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Church Planting resources arranged by topic
Unique people group resources and places in need of churches
If you're thinking about launching a ministry to twenty- and
thirtysomethings, you're not alone. There are literally hundreds of others
around the country who share the same passion and calling to encourage and
equip this generation. We've interviewed several pastors, leaders and church
planters around the United States to find out what they wish they would have
known before launching into ministry to young adults.
Things are constantly changing, but there's an undeniable sense that the
rate of change has increased dramatically over the last few decades. A variety
of economic, social, and technological developments are reshaping our world. As
a result, young adults are entering a society and culture that looks radically
different than their parents.
Our world is constantly changing. How will you respond to those changes?
This is the second part in a two-part series on emerging trends among young
Ministries to twentysomethings are springing up all over the United States
as churches recognize the importance of reaching out to this generation. Young
adults who are hungry for real relationships are gathering together, growing
spiritually and deepening their walk with Christ. Many of the pastors and
leaders who work with this demographic can easily list the tactics they’ve used
to attract twentysomethings and keep them engaged in the community. But they
can also the list things that simply don’t work.
With almost every behavior, inconvenience and possible body ache having a
diagnosis these days, you may be tempted to dismiss the quarterlife crisis as
just another media-hyped term to describe the transition young adults
experience as they enter adulthood. But before you chime in with the naysayers,
it's important to recognize that the quarterlife crisis or whatever term you
want to call it is real for countless twentysomethings you know and work
It's no secret that divorce is a growing epidemic in the United States. When
a marriage dissolves, there are many casualties including husbands, wives,
family members, friends, and of course, the children. In fact, it's estimated
that more than 40 percent of American adults between the ages of 18 and 40 are
children of divorce.
Dan Kimball, founding pastor of Graceland worship services at Santa Cruz
Bible Church and a sister church, Vintage Faith Church, in Santa Cruz,
California, has a passion for young people. His book, The Emerging Church,
explores how churches are noticing fewer young adults in their congregations.
The book explores how cultural changes are impacting the church and offers
fresh ideas on how leaders can reach what Kimball calls "emerging
In the following interview, Kimball discusses some of the changes taking place
in the church:
We are living in a brand savvy age. Whether you search online with
Google or Yahoo, buy Nike or Adidas shoes, drink Coke or Pepsi, download your
music from Itunes or Amazon.com, we live in a time when people are becoming
increasingly aware of brands. The popularity of brands is attributed to a
number of factors, including the sense that we live in a world of too many
options. Whether you are selecting yogurt at the supermarket or deciding where
to volunteer your time, a familiar brand makes the decision easier.
When my husband, Leif, and I moved to southeast Alaska, we settled into a
church. As a young married couple, we were eager to build relationships with
others in similar ages and stages of life. Even though the church was located
on a college campus, only a handful of twentysomethings—married or
unmarried—attended the church. As we became more involved in the life of the
church, we discovered why: the church did not offer anything to anyone in their
twenties. Sure, there were Sunday school classes for children, youth group for
teens, events for dads and moms, and gatherings for seniors, but someone in
their mid-twenties could not help but find themselves wondering “How do I fit
Relationships, particularly romantic relationships, continue to be one of
the most popular issues among twentysomethings. It's little wonder. With the
average of marriage hovering above 27 for men and 24 for women, there is more
time to navigate the choppy waters of dating and relationships.
A new term has been developed to describe young adults graduating from
college. They've been dubbed "Generation Debt", and it's a title that isn't
going away any time soon. Though well-dressed, energetic and full of life, hope
and dreams, twentysomethings today are carrying an impressive amount of
Over the course of the last two years I’ve spoken to a number of pastors and
church leaders who never set out to reach twentysomethings through their
meetings or ministry. Yet when they look out at their attendees, it’s
consistently young adults who fill the audience.
At a recent conference involving more than 8,000 church leaders from around
the country, a well-known Christian, mega-church pastor made the observation
that many young believers, including twentysomethings, have an unmistakable
sense of anger that affects the way they view the church and their faith. The
pastor could not explain where the anger comes from; he just noticed its
unmistakable presence in younger believers. Anyone who has worked with many
twentysomethings for even a short amount of time has probably noticed the same
quiet level of frustration and anger among young adults-particularly among
those who have grown up in the church.
If you talk to very many twentysomethings, it won't take too long to stumble
upon someone who feels jaded an experience they have had in the church. A
growing number of people-including twentysomethings-have become so frustrated
with their church experiences that are changing denominations, joining home
churches and some are dropping out of church altogether.
During my own times of study, I’ve become increasingly aware that the
Bible was written in an agrarian context, but I live in a modern suburban
world. When the scriptures talk about themes of harvest and seasons, I
understand them with my head but not with my heart.
When it comes to launching and growing a successful young adult ministry or
church service, all types of concerns surface. Who will be involved? When will
we gather? Where is the best place to gather? What format should the meeting
take? What opportunities will we provide to place our faith into action? And of
course, the granddaddy of all questions: What are we going to call this
A Quick Trivia Moment: Can you name fiveoriginal colors of M&M’s®?
When the company first launched
M&M’s® in 1941, they began with brown, yellow, red, green and
violet. Eight years later, tan replaced violet. In 1976, orange joined the
M&M’s® color spectrum. In 1995, blue joined the pack! Along the
way, red faded with health concerns, peanut M&M’s® became
popular, peanut butter M&M’s® arrived on the scene, and a wide
variety of other M&M’s® launched, including the caramel filled
dulce de leche M&M’s®.
Though I’m still in my thirties, I’m amazed at how much has changed in our modern culture when it comes to being a kid. When I was eight years old, I remember climbing a tree in our backyard with friends. I slipped, fell, and broke my arm. Every day at school we had a recess where we played various games. Some weren’t so fun (dodge ball, anyone?) But others were a blast (red rover was a favorite). Occasionally, we’d find a rusty nail on the playground (a treasure for sure!). But mostly, I went to school and played with my friends. Ah, those were the days!
Do you remember the awkward, acne-filled years of being of an adolescent?
Can you the recall the gawky, coming-of-age period filled with off-the-chart
hormone surges as you made the rather bumpy transition into adulthood? Think
braces. Think growth spurts. Think crushes and prom attire and changes in your
body that everyone seemed to know about but no one could explain.
Change is in the air—in our economy, our nation, and our world. The
use of technology, a desire for authentic community, and a hunger to
communicate and live the good news of Jesus are challenging leaders to rethink
the way they lead.
Over the last forty years, the job descriptions of church leaders have
shifted. As the expectations and needs of the congregations change, many are
finding their roles evolving. This is particularly true when it comes to next
generation leaders within the church. Many young leaders come in with a
different set of expectations on how to lead and best reach their generation
compared to seasoned leaders. Here are a few trends to consider:
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