I’m often asked how to get young adults in the church. I think it’s in part because I’m under 35. Young adult ministry isn’t nearly as complicated as it’s been made out to be. The following article excerpts are from Anthony B. Robinson and the full article can be found on Faith and Leadership.
I’d preface these comments saying that they are probably just as relevant to the generations before those in the 20s and 30s…and likely generations after.
My first general thought is that our enthusiasm for our church and confidence in the Christian faith needs to come through. That attitude is likely to make us more interesting and attractive to those who might be looking for a church.
If we feel bad about ourselves, if we are anxious about our future or our survival, that tends to come through — and not in a positive way.
Churches and their leaders also need to dare to challenge folks in their 20s and 30s (along with everyone else) with the height and depth, length and breadth of the gospel and the Christian faith.
Robinson outlines 8 guidelines to congregations who want to share hospitality and grace to future generations. While all 8 are valuable, here are a few of my favorites.
1. Make it spiritual. The core business of religion is — surprise — religion; we’re not a social club, civic organization or political party. Honestly ask, “Are we growing spiritually, in faith and discipleship?” “Are we offering others opportunities to deepen faith?”
4. Make it real, authentic. We no longer live in a world where many people go to church out of a sense of social obligation. Just going through the motions, checking off boxes on the “to-do” list won’t do it. What are the issues and questions people are facing and struggling with? What light does the gospel shed on them?
5. Value the power of cross-generational community and relationships. Increasingly, we live in mono-generational enclaves. Speak of the importance of friendship and contact across the generations and then live that out in the way you do church.
How does your church reach different generations?