There is this thing that happens to young adults. Even if they have been raised in the church, or in a family of Jesus followers, they tend to drift disappear between the ages of 18 and their late 20's.
In the past many people had grown up with a spiritual foundation. They knew the story of Jesus. They had a basic knowledge of things like the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, etc. So even though they might slip away from the church after heading into the service, or going off to Purdue or Indiana State or Western Michigan, they would have a spiritual foundation to fall back on -when getting married or having children would bring them back to the church. Not anymore. More and more folks seem to be raising with little or no spiritual foundation.
So our church -and we're not alone in this- has set reaching 16-32 year olds as our #1 ministry priority for 2010. We're not sure quite how to do that but we know God is calling us to try. Just after our Administrative Board voted to do this, I read an article saying that the church needs to challenge young adults to grow up and participate in the full life of the fellowship
-instead of creating new worship services for a particular age group.
We'll start by asking questions of young adults inside and outside the church. We'll start by knowing we don't know what to do. (Admitting your ignorance, being humble enough to be open, is a good place to start in a lot of areas of life!)
We'll start by praying. Prayer is always the only way to get from here to there in a good way.
And we'll start by reading. Last night I began a book by Dan Kimball...a leading spokesperson for the "emergent" Christian movement.
Here is what I am learning so far:
Young adults want real -not glitz and entertainment.
Young adults want real community. They want a place where they can be honest. Where people love. Where people are gracious. Where people are courageous.
Young adults want to change the world. They want to live lives of impact. They aren't interested in just showing up...phoning in their life...going through the motions.
So here we go.
Wonder where this journey is going to end up?