I’m 41 (as of this writing). I feel young and enjoy spending time with folks both older and younger than myself. However, as I talk to pastors and even survey my own congregation, I’m seeing a generation of people nearly removed from the church. The 20-somethings. More and more, I’m hearing that churches are seeing their lower demographic age rise to the early 30’s. Very few folks in their 20’s are connecting with the church. It’s probably a bit better in more rural family type areas but in Denver, where I’m located, the disconnect of this age group is alarming many pastors.
Now to be fair, each age group has issues and problems. The 20-somethings tend to plagued with the combination of new freedoms (they are no longer teens under parental guidance), a host of things to do, and staying out and up late on Saturday nights (even my friends who host Saturday evening churches say they are not coming there either preferring to stay out at night spots).
I realize others will state problems with other age groups but that’s merely finger pointing and does not address the issue. This week, a friend and fellow blogger, Jacob Riggs, wrote a two part series on this very subject that made me think long and hard about how I can increase our church’s outreach to this group. You’ll find part one here, and part two here.
One thing I appreciate about Jacob’s thoughts is that he is doing something about this. Jacob works for Randall House, a publication company that produces small group materials (or Sunday School curriculum if that is your preference) and is developing a resource for churches to use called “The Brink”. I plan on using “The Brink” when it becomes available later this year as part of our church’s outreach and discipleship plan.
I think Jacob’s on to something. I like his thoughts on his generation being more open to taking ownership of the church ministry and to challenge older folks to welcome and accept their thoughtful input. Ministry is challenging no matter the age. We owe it to ourselves to do all we can to reach all of humanity, not just our own age group.
I’ll have more to say on this next week.