Monday, February 05, 2007

Four things young adults want in church

LifeWay Research conducted a survey among people age 18 to 34 that discovered a major factor causing young adults to leave the church is the church’s inability to minister to them in their transition stage.
Among Young Adults:
  • 73% of churchgoers & 47% of non-churchgoers indicated that community with other young people is extremely important in their lives.
  • 71% of churchgoers said they want to participate in small-group meetings to discuss life application of Scripture.
  • 68% of churchgoers & 45% of non-churchgoers said that in small group settings they can find “advice from individuals with similar experiences.”
  • 66% of churchgoers & 47% of non-churchgoers agree that meeting the needs of others is also an essential element to this generation.

    Jim Johnston of LifeWay Christian Resources identifies four needs among young adults:
    1. Relationship
    2. Biblical Community
    3. Social Action
    4. Genuine Church

    Do you agree with the results? Do you think your church is meeting these needs?

    Here are two responses from those surveyed:
    "Young adults are in the middle – not married, not old enough, not in high school; [we're] in this 'ugh' stage," said one survey respondent in the latest LifeWay Research report.

    "After graduation, they (the church) give you a pat on the back and say, 'when you start a family, we'll be here for you,'" said another respondent.

    “The church’s responsibility is to reach every generation with the love of Jesus Christ,” stated Jim Johnston, director of young adult ministry at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, in the report. “It just so happens that this generation’s biggest need is relationship. The church ought to be the author and purveyor of the best, deepest, most loving friendships around.”

    “The lost and the saved in this age group are looking for just what the church can provide in Biblical community,” said Johnston. “They want absolute truth but they embrace the struggle of finding it themselves. They don’t want it to be spoon-fed to them.”

    "Young adults gravitate to churches that are making an impact,” Johnston noted. “This age group is embracing service, social action and missions. They will embrace the church with a cause as well.”

    "They (young adults) want to embrace church, but only the genuine, earth-shaking, Christ-powered New Testament church. For some churches, that’s going to mean changing methodology – but not the message of the Bible.”

    Chris said...

    There is also an interesting podcast on this with Johnston at titled The Leaving Generation. Get to the page then scroll down to the archive. It discusses issues beyond the article.

    Jonathan Blundell said...

    Thanks. I look forward to listening to it. It's interesting stats and an area our church really wants to reach out to.