I know, the title of the post is from an opera, but it aptly describes something I’ve been thinking about recently from a seminar at the summit. (I won’t name the seminar or the presenter as I don’t want to get him or her in trouble if I misrepresent the general point of the seminar.)
The point came up about the difficulties that many young adults face in worshiping/getting involved in “traditional” Adventist congregations; the speaker talked about his/her experiences of listening to complaints that young adults direct to him/her about their situation(s).
The speaker’s advice? Quite complaining. If you are in your 20-30’s and have a college degree you should spend your energy/education/experience in planting a new church. The general point was that traditional Adventist congregations won’t change to become young adult friendly institutions; they are set in their ways. If you’re a young adult, your energy is better spent in starting something new.
I want to be clear; the speaker was not advocating a mass exodus/revolt, but stated such an endeavor should take place with the blessings of the pastor of a particular congregation that the young adults is already attending and the conference.
Anyway, for some reason, this exchange has been on my mind the past few days.
What do you think? What challenges do you face as a young adult at your local church? Do you have positive or frustrating experiences? What do you like/wish would change? The music? The teaching? The programming? The people?
If you are a pastor, would you give your blessings to such an endeavor?
Are things really “past the point of no return” for most Adventist congregations when it comes to ministering to young adults?
The 18-35 demographic, supposedly, is the most coveted demographic for advertisers, business, and I would imagine, the local congregation. Is leaving and doing our own thing, for other’s in that same demographic, the best option for both us and the local church?
(I know I’ve asked a string of questions. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any one of them!)