Effective Young Adult Ministry
It is no secret that youth and young adults are missing in many of our churches. Across the land, there are 1,000 Adventist churches with none of them present in church. This past weekend I had the privilege of visiting one church* that is intentionally reaching them. I want to share with you three things they are doing. The church is not perfect. They don’t have all the answers. Yet, whenever we see a church of 95 years have 80 teens on a Friday night program (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTSwithPr. John A. Coaxum ), and several young adults in their leadership team, you know they are doing something right. Even though I will share some program ideas, it would be well to understand that behind the strategy is a passion to connect, involve and develop young adults in church.
1. Connect- As I sat down for lunch, the pastor pointed out several young adults in attendance there that used to be disconnected from church, but now were active participants. This church is intentionalin connecting with young adults. Visitation, invitation to participate, events geared towards them. They connect very well personally and through media. If you want to take a closer look, check them out here:
Church’s twitter account- @glenvillesda
Pastor Myron Edmunds Twitter- @itsmyronlive
One of the sad realities expressed in the book about young adults that left the church, “You Lost Me”, is 47% never had a significant connection with an adult in their church. This church is intentional in doing this.
there were young adults in the praise team, the media team, the leadership team. If there was a team, there were young adults in it. The church is considering purchasing property across the street from the church, to further impact the community. Here are a couple of examples of involvement:
*I sat with a young adult who leads a Community Development Organization, who is using his gifts to increase community involvement in the church.
*A business manager, who is wondering how he can leverage his associations with a real estate tycoon to further the church’s mission in the community.
*A young adult that spent the sermon hour tweeting the sermon’s most important ideas.
*A block party for the community were over 1,000 book bags were distributed, and several community members started to attend the church.
Another reality expressed in the book about young adults that left the church, “You Lost Me”, is that they never learned how to connect what they did for a living with their Christianity. This church is also intentional in doing this.
3. Develop- they have an ongoing Leadership Academy, where several young adults attend regularly. It’s an opportunity for the pastor on a regular basis, to develop the next generation of leaders. Leadership development is an important tool in identifying and deploying leaders that have the ability and the tools to minister effectively in ministry in the 21stCentury.
A particular program caught my attention. It is called FORTY 4 FAMILY. A call to family worship. A call to personal revival that starts in the home. This idea has developed into a resource (40 Days 2 Life Changing Family Worship) that will be available soon. Guest speakers come for 40 days to present on various topics related to family, and the emphasis is returning the emphasis of true spirituality and spiritual development where it should be: the home.
Please pray for this church and their ministry. Drop them a line of encouragement. Connect with their leadership team to interchange ideas. We can, with God’s help, turn this around.
Let’s keep the conversation going at #leadsu.
*(Church info- 95 year old, inner city church, primarily African American.)