The Faith of Emerging Adults – by Christian Smith

I found this resource, and wanted to share it with my readers.

Photo courtesy of Aaron Robert Photography. Copyright 2016. www.aaronrobertphotography.com

What are some of the specific issues that this new life phase might raise for church and culture? First, we might consider the content and texture of the religious faith of emerging adults. Having grown up in whatever religious traditions, congregations, and families of faith they have, and having participated in whatever youth groups and Sunday School and catechism classes they have, what then becomes of the religious faith of youth ages 18 to 30? Some have referred to this life stage as a mysterious “black hole” in the life of the American church. Quite a dramatic idea. Does research bear it out?

Read the entire article.

The article is written Christian Smith who is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame, and the co-author of Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults.

I like the article because it does not reflect necessary on Millennials, but focuses on the life stage of emerging adulthood, and how this phase of life affects their faith.  My favorite quote from the article:

1.  “The church has an opportunity to help emerging adults work through these issues, but only if it is willing to listen to young adults and help them process their experiences.”

2.  “For starters, American Christians—parents, pastors, seminary professors, counselors, educators, small-group leaders, and more—can simply become better informed about the emerging adulthood phenomenon.”  If your congregation or church leadership needs an education about emerging adults, (and you can’t afford Christian Smith – Contact me.)

There is no mass-market response to the Millennial Exodus. The church’s future lies in the people of God engaging a new generation by being fully present in their lives and believing in the power of partnership.
David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip church and parents to understand emerging adulthood.  He is also the Founder of the EA Network, a national network whose purpose is to connect resources to those who work with emerging adults.

 

The Megachurch Movement – Will the bubble burst?

The religious beliefs of Millennials are certainly different than the generations that came before them.  We know that Many Millennials are leaving the church.     As Millennials pull out of the church, will Megachurches falter, or will they alone stand after the Millennial Exodus?

Skye Jethani discusses how Millennials distrust large institutions, and how their beliefs will cause the fall of megachurches.  (We actually attended the same seminary around the same time!)

Check out this Video.

skye jethani

Skye predicts that megachurches will not feel the affect due to the strength and support of Babyboomers, but as they age – the bubble will eventually burst.

Here are areas to explore:

1.  Do we have proof that Millennials are really avoiding megachurches in particular?  We are currently lacking in statistics that prove this – and this is why more research needs to be done.

2.  We must understand that while Millennials might distrust institutions, Millennials who are religious today, more than likely grew up in a megachurch environment.  Their religious history (with large youth groups, polished presentations, and hip worship bands) may keep them seeking a large church experience.

3.  The main thing to remember is that God is not dependent on the megachurch movement, or any faith movement that we notice in our culture.  The future of His Church is not at risk.

07TCSA_OB-2-46Skye is ordained in the Christian & Missionary Alliance, a Protestant denomination established in 1887.  He earned a Masters of Divinity degree in 2001 from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

We millennials lack a roadmap to adulthood – by Zach Stafford

The title of this article is what caught my attention because I do believe that many parents fail to teach their children what it means to be an adult.  However, it is not just parents who should carry the blame for the delayed development of adolescents that is prevalent in our society.

I believe that the road to adulthood has become more complex in our modern, technology-driven, diverse society.  In spite of new challenges that emerging adults face,

I believe that the exit ramp to adulthood is clear and achievable.  (Click here to read my three developmental tasks of adulthood.)

Here is Zach’s article which I found on theGuardian website.

Life is often referred to as a “highway”, to borrow from Tom Cochrane, and for my generation that hasn’t changed.

“Adulthood today lacks a well-defined roadmap”, writes Steven Mintz, in his forthcoming book The Prime of Life. “Today, individuals must define or negotiate their roles and relationships without clear rules or precedents to follow”.

Here is the rest of the article.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to understand and minister to emerging adults.  He is also the founder of the EA Network, a group whose purpose is to connect those who work with emerging adults.

 

Emerging Adulthood: The Two Most Important Words in Hiring and Parenting

Here is an article that I recently found on the Huffington Post written by Hadyn Shaw.

Emerging adult - backgroundA couple years ago, the senior staff to one of the top leaders of the Department of Defense asked me for the most important advice I could give them for attracting and retaining Millennials. I gave them two words: emerging adulthood.

 

Millennials make up 70 percent of their workforce, and most of them are going through a new life stage called emerging adulthood, which begins at 18 and ends around 27 years of age. It comes after adolescence and before early adulthood.

Here is the rest of the article.

