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Are You Failing Your Young Adult Ministry?

My background is college and young adult ministry. In my opinion, this age group is the most innovative and creative conglomeration of world changers. As the College Administrator at Antioch Community Church in Norman, OK, I observed a special grace on college students and young professionals to start movements, dream beyond the cubical walls and believe anything is possible.

The college graduation experience can be an emotional mountaintop full of great expectations. However, the transition into young professionalism can be sobering, humbling and often dark for 20-somethings.

How can we help the twentysomethings of our congregations thrive during this pivotal season of development and transition?

Here are a few thoughts:

1. Encourage Getting a Job. 

I have often heard the 20s referred to as “the training and development years.” Forbes recently published an article that expounds upon the benefits of entering the workforce at a younger age as opposed to taking 10 years to find yourself. The journalist suggests those in their early 20s should enter the workforce at any level, no matter if they “love it,” because of the benefits of learning and development that come during these final stages of our brain’s formative years.

If you need a biblical character example, see Joseph, whom I see as the Old Testament Executive Pastor equivalent. I’m so thankful I didn’t go through his entry-level process, but when I look at his story, I see the value of small beginnings and where that training equipped him.

2. Caution. 

This point is entirely my opinion, but I recommend removing “Single” from your ministry’s title.

Young adults want community but not a recap of their college years. As an unmarried, when I see a church that has “Single Ministry” in their title, no matter how great the program is, it initially makes me want to RUN. “Single Ministry” brings to my mind images of awkward mixers where I’ll be asked to babysit later on.

For young marrieds, I’ve observed that life on a social level isn’t that much different until children enter the scene. I think there is something to learn from blending young marrieds and single adults. This fresh mix offers your congregation the opportunity to make deep connections across the board as opposed to one group you eventually graduate from upon marriage.

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Passionate about Jesus & a snow cone connoisseur. I assist the Executive Search Team @VanderbloemenSG