5. The Gospel
Are your young adults growing, changing and engaging because of the Gospel? You are in a unique position to impart this gift to others. Young adults need to hear the Gospel preached consistently and see it lived out fully and faithfully by your leaders.
David Kinnaman, writes in Unchristian, “Most people in America, when they are exposed to the Christian faith, are not being transformed. They take one step into the door, and the journey ends. They are not being allowed, encouraged, or equipped to love or to think like Christ. Yet in many ways a focus on spiritual formation fits what a new generation is really seeking. Transformation is a process, a journey, not a one-time decision.”
Are we giving people an experience in a church building or are we allowing them to experience the Gospel. The Gospel is relevant now and always. We don’t need to jazz up truth. People matter now. The Gospel matters now. Let’s lead young adults to the truth of who God is and who we are in Him. Let’s preach it, live it and be it over and over and over again. Share the Gospel until your young adults step up to tell others of God’s love again and again and again.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.”
I’ve seen huge thriving young adult ministries with all the lights, action, smoke and mirrors. I’ve seen young adult ministries that are small, uncomplicated and focused on learning and growing in community. From what I’ve learned, there’s no one right way. You have to be aware of your audience – know your city and your community then fill the gap. What is missing? Maybe you don’t need more Bible studies for young adults, maybe you need an internship. Instead of a church ministry, maybe your city needs a church presence on a college campus. Maybe the love language of your young adults is service, or adventure or missions.
Be innovative and take risks. If you don’t know how to do that, then ask a young adult. Young adults when given enough encouragement, can and will step up with some holy risks. This is a generation that gets technology, innovation and improvement – I bet they have some unique ideas.
After that, expect movement. Consider their ideas, no matter how wacky or simple they seem. They’ll also want to be a part of it. Now, quite frankly this is where some millennials flake out, but remember, you will have flighty flakes in any age group, and it might be the people you least expect who stick around to help you build in the long-run. Give them an opportunity to build, to lead, to speak into something and be heard and valued.
Because, as we all know, if you build it, they will come.