The main reason that I like this article is because the writer distinguishes between Millennials and Emerging Adults.  Younger Millennials are still emerging adults; however, soon it will be a new generation experiencing the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

We should not believe that Millennials will always behave a certain way because it is how they acted as emerging adults.  Millennials will change and develop as all generations.

If you don’t know the characteristics of emerging adulthood, here are some articles to help you understand.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to minister to the needs of emerging adults.

You’ve Gotta Love Millennials – Micah Tyler

You've Gotta Love Millennials - video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLpE1Pa8vvI

I recently saw a few links out about this video, and so I wanted to make a few comments.

Click here to watch the video!

It is definitely funny… from certain perspectives.

The context of the video was for a Church Leaders Conference at Watermark Church.  It was written by Micah Tyler, whom you can read more about on his website.  Here is the story of the video, taken from a Facebook page for MicahTylerMusic.

“So, this was fun :) I was tasked to stereotype MY generation for the Watermark Community Church Leaders Conference. It was followed up with a talk about acceptance, encouragement, and looking beyond stereotypes. Here WE are in all OUR glory ‪#‎millennials‬

According to Micah, the original purpose of the video was to ask church leaders to drop the stereotypes of Millennials.

Watermark Church also describes the context on their Youtube description of the video:

“This video was a parody that opened a talk at the Church Leaders Conference encouraging people to see past the stereotypes and recognizing the unique potential that millennials have!”

In the video, Micah did an excellent job portraying Millennials in their regular array of stereotypical descriptors.  Micah also did a great job, I believe, of portraying the response of many churches to Millennials.  Older generations often poke fun, lament, and avoid emerging adults rather than listen, learn, and serve.    

Millennials regularly get slammed in the media – here is another example.  One of the most well-known controversies was when Time magazine first made millennials front-page news.

The video produced by Micah and Watermark Community Church has now left its original context, and has over 1 million hits on Youtube.

Here is my concern.

Unfortunately, the context of the video (while given on the video page) is rarely, if ever read by the average person.  When I first saw the video, I did not understand the purpose, and I looked.  Stereotyping generations is unhealthy for the Church.  I am not the only one who didn’t understand that it was a parody.

Clearly not everyone who watched the video understood that it was a parody.  One viewer of the video states:  this song makes me upset.  I work 3-4 jobs and don’t live with my parents, but no, I’m the lazy piece of shit…

I am not sure of this man’s religious background, but I do not believe the video sent him a positive message of God’s love.

Unfortunately, some of the appeal of the song (and the reason why people share it) is that people like to mock millennials.  Designers of websites also like the traffic that divisive content brings to their organizations.  I am sure that this video (although destructive to the body of Christ), can give artists and specific church organizations great publicity.

Here is my request.  

I believe that Watermark Church and Micah Tyler should add an explanation to the video from Micah or the church explaining the purpose of the video.  I have submitted requests to both the artist and the church.  (I will let you know if I hear from them.)  This will avoid confusion, and send a better message to those in and out of the church.

While artists and writers cannot control how their work is used, we can do our best to clarify the message that is consistent with our intent.

May the message of the church be clear and convincing to millennials and emerging adults that we love, respect, and want them as partners in the kingdom of God.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to understand emerging adulthood.  He is also the founder of EA Network, a national network of those who minister to emerging adults.

 

 

 

 

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: reaching Emerging Adults.

Emerging adult - background

Photo courtesy of Aaron Robert Photography. Copyright 2016. www.aaronrobertphotography.com

Many churches say they want to do something about the Millennial Exodus: I use this term to describe the steep decline of Millennial involvement with the organized church following their graduation from high school (read the statistics here). However, few churches are willing to turn their words into action. Many churches annually fund children and youth ministries yet are hesitant to designate funds towards programs for emerging adults. This needs to change. You can challenge your church to make Emerging Adult Ministry a priority when planning this year’s church budget.

Here is the entire article on Church Central’s website.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Manager of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to provide resources to church and parents about emerging adulthood.  He is also the founder of the EA Network, a national social network of individuals who minister to emerging adults.

10 Reasons Churches are not Reaching Millennials by Frank Powell

7.3 MILLENNIALS

Many people are pessimistic about Millennials, but I believe the next generation is poised to transform the culture (and the world) for the good. For many churches and leaders, however, Millennials are (to borrow from Winston Churchill) “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

Read the Article Here.

Someone passed this article along to me this past week.  I believe that Frank Powell and I share an optimistic view of the future, and similar viewpoints.  I hope that one day he is traveling through Indiana (Our state is called the “Crossroads of America” for a reason!), and I can buy him a cup of that black coffee that he likes.

