Lost & Found pt.3
Quotes from chapters 4:
"Community is vital... life is meant to be experienced together..."
"It's the reality of the relationships that makes Christ believable to an unbelieving society. The person far from God will not come to Christ until the love of Christ annihilates the opposing worldview upon which they depend. Community is the love of God manifesting itself in and through the people of God."
...encourage honesty, authenticity, and freedom to ask questions.
...endorse a connection between one's actions and their personal convictions.
...minimize church jargon.
...provide an atmosphere where it's OK to not know all the answers.
...be full of personal illustrations and life applications."
"Churches reaching young adults are inviting them to experience life together, not to a program."
"Rather than behave/believe/belong ministry, we must move toward a belong/believe/become model."
I feel like the "come and watch" mentality of church has got to end. This study shows quite clearly that adults age 18-29 desire to connect and to belong to something bigger than themselves. If all the church provides is a lecture or a show... or a combination of the two, such as is my default style... we will continue the disconnect that currently exists.
Think about community for a moment. That's what youth ministry is all about. Church Youth Ministry has become such an entity of its own because teens need and embrace community relationships, and those relationships often (if not always) include significant caring adults. But the need for community does not end when a young person graduates from high school. For many many reasons, post-high school students don't belong in youth (or student) ministry, but the church's neglect to facilitate community for this age group has a definite effect. (1) High school grads try to stay with the youth group, although that ministry must be geared specifically to provide community for junior high and/or high school students; or (2) High school grads have no community beyond "youth group" so church becomes irrelevant.
It is within the context of community, not necessarily just the weekly worship Gathering, that the kind of spiritual health and growth will take place for young adults as it does for teens. What might this look like? Who is doing this well? How do we orchestrate a small number of caring older adults (beyond 30) doing life together with a growing number of younger adults (18-29)?