Keeping 20-30's

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Tom Bryant, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    As a church we have a pretty good children's ministry and an improving middle and High school student ministry, but we seem to be dropping the ball concerning the post graduate students thru their early 30's.

    What are you all doing to keep them or reclaim them in your church's?
     
  2. sag38

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    I'd like the answer to that one too. They are a tough group to reach and keep.
     
  3. exscentric

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    Just a thought or two, what school system did they come out of and what were they taught - usually there is no right and wrong and anything I want to do is okay for me.

    Should not surprise you that they are not interested in moral systems that offer them nothing - they are their own system. Barring the Holy Spirit working in their lives what can you then do to touch their lives?

    Maybe just keep laying the truth out in case it catches their attention. Being available to them as they hit hard times might be an opening to minister to them.
     
  4. SaggyWoman

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    I am attending a church that seems to be geared to 20 and 30 somethings, since that seems to be the main of who attends there. (although, as I, there is a fair representation of the older crowd, and a goodly number of those in the nursery/children's ministry.)

    I haven't studied it long enough but these are my observations, and are not in order of priority, just random thoughts.

    1. Make sure the area you care for the children is well cared for (clean) and secure. Make sure staffing is good and appropriate, with some checks and balances on who staffs.
    2. Involve people where they are. Provide entry points into service.
    3. Use the internet/websites/emails/twitter/facebook/etc.
    4. Don't get stuck in a traditional service just because mom and dad do it. Do something different.
    5. Use videos.
    6. Be real.
    7. Meet them where they are. On the soccer field. At the coffee shop. In the commuinty. They aren't always at the church building.
    8. Gear "small groups" (whatever terminology you use) towards bible study or fellowship or affinity groups. Don't be afraid to start something new or stop something that isn't working.
    9. Talk with them about the hard stuff. You may not have all the answers. Who does?

    More later.
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    1. It's okay to serve coffee and Panera Bread leftovers at church. So do it.
    2. It is okay to use a secular song in the service or music they like. Particularly if it is in line with the topic (sermon).
    3. It is okay not to have "traditional" elements in the service, or if so, present it in a non traditional way.
    4. Don't be so concerned about "church membership" as much as "relationship".
    5. Commitments are made within the worship service. Commitments are made without the worship service. Don't too highly focus on one or the other.
    6. Be available.
    7. Even if they aren't "believers" or followers of Christ yet, don't be afraid to use them. It doesn't take a Christian to prepare coffee or pass out bulletins.
     
  6. Salty

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    This might be a way to get them to come and participate, but I do have a problem with non-members invoved.
    but of course that is for another thread
    so link on over
     
  7. Lux et veritas

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    Please, please tell us you are kidding with this post and your immediately preceding one. Unbelievable. "Let's be like the world so the world will come to church". All you end up with is a worldly church.
     
  8. sag38

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    Ok Lux, how are these things being like the world?
     
  9. webdog

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    List one thing that was sinful (what "worldly" ACTUALLY means)
     
  10. Tom Bryant

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    I appreciate the ideas. Some of them we are doing.

    I really don't want the thread derailed into what is worldly and what is not. I am actuallly looking for ideas and thoughts. So I appreciate SaggyWoman's contribution... although I am not sure about the Panera bread leftovers :laugh: We buy donuts!
     
  11. SaggyWoman

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    Bwahahahaaha! I almost posted a come back to the 40 to 80 year old generation that instead of Panera bread, old people eat donuts!!!!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
     
  12. Tom Bryant

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    I fell into your trap... :tonofbricks:

    So you're saying that under 40's like stale food?
     
  13. Dale-c

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    Our church has people of all ages. We all worship together.
    Deep theology brings us all together and keeps us all together.
    We sing mostly in a traditional manner but we also do some more contemporary music as well.
    THe teens sings the old hymns and the 70+ people sing the new stuff, always together.

    I don't believe church should be geared to a demographic. Church should be geared toward believers from all walks of life.

    The same gospel is for everyone, not one for 20s, one for 30s etc.

    That said, we do have different sunday school classes for various groups.
    High school, college, and then two adult classes, one for adults with children at home and one for seniors. There is of course some overlap in those classes.
     
  14. preachinjesus

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    I'm responsible for the "young adult ministry" at the church where I get to serve. That means I work with adults ages 20-39 who are both single and married. (That doesn't make me an authority, just sorta in the trenches I guess.)

    We have a pretty young church. Our average age is about 42, married with 2 kids in middle or high school. At the core of our methodology is that we want to create fellowship and community environments that intentionally connect with young adults. We believe this is our best connection with how we worship, preach, and teach. We do have a multigenerational ministry.

    You've asked a great question. It is hard to reach and keep this age segment. It is harder if your church is graying and/or has not been intentional about creating environments and ministries that draw these groups in. The reality is you're talking about two or three unique segments too.

    The young singles...people out of college and not married are the hardest group to reach. Most churches don't know what to do with them. They don't fit easily in ministries geared towards older congregations. They aren't in college and aren't married...most people look at them like their lepers. I can't recall how many times as a young single I was asked by well intentioned church members when I was planning on getting married. Also, and this is HUGE...this group speaks a different missiological language. You can't preach at them, you can't yell at them, you can't use three points and a poem. Its not that they don't have a moral barometer, rather they have grown up in a completely different culture than most established church members. Its a different language.

    The young families are important too. Vital to reaching them is top level children's environments and messages/teaching that will help them move along spiritually. You might think a 9 week series on eschatology is awesome, they will probably be interested but lose interest. Also the idea that these young families will consistently show up is long gone. We average 2.5 visits a month by this group. It just isn't in their DNA to show up every week and your leadership needs to be okay with that. One thing that we've really gotten nailed with lately is that we forgot it isn't a natural next step to get into groups. We just forgot to tell them. Really you have to expect to educate them on the basic steps in joining a community.

    The older singles are another population. Usually in their 30s and 40s its a different ball game and 20 somethings. Many on between marriages or have just left a marriage. Its a different kind of ministry.

    Wow, I've said way too much. Hope it helps!

    Way to go about wanting to connect. A parting thought that I want to mention. Not every church is going to reach every segment of the population. Not every church should, imho, worry about it. If God has equipped you at reaching an older segment glory to God and I pray His blessings. If it is middle aged families...glory to God and I pray His blessings!

    The point is that we need to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses. Maybe someone else is better at reaching a particular segment. I love our senior citizens but we have a hard time really connecting with their needs. Just a thought.:thumbs:
     
  15. SaggyWoman

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    Hahah. No, not at all. I just thought, you know, coffee and bread/snacks is a lot like serving donuts, which a lot of traditional Sunday schools do primarily to the older group.
     
  16. SaggyWoman

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    You got that right. I am an "older" population and sometimes I look at these younger ones and they are a different lot than me.
     
  17. Lux et veritas

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    How about "secular songs in the service". Doesn't the church gather to worship God? What place does a 'secular song' have in the worship of the Triune God?
     
  18. sag38

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    She said they were used as in illustration. I would doubt that the whole song is played. I've used secular songs as illustrations such as the song where the man sings about a the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon, Little boy grew into the man in the moon, When you com'in home dad, I don't know when, but we'll get together then.... It may be secular but it speaks volumes about the consequences of a father who is home but is still absent from his children's lives.
     
  19. webdog

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    Where does secular always equal sinful?
     
  20. Lux et veritas

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    When does "sinful" be the only criteria of what we ought to exclude from the worship of a holy God?
     

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