Engaging Young Adults


article
by Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi. Faith Communities Today. Accessed April 14, 2017.

This 2015 survey of American congregations was dedicated to exploring congregational ministries with adults ages 18-34. Researchers created a module of 36 items to learn more about the nature of young adult engagement in congregational life. This 15-page report provides congregations of all traditions with helpful research they can apply to their own settings. Acknowledging the increasing numbers of US congregations (18%) reporting no young adult presence, the report offers information about the characteristics and strategies of congregations that report a ‘critical mass’ of young adults. Findings include some factors congregations cannot control, like location, and quite a few they can: prioritization of young adult engagement; congregational activities beyond worship; good use of technology and social media tools; intentional strategy for ministry. The report concludes with an analysis of the factors that seem to be essential for improving young adult ministries: “Passion and intentionality - in the form of strategies, priority, people, and time - are essential for cultivating this ministry.” Congregations of all traditions will find this data-packed report a strong starting point to inform their planning, check their assumptions, and determine their priorities for engaging young adults.

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