
The church as a whole seems to clamor for more youth involvement. But when we really tried to make changes in our parish, like pointedly asking young people to come aboard and help re-invent parish life, there wasn’t exactly cheering in the pews.
A collaborative portal where you can: Find a resource ∙ Share a resource ∙ Be a resource, the CSR is a shared ministry of the Cathedral of All Souls and the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. It is also supported by the Helen Porter Foundation, the Center for the Ministry of Teaching, Virginia Theological Seminary, and Church Publishing Incorporated.
We’ve moved from the conventional question to an experiential (or spiritual) question that has to do with how we experience belief. People will ask me the question sometimes multiple times in a single day, “How do you believe that?”
Make a point to meet and speak to college students when they come to church. Feeling welcomed is the #1 concern of students who attend a new church.
It isn’t rocket science to put the generational theorists, the headlines, and today’s societal hunger to see what we should be focusing on in our churches.
As the oldest members of the Millennial generation enter their early 30s, psychologists and market researchers are identifying the new and distinctive ways this group, the largest demographic cohort in U.S. history, defines adulthood.
Churches so want to capture the youth’s attention with programs and promises that they fail to capture their imagination and their dreams for the future. They try to compete for teenage free time but offer little to inspire meaningful service or a sense of purpose.
Researchers have begun to define young adulthood as its own developmental period, referring to it as “emerging adulthood,” “the frontier of adulthood,” or, earlier, “the novice phase.”
With the beauty and power of art by John August Swanson and the insight from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology about the sacred text for the gospels, you can journey alongside Jesus as he journeys to the cross.
From year-round outdoor street communities to farms of prayerful planting, from alternative worship in brew pubs to midnight breakfasts during college exams, from theological conversations in burger joints to contemplative candlelight services, Clearstory Collective is comprised of opportunities to explore oneself in the context of the something greater that many of us sense surrounds us.
When the classic question in a conversation “What book would you bring to a desert island?” is asked, the Bible seems to be the number one answer. How do we read this collection of 66 books without outside information? How do we make the contents worshipful, relevant — even inspirational?
By the time I started high school, I had transformed into what some people call a “Sunday-and-Wednesday” Christian. At times I felt I was two different people: one person within the walls of the church and another outside the walls of the church.
Our kids are leaving our churches not because of something “out there,” not because of “the culture,” but because we are teaching them in our churches that faith is unimportant in everyday life, that religious identity is private and largely decorative, and that religious commitment is mostly about being nice and feeling good about oneself and others.