Reaching Young Adults…

I’ve finally managed to get around to reading Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them by Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley, and Jason Hayes.  The book (especially in the first third) is very research heavy, but I’ve been enjoying most of the second third which discusses 4 markers of ministry that young adults need and are clamoring for.

What do you think of these?  Any of my “young adult” (20-29ish) readers agree or feel the need to weigh in?

Here they are:

1. Community-life is meant to be experience together.

2. Depth– especially not settling for “pat answers”

3. Responsiblity– realize their choices can make a difference in the world.

4. Connection– especially regarding intergenerational connectedness and mentoring.


2 Responses

  1. I would say that all of those things are good and all things that I might say that I would want in life, but if a church began to “produce” them as a way of drawing me in, I’d probably head for the hills. So, to this list I would add:

    Brutal authenticity – It’s gotta be real. For me, this means that church often happens accidentally and outside of pre-programed times and places.

    Immediate contrition and absolute humility – Any church that hopes to “reach” people has to realize that such ambitions are about as faithful to their intention as planning for God to show up every Sunday morning. The very act demands forgiveness.

    Unconditional love and grace – We’re all profoundly broken and jacked up. I would like my brokenness to be embraced and really (I mean REALLY) forgiven.

    So, I don’t object to these lists, but if they exist only to innovate new ways of getting young people into “old” churches, young people will see right through it. If it is authentic, humble, and truly loving, I would even ask if it were truly Christian?

    Good post. Sorry I missed you this weekend. Stinkin’ snow.

    • Yea. Authenticity is big. There’s actually a third section to the book where they interviewed actual churches with 20-somethings who show up. And authenticity (which would include the humility and contrition aspect) and acceptance show up big time in that section. (They might have discussed it in either the need for community or the “depth” section. I passed the book on to my boss so I can’t verify that at the moment!)

      But I felt the authors did a good job for the most part of reminding people (esp. in that last section) that you can’t just “Program” things like community, authenticity, transparency, etc. It’s not an “add-on” to the church calendar.

      Yea. I’m sick of snow. I’m hearing more snow this week too? Which stinks cuz I need to get Steph’s car looked at…and my truck isn’t an ideal snow driving vehicle for us! (I can’t believe that thing’s still kicking, though!)

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