All of our churches need young people, not only because they bring life and energy to the congregation, but also because they will be the future of the church. Here are 10 “R’s” that churches reaching young adults are offering to this generation:
1. Relationships. This group wants to hang out with older people who love them. They love life-on-life small groups and one-to-one mentoring relationships.
2. Relevance. Young adults want to know how to live as a Christian in a chaotic world. These churches address that issue through clear application of their preaching and teaching.
3. Rigor. Young adults are not opposed to being challenged. They like the rigor of discipline and study, especially if someone walks with them along the way. They shy away from watered down approaches to the gospel.
4. Realness. They want authenticity. They’ve seen enough fake that they’re attracted to genuine Christians who model real faith, and these churches provide it.
5. Righteousness. They not only desire godly examples, but they also want to live out righteousness through social justice ministries and healthy cultural confrontation.
6. Remembrance. This generation desires serious commitment, often symbolized in regular and deeply-felt observance of the Lord’s Supper. They even like ritual if the ritual has biblical warrant and helps them live faithfully.
7. Reconciliation. Seldom have I seen a generation so interested in racial reconciliation. Many of today’s young adults long for a church that is intentionally multi-cultural.
8. Responsibility. They don’t want to wait forever to serve in the church. They’re a hands-on, “do it now” generation.
9. Radicals. Challenge this group to go to the nations or move to an impoverished area downtown, and they’ll go. They’re unafraid to live differently than their parents and grandparents have.
10. Revelation. This generation wants to hear the Bible preached. In fact, they have little tolerance for anything else.
What would you add to this list (even if it doesn’t begin with an “r”…)?