Church Plants and Emerging Adults

I came across an article about how church plants are reaching emerging adults.

Sunday services at Five14 Church begin loud.

Worshippers are greeted into with heavy bass and synth beats. The morning starts off with a game, delivered by a standup comedian. At the nondenominational New Albany church, this is gospel.

Read the full article.

Here are a few highlights:

  • The number of adults in the U.S. who say they believe in God or regularly attend a religious service has been on the decline for years nationwide, but is on the rise in Ohio. 
  • They get a lot of explorers – people just looking for a deeper meaning to life, but who are not sure where to find it.
  • “I think if they decided to bring a really aggressive anti-LGBT, anti-self-expression, that might be an issue,” Brunsman says. (Someone who lives in the local community’s view of the new church.)
  • “[The Church] needs to be incarnate on the Internet.”

Other characteristics of this church includes – a relaxed, authentic atmosphere, loud and up-beat music, and an understanding that attenders may not be knowledgeable of Christianity. While these characteristics are not essential for attracting emerging adults, these communities have found a winning recipe for reversing the Millennial Exodus.

What do you think attracts emerging adults to a spiritual community?

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

Fostering virtual faith: Building an online community

As the internet has become more apart of our lives, discussions have been around for years about the possibility of a virtual church.  Here is an article that speaks about a truly virtual church, and how it desires to reach out to Millennials.

The Rev. Sion Gough Hughes, pastor of a Protestant church in Melbourne, Australia, was surfing the web a couple years ago when he happened on a Facebook page that challenged his understanding of his calling. 

Continue reading

Will marriage become extinct?

Marriage between man and woman today “is becoming extinct.”

Image may contain: 2 people, wedding and outdoor

Copyright 2016 Photo Courtesy of Aaron Robert Photography LLC

 

That was the view shared by Jennifer Murff of Millennials for Marriage at a recent speech to an audience of young people from various countries who attended a conference promoting marriage and families in Beverly, Massachusetts, CBN News reported.

Here is the rest of the article from Christianity Today.

My Favorite Line –

The problem is that instead of trying to reach a compromise with the young people, the older generations tend to shun them, especially since these millennials are now more often accepting of gay marriage, premarital sex and even abortion—things that are non-negotiable for many adult churchgoers.

Statements like this display the desperate need in churches for Generational Mediators.

Marriage statistics are clearly changing – due to various reasons including:  the availability of birth control, rise of cohabitation, and the lessening of sexual taboos.  Regardless of what you believe on these issues, this trend should affect our churches and how we approach, evangelize, and disciple the next generation.

While I don’t believe that marriage will become extinct, the question among Millennials is no longer, “When do we get married?”, but “Why get married at all?”

 

 

Why All Your Millennial Stereotypes Might Be Wrong

Here is an interesting article and video discussing the stereotypes of Millennials, and how the delayed development of their generation – may not be entirely their fault.

Consider the millennial, America’s enigmatic under-35-year-old adult, and a few standard tropes come to mind: slacker, living in parent’s basement, obsessed with Snapchat.millennial-stereotypes

But there’s plenty that’s still unknowable about the generation, simply because the economy has been so awful for most of their lives. The behavior we’ve come to associate with the group is deeply informed by the 2008 financial crisis, and traits that seem to define them now—living at home, for example—are likely more a product of financial duress than ingrained tendencies.

Here is the complete article and video discussion.

For a complete list of causes of the delayed development among adolescents, here are some resources.

 

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources – a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to engage emerging adults.  He is also the founder of the EA Network – a community of people who serve and love emerging adults.

How Evangelicals are Losing an Entire Generation – by Amy Gannett

I want to share this article because I have seen many Millennials who love the church, and work within it say a hearty “Amen” to what the article states.

Do not let your political bias, turn you off from what the writer is stating.  This is not a post that is intended to change votes.  It is a post that is intended to change Evangelicalism.

Here is the entire article, and find out why.

8DU3KE91FPThis morning I want to throw in the towel.

The morning hustle began as it always does on Friday mornings. I walked the dog, drank the coffee, cleaned the kitchen, and headed for the shower. My phone in my hand, I checked Twitter (you know, because I’m current and all). Usually, my Twitter feed is a conglomeration of Trinitarian debates, quotes by dead theologians, and cute dog pictures. But not this morning. This morning, I had no more than opened the app on my phone and there it was: Wayne Gruedem’s endorsement of Donald Trump. Continue reading

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.