Anonymous said: I really like y'alls website; it made my day! I have a question for you guys: There are little to no young adults at my church, and no programs or ministries for them. As a college-aged student myself, I would like to know if young adults still attend your church, and how the church reaches out to them. Once most people go to college at my church, they stop coming to church as much.
I’ve really been thinking over your question because it’s a little hard for me to answer. You see, since I go to an Adventist college, all the churches are jam-packed with young people. It’s great to be a part of, honestly, but I feel like I have lost touch a bit with college age youth in normal home churches. My home church has lost most of its youth as well once they went off to college, for several reasons. Some became tired of the service and wanted something more lively, some were disillusioned by the members, etc. But I talked to two people who were a part of thriving young adult groups while in secular colleges, usually the churches around the colleges themselves.
One of the people I asked mentioned that around the time school is starting, they hang flyers around the campus, letting them know that there is, in fact, an active SDA church nearby and that they are willing to provide transportation. What more, they have formed a campus club called connected2christ, which is open to anyone who wishes to come. The pastor also shows up to the weekly meetings.
For my other contact, he stated that there is a program at his college by Adventists especially to network the Adventist students together. Usually college students that go to the local church would be reaching out to the other college students on campus as a friend/mentor kinda thing. They have Bible studies, go to church programs, etc.
As for actual programs inside the church? They seem pretty basic. The young adults often have a worship/vespers that they run by themselves, with some input from other church members. They sometimes lead out church services. They have potluck, “rap” sessions, and camping together. Most of these are fully organized by them.
So, I don’t really know how this would translate to home churches that are not near campuses. But I think the main thing is making the young adults feel like they’re actually wanted and valued, taken seriously and not undermined. Letting them expand a bit and work with their talents. I think that’s also why the church services at my college thrive as well; because they have an input and feel like they belong there. Also, reaching out to people and not letting them go. I feel like churches are not really too supportive when it comes to fellowship; once you get the seat in the pew and the name on the members’ list, that’s it. Honestly, that shouldn’t be the case. This is what I think could possibly help bring young adults, and youth in general, back in the church.
Hope this helps!