“I’m enthusiastic about Young Adult Ministry. . . So now what?“
The 2013 NAD Year End Meeting presentation on Young Adult LIFE was a home run, having many Adventist leaders and administrators excited about young adult ministry. So what’s next to get the tide turned, returning next generations to our faith communities?
I believe this will require us to move from the research to practical step-by-step actions that each of our local churches and the various tiers of church organization can implement. To that end, I wanted to offer you a preview of a young adult ministry praxis model I’m calling: From LOST to LIFE.
Developed from nearly 30 years of research and ministry, I wanted to share a concise construct for your consideration and critique:
From LOST to LIFE – A Step-by-Step Young Adult Ministry Model
Offered here is a praxis model in response to the telling findings of David Kinnaman’s You Lost Me and the Barna Group’s Seventh-day Adventist Millennials Research:
LISTEN & LEARN
· Learn how your church is doing with next generations [pre-assessment].
· Listen to the context of your young people and discover authentic ways to Biblically engage them [resourcing & training].
INITIATE & INTERGENERATE
· Initiate conversations with next generations about their journey [empathy].
· Intergenerate inclusive ministry opportunities that empower their skill sets [apprenticeship].
FORM & FOSTER
· Form environments intentionally focused on building faith in next generations [discipleship].
· Foster authentic intergenerational relationships [mentoring].
EVALUATE & ENHANCE
· Evaluate how your church is doing with next generations [post-assessment].
· Enhance and refine your next generation ministry strategy [best practice].
So how can I get started?
Start with the “L” in the model: LISTENING & LEARNING.
Here are two resources to get you started towards young adult LIFE:
1. YOU LOST ME LIVE-NEXT STEPS VIDEO
This free video and talksheet were designed to help you better understand the context of today’s young adults. Even if you haven’t read “You Lost Me,” by David Kinnaman, it will help you and your team begin the listening process.
Download the video FREE at https://vimeo.com/65252194 Download the companion talksheet FREE at http://db.tt/b8d6Ss9C
2. INTRODUCING BARNA LABS*
At Younger Generation Church [www.YGchurch.com], we are thrilled to have enrolled in Barna Labs, a full-year learning experience, with diagnostic surveys and practical training from David Kinnaman and the Barna team. This is a limited experience for a select group, so get full information now at www.barna.org/labs *For Seventh-day Adventist churches and ministries wanting to enroll, we’ve arranged for an additional discount to the level you select.
Local leaders, pastors, churches, conferences, and unions can start with these two resources, beginning to learn about next generations and listen to the heartbeat of the Millennial context. NAD, GC, even non-Adventist leaders and administrators can begin with these steps to move their church from next generations LOST, to next generations experiencing LIFE in Christ Jesus.
So now what?
As Jose Rojas would say, “Just do it!”
Start moving next generations from LOST to LIFE today.
A Allan Martin, PhD, is the teaching pastor of Younger Generation Church [www.YGchurch.com], the vibrant young adult ministry of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church in Texas [USA]. Dr. Martin continues as adjunct faculty for the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, specializing in discipleship and family ministry. He and his wife, Deirdre, tour nationally, speaking about relationships as well as equipping new generations in Christian lifestyle and leadership. Along with daughter Alexa, they reside in the DFW Metroplex