Get Yourself Connected

One way that churches could make an immediate impact in their communities is to host spaces for young adults to gather and make connections. The mainline church in town used to do this; many of the people over 60 in my congregation talk about meeting their spouse at church, either at the Sunday morning service, at a Bible study, or, in the case of really forward thinking congregations, at a young adult group.

But the exodus of young adults from mainline congregational life has meant that a viable mechanism for post-college young adults to makeĀ positive connections with peers is gone. What would it take to build that again, but in a way that was truly for the young adults in the community and not for the congregation to fill in a missing demographic?

I got connected to a church full of young adults in my early 20’s, right after college, and it saved my life. It makes me sad now, as a pastor, to talk to young adults who are struggling to get connected to a peer group, whether they’re new to town or have returned to where they grew up. The challenge is the same.

It’s probably not healthy to try and make those connections for people. But could the local mainline congregation provide a kind of platform for motivated young adults to meet peers and make those connections themselves?

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2 thoughts on “Get Yourself Connected

  1. Yeah. We haven’t figured this out yet either. The young adults in our congregation, if they were ever all there at the same time, are a pretty big group. But their “regular” attendance is once or twice a month, so getting them connected with each other is tough.
    I’m beginning to wonder if a number of “one and done” sort of events might work better for their schedules than asking them to commit to a weekly or even monthly class, group, fellowship event.
    This coming year, we’re going to try events that don’t have long term commitments. They won’t sign up for a House Church, but what about one month on a saturday–come work at the shelter. Some month on a tuesday–meet for dinner and margaritas. That kind of idea.
    They seem very busy. They seem to want to connect. Maybe this will help?

    1. I think all of those ideas are worth trying. I wonder too if the local congregation couldn’t host some public kind of event for young adults, like a wine mixer. But maybe “young adult” is too broad. Maybe there are particular communities of young adults that would benefit from structured ways to get connected, say those working in the arts or some other common field?

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