Young Adults- Who they are… —  September 11, 2012
Generation called Mosaics
Who are they, anyway?

A modern day tragedy: 1,000 Adventist churches churches with no youth or young adults. Something needs to change, but, what? I believe change will come when the pain of losing our children is greater than the desire to do things the same way we have always done them.

Young adults are saying: You Lost Me- In other words, I can hear what you are saying, but I don’t understand you. The problem we have, according to Dave Kinnaman of the Barna Group, is a disciple making problem at its core. It would be well to remember that disciples are not mass produced, they are individually made.

Lets look at some important characteristics of the Mosaic Generation:
What used to be

1. Kids grew up with a Christian worldview.

2. Many when they reached the late teens, rebelled and left the church.

3. In the early 20’s they got married, many returned.

What is:

1. Kids are growing up in a society where Christianity is not the default setting.

2. Many as they reach the late teens, rebel and leave the church.

3. Problem- they are not getting married, settling down, returning. “Faith switching is more likely to occur between the ages of 18-29” p.32 You Lost Me

Two Important facts to consider

1.  Teens are among the most religiously active people in America.

2. Young adults are among the least active.

Three characteristics of this generation- Access, alienation, authority.

A. Access- A generation of immediate access. There are more voices pulling in every direction. They interpret reality through a screen, which causes them to be less linear, more participant.   They process 34 Gigabytes of data a day. They are visual more than written. They have an expectation of flattened structures of hierarchy.

B. Alienation-  In 1970 4 of 5 young adults were married. In 2010 less than half were. They are redefining family, adulthood, institutions. 41% of Mosaics births are from unwed mothers. They have little job loyalty, 3 years at job vs 10 years for older generations. They are very strong on peer consultation and skeptical about talking heads. Entrepreneurialism beats company loyalty.

C. Authority- one of their favorite phrases is “I am an expert. I read it on the internet.”  They consult the internet more than authority figures.  They define spirituality in their own terms. They are the least likely to name the Bible as sacred Scripture.

Three types of Mosaics that leave the church

1. Nomads- They are ok with Christ but disconnected from church. They see Christianity as optional. For many, they graduated from High School or college and graduated from church as well. They may sporadically attend, especially when they visit home. They are not angry at church.  2 out of 5 Mosaics, fit this category.

2. Prodigals- they don’t consider themselves Christian’s any longer. They are deeply hurt by church or life’s circumstances. Remember, behind every heresy, there is a hurt. They feel bad for their parents, but that’s the extent of their regret. They are happy to have left the “perceived” constraints of the church. 1 in 9 fit this category. Although it’s the smallest group, its usually the most vocal.

3. Exiles- stuck between church and culture, like Daniel in Babylon. Don’t want to be “separate” if it means leaving their present ocupation that the church may frown upon. They are skeptical of a church that only wants to exist for itself and has little interest in making a real difference in the community. Prefer religion to be outside the walls of the church, very service oriented. See Christians as too shallow. They fail to see connection between faith and vocation.  An example of these are people that are in the arts, music, Hollywood, science, military.

“Your children are going to break your heart. Somehow, somewhere. Maybe more than once. To become a parent is to promise to love prodigals” (James K.A. Smith)


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