Wednesday, December 21

Twentysomethings

I'm not sure where, how or when the term "twentysomethings" got started. Maybe someone out there in blogger-land knows. What I do know is that it is a very important demographic and it is a segment of most congregations that get's little or no attention.

We are typically big on children's ministry and youth ministry or even senior adult ministry. But as our teens morph into adults and get jobs or lay around or go to college...who is providing meaningful ministry opportunities for them?

I've had this conversation with a number of people and I intend to host a think tank on twentysomethings here @ HQ in the New Year. Here are a few links that I have found to be helpful:
www.illuminateresources.com
www.boundless.org
www.futuregen.org
www.relevantmagazine.com

What are your thoughts on ministry to this age group? What have you found to be helpful?

2 comments:

Tim said...

Our church also struggles in this area, as I know many do. Even though I fall into this category myself, I don't really have an answer except that it probably has something to do with addressing their percieved needs (in order to reach actual needs) and relationships. Hopefully we've build credible and trustworthy relationships with these people as they grow up through youth group so that when college is over they have relationships at church worth returning to. And for those in this category who come to church for the first time ever, I'm still pretty confident relationships have something to do with seeing them return and getting involved.

Gap said...

We are making some strides in this area. This generation...at least in our area... is a techy geration, who loves music, video games, and sports. The one thing to not overlook is that they are answering tough life questions right now. They are looking for the basic answers in life. Make sure you offer things that can be applied to life; but, don't forget, this generation wants to be deep (Even if they don't readily admit it.) They also feel being REAL is high on the list of priorities. Hypocrites, teachers that "know it all" and never really show that they struggle are sometimes discredited in the minds of "Young Adults."

In our church we have opened up our group so that the ages are 18-62. Many times when you put lables on it can deter them before even trying it out.

My brother was married by age 18 and had a child by age 23. A young adult group, a married young adult group, or a married young adult with children could all work for him. I found that our marrieds can learn from our singles and vice versa. They usually just have a comfort zone of who is comfortable to hang around. Most of the time...it's because of what they like to do...that draws them together. I personally don't want to "single out our singles" or say you have to be married to attend. Lables on the groups scare some of my people (even though I tell them that all can come.)

We call our groups GAP groups and we learn from each other. I do offer sporting events, beach parties, and late nighters which generally attracts a younger crowd. Music, family events, and the fact that we offer childcare attracts another group. Food attracts everyone. (Keep it simple - we all bring a snack to share and put on a pot of coffee. It's amazing how much young adults like coffee.) I basically let the event dictate the age group without actually making a statement.

If you are targeting 20-somethings, I would say keep it stimulating, maybe on a Fri or Saturday. (This group usually makes sure that they can do something on the weekend.) Use high tech stuff when possible. Get involved in their lives and be real.

We didn't have one person that could take on the whole ministry so I teamed up with my wife and two other unrelated people so that we could team teach. This allowed the group to go on even if we could not be there that week. It starts you with a staff of 4 right from the beginning. Share Ideas, keep lines of communication open, don't get discouraged, and PRAY.


Ben Sorrells
Administrative Assistant
Laurel Wesleyan Church
Stand in the Gap Adult Ministries Co-Coordinator