There are ways we can help twenty-somethings find their place in their faith community.
In part because of Pew Research findings about “the rise of the nones” and what is happening as many western nations move into a pluralistic and post-Christian era, it is easy for people to begin thinking there is little they can do to turn the tide. For many, there is a sense that we are losing the next generation of young adults because of forces beyond our control—and that there is hardly anything we do which will make a real difference.
However, in my dissertation research I examined what was helping and hindering twenty-somethings from staying engaged spiritually and finding their places in faith communities after graduating from college. Through that research, I realized there are key actions people who care about the next generation can take that will make a significant difference. What follows are a few of those ideas. I have also made the dissertation available for free online for anyone who wants to delve into the research more deeply.
First, intentionally focus on their next transition.
Most churches in the United States have Junior High and High School ministries. While resources for the next stage of life are not as prolific, if young people attend university, then there are thousands of campus workers from groups like InterVarsity, Cru, Navigators, etc., along with a wide array of denominational ministries that focus on helping them grow in their faith. There are also Christian colleges and universities across the country to help them develop as well.
While many people doing ministry in those settings often feel like resources are lacking to adequately address the needs of students in their contexts, what struck me in the research was the profound dearth of resources and focus on the next leg …
Source: Christianity Today Magazine