While I agreed with most of Frank’s points, one statement that I would slightly disagree with is, “Some churches and leaders don’t see the value of changing to reach this generation, but once they realize this mentality is wrong it will be too late.”  I actually believe it would be difficult (if not impossible) to find someone who doesn’t care about the Millennial generation.  However, churches do not know how to reach Millennials, and do not understand emerging adulthood.  Their lack of understanding often leads churches to fear and isolation.

This is why EA Resources exists.  If I can equip your church to minister to emerging adults, please contact me at gdavid@earesources.org.

Here are some additional articles about Millennials and the church:

 

New Website Announced! EA Resources Is Expanding Again!

God has greatly blessed our work in the past year. I am so very thankful for our financial partners who make our work possible.  (You can join our Financial Partners – Here!)  We recently expanded by adding a new staff position, new seminar/conference options, and now…

EA Resources has launched a new website!

Morethanamirror

You can find our website at www.morethanamirror.com.

Our new website is MoreThanAMirror.com.  The purpose of EA Resources is to provide quality resources to help parents and churches understand the characteristics and needs of emerging adults.  As part of our vision, we desire to host a multigenerational website that seeks to explore various aspects of being a women who follows Jesus Christ.

Did you know?

 EA Resources oversees the production of three sites:

  • EA Resources – a website designed to provide resources to parents and churches who wish to understand and minister to emerging adults.
  • More Than A Beard – a multigenerational website that seeks to explore various aspects of being a man who follows Jesus Christ.
  • More Than A Mirror – a multigenerational website that seeks to explore various aspects of being a woman who follows Jesus Christ.

If you find value in our work, here are some…

Ways you can support our work.

  • Read and Share our Content.  We appreciate each time you share our content on Facebook, Twitter, or other forms of social media.  This allows our work to be seen by a greater audience.
  • Write for us.  We want our sites to reflect the diversity of the body of Christ.  If you love to write, you can send your submissions to me at gdavid@earesources.org.
  • Pray for us.  I ask that you pray that God will open doors for our work, and give me wisdom to discern the needs of His kingdom.
  • Join our financial team.  We are thankful for those who have joined our regular monthly supporters.  You can join our team today through Paypal.

Thanks so much for your support!

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to help churches and parents understand emerging adulthood.  If he can be a service to your community, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

How big is the Millennial Generation?

I came across this article while doing some research, and I wanted to share it with those who enjoy reading about Millennials (who are currently emerging adults)!

Marketers tend to focus a lot of energy on Millennials. Their lives are deconstructed on many different levels, and there’s research to be found on anything ranging from their top financial goals to the ways in which they use their phones. Those analyses are all helpful in their own right, but –  stepping back to the big picture for a moment – how many of these prized individuals are there in the US? The latest data out from the Census Bureau gives a sense of how large this coveted generation is.

CensusBureau-Share-of-Pop-by-Age-Group-Gender-Apr2016

Read the rest of the Article HERE.

 

 

EA Resources is Expanding! Introducing a New Staff Member

God has greatly blessed our work in the past year.  Through the generosity of God’s people, I am excited to announce that EA Resources has hired someone to join the team.  (You can join our Financial Partners – Here!)

Julia Powers and I connected through a blog post that got my attention – (You can read that post here.)  She will be joining our team to help manage the multiple blogs.

Julia Powers is a writer and aspiring minister currently based in Dallas, Texas. She received a B.A. in English from The College of William & Mary in 2013 and is set to begin an M.Div at Duke Divinity School in 2016. Since college, Julia has spent time working in nonprofit communications, interning at her local church, and living in intentional Christian community with other emerging adults. Julia writes regularly on her own blog and has contributed posts to numerous other sites, most frequently the blog of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA. You can connect with her online on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Julia will be responsible for the content and oversight of our websites.

EA Resources oversees the production of three sites:

  • EA Resources – a website designed to provide resources to parents and churches who wish to understand and minister to emerging adults.
  • More Than A Beard – a multigenerational website that seeks to explore various aspects of being a man who follows Jesus Christ.
  • More Than A Mirror – a multigenerational website that seeks to explore various aspects of being a woman who follows Jesus Christ.

I am so excited about Julia joining me in the work that God has called me to do.  I know that you will be blessed and encouraged by her work.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is also the Founder of the EA Network which seeks to connect people who desire to minister to the needs of emerging adults.  If you would like to contact David, you can e-mail him at gdavid@earesources.org.