Reaching Young Adults

Bruce Reyes-Chow is a consultant who previously served as founding pastor of Mission Bay Community Church, and was the former moderator of the General Assembly of the 2.3 million member PCUSA.  On the conservative Red Letter Christians blog he recently shared three common faulty assumptions church leaders make when seeking to begin or expand young adult ministries:

  1. We (older adults) can build ministry from them (younger adults)
  2. Young adults are all alike or as a group share a great deal in common
  3. Young adults are essential for self-preservation (to enable the church to continue to live into the future)


So What?

Attempts to launch or improve existing ministries for young adults will benefit from Reyes-Chow’s wisdom.  Young adult ministry is not something older adults do to (or even for) younger adults.  While we (older adults) may help birth these endeavors through specific strategic actions and by providing funding, the actual ministries benefit from in group (young adult) leadership.  If congregations do this, effectively overcoming the first misguided assumption, the group itself will be empowered to ensure the ministry overcomes the other misguided assumptions.

Does your congregation offer a young adult ministry?

  • If so, is its effectiveness limited by a charter that is informed by one or more of the common faulty assumptions?
  • If not, how might your congregation’s leadership begin a consideration of what it would look like to launch this ministry?

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